Dear Short Timers (that would be you, seniors),
All year long, maybe even for the last four years, everyone around you has been saying how fast this time would go. Of course, they were all wrong. It’s gone excruciatingly slow. Sloths move faster. Glaciers move faster. Now admit it, you cannot believe that your senior year is racing toward the finish line. The year has been a blur. Memories pass through your mind and you think “Was that this year? No way. Can’t be.” The year has been filled with fear, excitement, anticipation, a little boredom, maybe some heart ache, maybe (no, absolutely) some drama, sadness, euphoria, stress, lots of stress,
a veritable overflowing cornucopia of stress, apprehension, and the overwhelming sense of ‘the future.’
Aahhh, ‘The Future.’ Always capitalized. Always spoken about in serious tones, full of reverence. Always something that existed out there in the ether. It certainly wasn’t something tangible. You couldn’t touch it, although many said you could. You’ve been listening to people your whole life telling you all kinds of things, full of sage wisdom, instilling in you the way to navigate ‘The Future.’ Make no mistake, these are well-meaning people; they care about you deeply. Indeed, much of what they’ve told is you is the truth. Listen to them, digest what they say, file it away in some inner recess of your brain. When the time comes, you may well be grateful for the advice given many years ago.
The thing is though, it’s your Future. It’s coming at you fast and you’re gonna have to deal with it on your terms. It’s wonderful and a little frightening at the same time. Plan the heck out of it and do everything you can to stick to the plan. The reality though is that it’s not going to go according to plan much of the time. That’s okay, you’ll adapt. You’ll re-tool; make a new plan. Moving ahead doesn’t always go in a straight line. Many times the best experiences in life are the ones that come at us obliquely, hitting us without warning. You’ll meet people that will forever change your life but rarely are they planned encounters. Typically, they involve chance meetings, brought on through coincidence and the vagaries of fate. New best friends, new partners, even new spouses enter our lives through seemingly random events. All the planning is good, but I suggest that these random events are often times where the richest parts of our lives begin, are nurtured, and lived. The deepest relationships are born during these ‘chance meetings.’
Memories of TCP will be with you forever. Mostly good, some not. Many will make you smile and openly laugh while sitting around all by your lonesome. Your classmates, friends and teachers have made an imprint on you and they help make you who you are. You, in turn, have affected those around in ways you’ll never know. Speaking for your teachers and everyone at Tri-City Prep, realize that we are always behind you. We’ve got your back. We are as excited for what your future holds as you are. We know that your passions and desires are in your strong and capable hands. You’ve got this.
After rambling on (remember, I am a math teacher) let me #gettothepoint. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Embrace it, search it out, meet it head on and wrestle with it. Be cautious when it is necessary but remember, we only really make big change when we get out of our comfort zone and take a chance. A little fear can be a good thing. Sure, you will stumble sometimes, but in the end, we learn more from our mis-steps than we do from easy successes.
Graduates of the Class of 2017, I salute you and applaud you on a job well
done. Now go out and own it.