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My Senior Quote + What I Learned in High School

A 'This I Believe' Essay I Wrote for School

Sorry, it's lopsided. Photo of Me at My High School Grad.

It was one of the moments I had been waiting for the past four years of my high school career. It was finally time to pick out my senior quote from the yearbook. This was my time to shine and try and show everyone how witty and bright I was with only a line or two. It had to be something clever and something that represent my high school experience.
"No pressure," I thought to myself as I looked down at the senior survey that Mr. Bonneville had handed out to everyone. In February, I had decided that for my quote, I was going to use “life’s short, talk fast,” from the early 2000s TV show Gilmore Girls.

I thought it was a pretty good quote because I do tend to talk fast, especially when I am excited, and it had kind of a “carpe diem” type vibe to it so I was happy. But to my dismay, when I shared it with my parents they gave me one of those, “Really? That’s what you came up with? You could have chosen anything, and you chose to quote Gilmore Girls?” Now I know that my senior quote is all up to me, but I did want my parents to approve, so I let ideas stir in my head until one morning a few weeks ago when I remembered a quote I came across on a Yoga teacher, Yoga_Girl AKA Rachel Brathen’s Instagram post: “Trust that where you are is exactly where you need to be.”

I knew this quote was perfect for my senior quote and a perfect fit in general because I’m not a very calm person. I crumble like a cookie when I get overwhelmed. The thought of the future keeps me lying awake at night. I relish in the thought of leaving my teen years behind me and finally being an adult because it means I can take control over my life… yet I had a meltdown on my 18th birthday because I didn’t want to grow up, even though turning 18 wouldn’t change much in my life. It’s not like I’d wake up on my birthday suddenly middle-aged and living by myself. I tried to look at the brighter side of being 18: I could finally sign myself out of school or vote in an election. I could buy property, run for prime minister, or donate blood… if I ever get over my fear of needles.

This quote was perfect because it wrapped up the four things I had learned from my four years of high school.

1. 'Trust that everything is going to be okay.'

Like I mentioned earlier, I have my moments when I feel anxious about how things are going to turn out. But really, what’s the point of worrying? Worrying is a waste of imagination. From the words of Newt Scamander: "My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.”

2. 'That no matter what is going on, no matter how crappy the circumstance, you’ll learn something and become a stronger person.'

I was raised on the idea that everything in life is a lesson, even if it is an annoying lesson. Without those lessons, you wouldn’t grow as a person. Without over plucking your eyebrows in middle school, you would have never learned that eyebrows are sisters. Not Twins. And yes, there is such a thing as too much lip gloss. Without experiencing what a bad friendship/relationship is like, you would never truly appreciate how great a good one is.

3. 'Tomorrow never comes.'

This might sound cliché, but it is true. You have to get through the “now” in order to get to the "later." You have to learn how to make the most of every situation and find the silver lining. Everything has a silver lining.

  • You miss the bus because you slept in… at least you caught up on your sleep
  • You didn’t get the job you wanted… at least you have more practice at job interviews.
  • You forgot your phone on the kitchen table at home… now you have an excuse to talk to friends face to face instead of mumbling to each other while your eyes stay glued to a screen.

4. 'Stop worrying that you are not where you’re supposed to be.'

It’s one thing to wonder if you are reaching your full potential, but it’s another to obsess over feeling like you don’t belong and that you are not doing enough in your life. Letting yourself feel powerless doesn’t do anything good for you. That’s how I felt most of my second year of high school. I saw all these amazing people in my life or even people that I didn’t know personally, doing all these extraordinary things, and what was I doing? Just being a normal 10th grader who did her homework and did normal 10th grader things. For me, that wasn’t enough. I wanted to do something… amazing. What I didn’t realize was that I already was doing something amazing. I was growing up. I was figuring out things for myself for the first time and forming my own opinions about life. To me, that’s amazing… when you know what you believe in and knowing that no one can shake your beliefs.

These things took a long time to figure out but I think they were the most valuable things I learned from high school, and unlike a lot of things I know I’ll forget about when high school ends, like the sound of the school bell, my locker combo, or who I sat next to in my 9th grade math class, I know I won’t forget those four things. 

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