People always say time and time again that high school is the time to “find yourself.” I can’t even count how many times I’ve read/watched/been told that I need to take these years to figure out who I am and what makes me happy, etc. I definitely agree with those statements and the ideas behind them, but I think in this day and age they can also lead to stress, added pressure, and oversimplifying life, really.
High school can provide a great opportunity to discover interests of your own. For some people, high school is the perfect place to push themselves out of their comfort zone. Electives, clubs, and athletic teams are great and safe ways to put yourself out there and see what happens before entering college or “the real world”/post-college life. I can definitely attest from my own experience how beneficial these things can be. This year, I’ve thrown myself in anything that sparked interest, and now I’m seeing what happens. I’m quickly finding out how little free time I have to actually do the things I like, and I’m forcing myself to prioritize and leave room for these things. I think one of the most important things in life is either doing what you love, or at least making time to do it later in the day. Even if it’s something you’re terrible at or have never tried before. It’s never too late to start! For example, I’ve hardly ever sung before and am not very good, but this trimester I have signed up for voice lessons for fun. They’re once a week, and although I have no plans on pursuing anything singing-related, it’s something I enjoy, so I thought why not? It’s harder than it sounds, I know. I’ve looked at my schedule plenty of times and felt that I simply didn’t have any time to do the things I enjoy. But as hard as it can be, I do think it’s important to leave time for yourself.
With that said, I think it’s easy to get the notion in your head that you must find out what you like, what you want to do, and what you want to be, so you can figure out a career path and have a shot at getting into college. My brain goes through this cycle all the time. I’m one of those people that has no idea who she wants to be or what to do. For me, I struggle limiting myself to just one or two things. I can’t grasp the concept of going down one path. Whatever stage you are at with “finding yourself,” I think it’s important to know that everyone will find it out at different stages. There’s some incredibly successful people in this world who will tell you they only found their calling after switching through multiple majors in college, some even after they graduated. Although some of your friends may be narrowing down their paths and branding themselves as different people, it’s okay not to know everything about yourself. It’s good to keep looking and discovering new things. The idea that everyone has a job they are meant to do can oversimplify life, in my opinion. It’s hardly that easy, and for many people, myself included, just choosing one thing scares me. It adds so much pressure to master a specific skill or calling. Life is hardly that simple, so don’t feel pressure or stress when things aren’t going the way you think they should. Everyone takes own paths to get to where they need to go. Some go fast, some go slow. (I think I just rhymed, ;)) And some have ten different destinations. I think the only thing we can do is try and listen to ourselves, make time for the things we enjoy, and takes risks. So put yourself out there, and use high school as a chance to mess up and push harder. It’s all anyone can really do.
Kudos to Courtney Karkani for the title photo. Go check out her online magazine http://www.crestindependent.net about southern california surf and style for teenagers. It’s not about boarding, but has some AWESOME posts about daily life and growing up.