Venturing to a new shore in life


Emily Colen '23, Staff Writer

As my future plans begin to flourish, my memories of high school turn into healthy learning lessons that transformed my adolescent self into an experienced young adult. As I begin to replay in my mind the highlights of my high school years, a compelling quote by Mother Teresa reminds me to“Be happy at the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” This quote epitomized how I sought to spend my senior year, one final year, in which I basked in the moments of laughter and joy, and most importantly grew in moments of unwanted stress and strife.

With being the first of my siblings to enter the unknown terrain of South, the entirety of my freshman year, I longed for a guide seasoned with high school experience who could explain to me all the inner workings of what my four years would entail. However, the abrupt halt of high school and the beginning of a pandemic caused me to refocus my attention on my own self-reflection. With the time provided, I was able to shift my view from questioning my forthcoming plans to allowing my mind and body to live in the enlightened and beautiful present moment.

As German philosopher Eckhart Tolle once said, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” Returning to the realm of high school, I utilized quotes such as this to stay focused on living in the present moment, and this ultimately aided me in the social aspects of high school. Most significantly, it allowed me to look through the lens of positivity and place credence on who and what I wanted to surround myself with, to create my years at South as enjoyable as possible.

As I look through a more mature lens, I seek to come full circle and provide imparting advice to any student desiring the knowledge my younger self longed to gain. An important discovery that I made is that high school is similar to an ocean in which you are tousled around the deep waters of expectations, identities, and the depths of knowledge. The waves are high one day and low the next if you don’t know who you are, it’s very easy to get lost and not find your barring.

In discovering your identity, make sure that it is not based on a group of individuals because if you lose an understanding of who you are without them, you will be tossed back into the tides. With high school constantly evolving, I believe the biggest accomplishment in adolescence is developing an identity, self-confidence, and a reassuring independence about oneself that builds an unwavering foundation.

As I complete this chapter of my life, I am happy to say that I stand firmly in knowing who I am and the expectations I have set for myself. The ocean water is now clear and calm and I am prepared to take my first steps onto the shore of my new phase in life.