This is the year of my independence. The year I graduate the high school.The year of just as many lasts as there will be firsts. Looking forward into this next year, and even the next six months, summons the most bizarre combination of jittering eagerness, paralyzing fear and pure excitement. Ah, the beauty of the wildly unknown.
And there’s good reason for this. Pretty soon I’ll BE departing from everything I’ve ever known and entering a new chapter of life, fundamentally different from anything I’ve experienced before.
And when this realization hit me as I poured my routine cup of coffee on the morning of Jan. 1st, 2017, I stopped. I realized then that there was only one real way to move forward into this year, into these new experiences, into this year of so many unknowns.
With full force. With open arms.
To my peers; my fellow Pioneers of the Unknown: go forward into every day knowing that this is YOUR year. Make these last few months of high school everything that you want them to be. Do so many things with your friends; go for that midnight drive. Get up and watch the sunrise. Go to that very last home basketball game. Have sleepovers. Dance at prom. Smile at the teacher who’s helped you out a lot. Hug your friends. And hey, even hang out with your family a little bit. Savor it.
And as far as the second half of the year goes, do the same. From the day you step into your new setting — whether that’s a college campus, a foreign country or somewhere in between — make it yours. Wake up each and every day and make the decisions that you want to make. Be the person you want to be be, because nothing is holding you back. Utilize every new opportunity to meet new people, try new things, see new sides to everything. Throw yourself into the thick of it. Submerge yourself into every experience. Take nothing for granted. Treat each and every day like Jan. 1st.
Make this year the year of you.