First of all, I would like to welcome everyone to the start of the fall semester. There have been many changes and challenges over the past year and a half, and it has been a long process for all of us adapting to this “new normal”, and many of us have found ourselves in a far different place and on a far different path than we would have imagined, just a short time ago.
For many of us here, this has been opening of a new and unexpected chapter in our lives. As a result, as much as high school is a time for conversations about plans, goals and roadmaps for the future, a number of us may have been presented with circumstances both unexpected and unplanned for.
Of course, planning your path, and methodically pursuing your goals for the future are very important, and there is much that needs to be done in terms of preparing for ‘next steps’. That said, I would like take a moment to talk about embracing the unexpected, and to ask about what we can learn from divergent opportunities and new paths and unanticipated situations, and the chance to explore these tangential experiences.
Exploration, side journeys, detours, and mistakes are just as important as goal setting and achievement. It’s important to view these years as an opportunity to explore who you are as a person as much as it’s a chance to set goals for the future.
What you learn about yourself as a member of a community is just as important (if not more so) than what you achieve academically, and that disappointment and failure are just as important a part of the process as success and achievement.
So, take risks. Embrace the error aspect of ‘trial and error’. Try things that may be too difficult, and find yourself in places where you don’t know the rules and are unsure of the path. Waste time and join clubs or groups whose descriptions make you say “huh?”. Most importantly, take this time to experience change in ways you may not fully understand, and know that you’ll be a far different person at the end of this path than you were when you began, and know that this is a good thing.