Learn to embrace the now.


The last line of Walt Whitman’s “O Me! O Life!” reads: “That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” He prompts the reader to contemplate their purpose, to desperately search for the mark they are destined to leave on society. Although Whitman proposed a valid point, too many high schoolers engulf themselves with obsessions of the future.

Like many of my peers, I have spent the bulk of high school trying to find my “verse,” unsuccessfully, I might add. I, too, am a victim of worrying about being in the right classes, adequately preparing myself for all that college entails, and aimlessly searching for a career path that would suit my aspirations.

While it is imperative to discover who you are, self-discovery is often manipulated into extreme over-analyzation. We look so far ahead, oblivious to the reality that life, “The Now,” is going on without us.

What I’ve failed to realize is that it is not tragic to be imperfect. Does it really matter if you failed that one math quiz last year? Or ended the semester with a B in English? We are programmed to live in constant preparation for the future, slowly morphing ourselves into academic robots.

This stressful concept stems from early in our education, when we were labeled as certain types of students. Newsflash: just because you have always taken advanced classes doesn’t mean you are trapped in “smart-kid” courses forever, and vice-versa.

Between balancing the pressure of finding a college with trying to stay above water in school, it can be difficult to manage stress about the future. College letters flood our mailboxes, all addressing how we should academically dictate our future. Colleges don’t ever address their letters: “Dear students, you are more than just a student.”

Although we’d like to think so, college, high school, and life are not going to get any easier. It’s time to be realistic about yourself, and realize that passing up the present is not the answer to a successful future.
My advice is far easier to give than to act upon; however, it is my plea to every future-obsessed high school student: learn how to embrace “The Now.” You won’t regret it.

Emma Larson
Features Editor