by KERRY MULIA
If I had the chance to travel back in time and have a conversation with myself over a cup of coffee, I would do it in a heartbeat.
With only 29 days of school left, AP exams and graduation coming up, I recognize how quickly the end of the year is approaching. As I reflect on my time at Schurr and all that I have achieved, I ponder what I could have done differently. Here are a couple of things I would say to my past self:
High school is nothing like the movies.
Seriously, my initial thought when I first entered high school was that there would be popular cliques, jocks and students randomly breaking into song. There was no new kid who swept me off my feet and I didn’t really have a “love story.” No sparkly vampires either. Although I knew going in that most of the things that I saw in the movies weren’t real, there was still some truth to them. There are cliques in high school, but they’re not as exclusive as one might think. Coming into high school I was afraid that I wouldn’t find a place for myself, and that my friends from middle school would disappear from my side. The fear vanished when I realized that high school wasn’t that different from middle school, and I found a place where I belong.
Friends will come and go.
Although I don’t see all of my old friends on a regular basis, I still appreciate the memories and warmth that they gave me. I have felt friends drift apart from me, but I also gained equal companionship from the new people I met in high school. I learned that I really only need a few best friends to spend time with and keep myself grounded. The thought of losing friends can be disheartening, but people change, and it’s all part of life.
Be grateful to your parents.
The thought that my parents would no longer be there by my side as I head to college became apparent as the countdown to graduation went from 10 month to one. I began to spend more time with them, appreciating their presence and the pure joy they emanate. My kitchen table, once filled with my mother’s food in the morning, gradually became empty, as I now have to resort to granola bars or sometimes no breakfast. My mother, who used to be full of liveliness and excitement for adventures with family, became too exhausted from work to plan and enjoy them. I miss the little things my parents used to do for me; of course they still love me, but for the next few months before leaving to college I will cherish the time I have with them.
I want to say more to my past self about things I wish I had done, but I know nothing can be changed.
As time ticks by, I find that I must move with it. My faults and mistakes will be laughed at in the future, my experiences will serve to benefit me, and people will diverge onto their own paths as I move along my road. Here are a few things I would say to my future self:
Explore the world and finally go on adventures.
My desire to venture out and try or see new things started from a young age. I was often contained at home for most of my childhood, and I only got the chance to explore with my family on weekends. Even then, I wanted to see more of the world and travel to places where I have never been. I long to see the aesthetics of new buildings and places, that I can only dream of now. I hope that my future self has the chance to travel and fulfill my aspirations.
Take care of yourself.
Somewhere in the future, obstacles will bring much stress and wrinkles, but I shouldn’t forget to take care of my body first before anything else. The mounds of paperwork, the 3,000-word essay and the “just one more question,” can wait in the face of keeping up a healthy lifestyle. Remember to eat healthy food and not skip meals.
I have a longer list of things that I could say in hopes of changing myself, but there is only so much I can do. For now, I will wait for what the future has in store for me. I can’t change my past, but I can prepare for my future and see what unfolds.