A Journey, Not A Race
In elementary school, my brother’s second grade teacher announced on Parents’ Night that he believed the sole purpose of second grade to be to prepare the students for third grade.
My parents came home surprised by his utilitarian attitude, but all too often throughout elementary and high school this forward motion feels to be the main goal: simply to get kids on to the next grade. In Junior School we are preparing to handle the demands of high school, in high school we are preparing for college, in college we are preparing for the rest of our lives. With all of this forward thinking, it can become difficult to not obsessively think about the future.
I admit that I spend way too much time thinking about and planning for the future. I start thinking about my summers in October, and I love thinking about what the future holds. Recently, my friend and I were discussing our life plans and imagining where we are going to live and what we see ourselves becoming. I realized that three years ago, I could not have imagined the person that I am today, so what makes me think that now I am capable of predicting the person who I will be in three years, let alone thirty? I can get so caught up in the excitement of planning that I sometimes forget to enjoy my life and who I am today.
Pondering for the future isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, like all things, is good in moderation. Thinking about the future can be a great source of motivation during a difficult week and give your- self a goal to work towards, but with the pressure that we high school students, face to go to a good college and then have a “successful” career, it can be hard to enjoy the journey. To students, it can sometimes feel more like an endless cycle of preparation than something to cherish and enjoy. It is easy to get caught in the mindset that
all we are doing is preparing for the future, when in reality our Hopkins experiences are doing so much more.
I am just beginning to learn how to live in the moment. Going into Senior Year, I knew that it would be easy for me to become preoccupied with the future. After dropping my brother off at college, I was overwhelmingly jealous that he was getting to start a new chapter of his life while I was stuck at home, but in the days that followed, I forced myself to stop daydreaming about the adventures I will have in college and instead focus on the fun moments that I have on a daily basis. Enjoying these beautiful moments can be challenging, but the future will work itself out.
- Lilly Tipton '18