Senior Reflection: Find your passion, make your mark on the world

Submitted Mariam Ibrahimi

Mariam Ibrahimi, Assistant Online Editor

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One of the most important things I’ve learned over the course of high school was to embrace my youth. I think it really hit me this year when I realized that I was closer to the age of twenty than I was to fifteen. We spend so much of our time trying to grow up, trying to prove that we are mature enough. We want to be older, so that we will be considered “real people” capable of enduring the “real world.”

Stop trying to grow up. Embrace the immature, confused, weird kid you are right now because you’re never going to get that back. As each year progresses, the people around you create more expectations for who you should be and what you should do, so truly appreciate the fact that you are a kid. It’s not an insult, it’s what we are and for only a little while longer.

The first time I truly acknowledged the power I had as a teenage kid was in the weeks that followed the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018 and the progression of the March For Our Lives movement. The power that those few kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School held was inspiring. They were 15 to 18 year-olds who led an entire movement that became nationwide, from a national walkout to one of the largest marches in history. The passion they held and so eloquently shared was one that empowered thousands of kids across America to take a stance and join the movement.

Watching as these kids took to the White House and State Houses across the nation, it confirmed how important my voice was in this world. It forced me to realize that my experiences had importance; they mattered. My beliefs and actions could essentially change the laws and leave an impact. I realized I didn’t need to mature and grow up to have an impact.  

Our civics education in schools teaches us about the existence of the First Amendment and that we should exercise our rights as citizens by voting when we’re 18. But how many of us actually practice the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?” I did not need to wait until I was 18 and could vote during the next presidential election to have my voice heard.

While I do believe it is each individual’s civic duty to partake in the government, I think this is true for any passion or activity: There are a million and one ways to make a change and leave your mark on this world. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

For the longest time, I did not know where my passions lie or what I cared about in the world to spend the rest of my life chasing it. It was not until I took a government class junior year when it hit me: it was so easy for me to get involved and make a change, I just wasn’t looking for it.

Passively waiting for something exciting to happen, a sign that tells you it’s time to give your two cents, as life goes by is a waste of a perfectly good life. Follow your gut, live impulsively, give your time for good causes, live a life you will be grateful for one day.

Amidst all the chaos of high school, I learned something important and I hold one thing true: find what you love, what you are truly passionate about, and squeeze it to its very core.

 

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