The Beginning of the End?
After hearing Dr. Tara Bishop ’93 speak as our Alumni Fellow, my friends and I began to reminisce about past speakers whom we enjoyed.
One of these speakers was Wes Moore, who came to Hopkins when we were in seventh grade. In the afterword of his book, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, Tavis Smiley, a talk show host, comments, “The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we have.”
I remember hearing this quote in assembly and not thinking too much of it as a twelve-year-old. Now, at seventeen, nearing the end of the six-year journey, I am beginning to wonder what my legacy will be. Leaving a mark on places that you have been may seem like a massive undertaking. People tend to think of large changes made that impact our society as leaving a legacy; and I know that it would be impossible to expect that of every single Hopkins student. Yet, we each instill something in others that allows us to be remembered in this place we call home.
Having responsibilities in multiple facets of Hopkins, I have wondered where my legacy will stem from. Will I be remembered as the girl who went to All Nationals for choir and has perfect pitch? The girl who talks way too much about her love of protein crystals? The girl who plays for my water polo team and supports them to score a goal? The girl who eagerly goes to the theater for rehearsals for Into the Woods? To pursue all of these things throughout my high school career was a choice that I made; however, I could have never made all of those decisions without help from others and persistence to be the best person and student I could be.
We each make choices throughout our lives that will impact others and in turn impact our legacy on a place. The choice to start a club, to pursue an independent project to better our school, or simply to talk to someone who is alone and needs a friend. Each of these choices impact who we are as individuals, how others perceive us, and what our legacy will become.
These choices, however, are often hard to make. Sometimes I fnd myself spread too thin, and feel as though I cannot say “no” to people even though I might not have enough time or put enough effort into the task. Other times, I choose to take on something, putting in all of my energy and bringing others to showcase my work. There are moments when effort and choices work together and other times when they are at odds with what I hope my legacy will be on this community.
Our uniqueness is what makes each one of us have the capability to impact someone’s life in a meaningful manner. Using your talents to be the best person that you can be will never go unnoticed. It doesn’t matter whether you have one speciality or four, as long as you use each opportunity you have been given to make some type of impact, I think you can consider yourself thriving instead of merely surviving.
Senior spring is the time I hope to see myself thriving. The Class of 2019 has experienced some of the lasts already, but it is the senior day games and senior circle moments after our final performance that allow us to hear our legacy first hand from underclassmen. We get to experience both the sorrow of the end and a joy of new beginnings on the horizon.
It will be hard to see Hopkins in the rearview mirror, but it will be exciting to see a hopeful future for both my classmates and me. I am thankful for Hopkins for allowing me to make choices, like Smiley described, that will impact my path and lead me to my next home.
Although I am not one-hundred percent sure where my path will take me next, I do know that each element from my Hopkins experience is only just beginning to blossom, even though it may be the beginning of the end.
We will never truly know what our legacy is, but the choices we make, actions we pursue, and lives we touch will impact our mark. I hope that we can find our future home while being kind to one another and supportive our decisions.
To the class of 2019, thank you for being authentically yourselves. The choices we have made together will impact Hopkins in more ways than one, but it is only March; we still have a ways to go. Let our choices be a good example for the underclassmen and create a lasting legacy of kindness towards others.
Let’s use our last few months to say goodbye and thank you to those around us for helping us impact The Hill.