Senior Reflection: Saying yes to the little things 

Ben Schanzer, Contributing Writer

My time at Algonquin has been characterized by a non-stop, ‘must do everything’ attitude. My first priority was always academic success. Immediately after that came extracurriculars. During the height of junior year I was heavily invested in Student Council, the theater department, the Harbinger, class office, community service, efforts for improving equity in the district, youth group, the school store and cross country. After all of those activities, there was one thing on the bottom of the list that I often disregarded: myself. 

When I sat down to write this reflection, I asked myself one question: If I could change something about my time at Algonquin, what would it be? I would slow down, enjoy the moment, and take care of myself. That is my advice to future classes.

Our society as a whole is extremely future-oriented. We constantly focus on what is on the horizon, be it the next test, project, activity, or (perhaps most dauntingly) college. But, if you spend every day looking towards tomorrow, you will never enjoy today. 

To juniors especially, the next seven months will be some of the hardest of your life. You’ll be judged on every aspect of your life. Each adult you see will ask you every senior’s least favorite question: “So, what are you thinking for next year?” Inevitably, you’ll feel pressured to put school before everything. College is important, don’t get me wrong, but amidst all of the stress, you must stop and think about what matters not just for your future but also for the present. 

Some of us have been in the same classrooms since we were only 5 years old. Nearly 13 years later, your biggest takeaways should not be from the classroom alone, but rather from the snippets of memories that we have forged together. These little, seemingly insignificant stories weave together to compose the complex novel telling the tale of each of our lives thus far.

So, Algonquin, after four long years of giving myself to this amazing community, I leave you with this final advice: say yes. Someone you don’t really know wants to hang out and get closer? Yes! Your best friends are going out but you have a big project? Yes! Leave last period five minutes early to beat the buses? Sorry Mr. McGowan, but yes! You never know what amazing experience you could be missing out on.

With this mentality, the rest of high school and whatever comes next will be the best experience it possibly can be. Just make sure to put yourself further up on your list of priorities, and you’ll never regret it.