Embracing current phase of life cultivates contentment
"I had to learn to see high school for what it is –a phase of life that is a messy kind of beautiful."
Everyone says that high school flies by and you don’t really realize it until you’ve almost reached the end. It’s the truth. As an underclassman, it feels like high school will last forever, but the time goes by quicker than you think. As I am now close to turning my tassel, I wish there was a way to slow it down.
I don’t regret the way I spent my high school years at all, but I do wish that I had been more appreciative of each moment before it passed. For the most part, I treated these past four years as a means to an end. My focus was always on getting through high school and making it to a good college. I buckled down to focus on making straight A’s and taking on more hours at work, which took up the majority of my free time. Of course, I enjoyed events like school dances or retreats, but I didn’t truly take time to stop and enjoy my current season of life before it passed me by.
Like pretty much everyone else, I had an ideal image of what I wanted high school to look like. However, instead of pursuing it, I let my busy schedule get in the way. I was constantly promising myself that I could make more plans with friends after I got my driver’s license or once I got through the semester. Unfortunately, once I reached one of these “checkpoints,” my life didn’t magically fall into place, or even change at all, for that matter.
I had to learn to see high school for what it is—a phase of life that is a messy kind of beautiful. It can be complete chaos sometimes with keeping grades up, playing sports, managing a social calendar and even adding a job into the mix. It’s easy to keep your head down and push through until you reach the next break from school, the end of your sports season or even graduation. That’s what I often caught myself doing but sought to change for my senior year.
I’ve learned to make more time to take more breaks to do things I enjoy. Instead of rushing to meet the next “checkpoint” in my life, I can now rest and be content with where I am currently. Of course, I’m still guilty of wishing for graduation when I’m tired of my classes. However, I am learning to appreciate my current phase of life instead of wishing it away in pursuit of the future.
If I could leave one piece of knowledge I’ve learned from my time in high school, it’s that your experience is what you make it to be. Every second of your life is time you won’t get back after it passes, and I wish that I had started trying to make the most of each moment earlier on. Embrace both the good and bad. Enjoy the good. Learn from the bad. Get involved, and do things you enjoy. Instead of looking at your life saying it’ll be better when you can drive, once you graduate, when you’re more financially stable or any other “checkpoint” for you to reach like I often did, embrace where you are currently. Don’t let your high school years pass you by because they go by so much quicker than you think.