Don’t waste these opportunities

Drew Hoffmaster | The Chronicle

Like everyone else, when I entered those intimidating high school doors for the first time, I had my own agenda. I wanted to have a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA), pursue a career in Computer Science, take as many science classes as I could and continue building my Karate. But little did I know that this was not even nearly close to what the end of my high school journey would look like. Yes, some of these things came true, but so many of them did not, because turns out, pursuing Computer Science, or actually anything in the field of science, is not for me.

I am thankful to have had this time in high school to learn what I truly wanted to do with my life. We are so lucky to be able to attend Mason High School, one of the best and most diverse schools in the state. We are presented with so many clubs, sports and classes we can participate in that allow us to explore our unique interests. High school is meant for this exploration; colleges even acknowledge this fact by encouraging applicants to present a variety of extracurricular activities. 

But still, many people need help seeing the purpose of these opportunities, and how to truly pursue them. All of these activities are right here in front of us, waiting for us to use them to learn what we truly enjoy and want to do. Every day, I see so many of us caught up pursuing one field of interest just because we liked it at one point or another, or because our parents wanted us to. So many of us are caught up in playing the popularity game, taking well-known classes just to fit in, while many of us are caught up by our laziness, taking the bare minimum amount of classes to scrape by.

But why waste these valuable opportunities and this precious time, doing something you aren’t truly interested in?

These opportunities that MHS offers are here so that we can learn more about ourselves for our futures. For example, how did I know I did not want to pursue Computer Programming anymore? I took the Computer Programming classes the school offered and discovered how frustrating it was for me. How did I learn I was no longer interested in science? I took Chemistry and learned that science was too similar to math and was too tedious.

So many of us reach the finish line only to realize that there are so many things we wish we had learned and we struggle with finding our future direction. We realized we were all too focused on everyone and what they thought of us, but not ourselves. High school is the place to take risks, to learn, to experiment and to mess up. It’s okay to realize certain things about yourself here, and it’s okay to realize that your time at MHS is only a little sliver of life’s full adventure. Yes, sometimes realizing all of this sucks, but it’s all part of the journey, it’s all part of growth.

I encourage you to take the classes of interest. Try out for the sports or clubs of curiosity. Take full advantage of all the opportunities the school has to offer. Use the little time we all have here at MHS to discover not only what is next beyond high school, but a little bit about yourself, because life will keep moving on, and it is not afraid to leave us behind.