Mr. Sloan has instructed us to write about what's running through our minds right now as seniors. There's so much running through my mind. It's as though I can literally feel the breeze the thoughts create as they whoosh past, one right after the other, leaving my head in a constant, spinning state...
I heard the word change several times this year, but it was a mirage to me, disappearing from my present and then reappearing again when I least expected it. I could see it looming ahead, but sometimes I wondered if it was a trick of my own fantasy, a figment of my own imagination. I hadn't tasted the change fully yet until this weekend. Yes, with every college essay I've written, with every inquiry into my future (such as "Where are you going to school next year?" or "What are you going to major in?"), with SAT and ACT results and with college and scholarship acceptances and rejections, I've felt the change in small pieces. Perhaps it came so suddenly and sharply this weekend because of this assignment, or perhaps because, in less than thirty school days, my peers and I will graduate. Either way, change has given me hope and joy for the future, but also frightened me to the point, especially these past couple of days, where I'm not sure I want it anymore. I don't want to leave all that I've ever known my whole eighteen years of life and my four years of high school - the people that I've grown to know at Judge, my classes, my teachers, my family, my home, even the snow-capped mountains that accompany me on my way to school each early weekday morning. "What if I'm not ready for college?" I ask myself. I don't want to be sucked in by the undertow of change just yet, when I'm so content on land, in a place where I feel like I belong.
And then, this weekend, I thought about before I came to Judge. I had forgotten how close I was to not going to Judge Memorial Catholic High School. I remember growing up in middle school, thinking undoubtedly I'd go to Juan Diego for high school. But I remember wanting something different in eighth grade, and because of the advice my past fifth grade teacher, I enrolled in the Judge freshman class instead. Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against Juan Diego. I still have friends there, and my sister is a freshman there and she loves Juan Diego. All I know is going to Judge has changed everything for me, has shaped me in ways I couldn't have imagined. I can't imagine my life without going through some of the things I've gone through at Judge. If I hadn't gone to Judge, I wouldn't have known the friends I know now. Because of Judge, I have fully realized how important art is in my own life, and how I want it to do it for the rest of my life. I don't think I could have recognized that anywhere else or on my own, without Mr. Bettin's help. I know I could've escaped some of the most painful experiences in my life in death if I hadn't gone to Judge, but I would've missed the opportunity in knowing the one of the most inspiring people I've ever known, Sean McCoy, and the opportunity to grow from that pain in ways that I'm just beginning to see now, a year and nine months later.
To think I was so close to resisting change, to not gathering enough courage to start anew that I would miss all of this? It is unbearable for me to even fathom.
So, while I'm fearful of change, I realize it's the only way that I grow, that I become a better person. If I look back at the first transition that brought me to Judge, this transition I know will bring amazing good. At this moment, nothing seems secure. There's a fear in the insecure. It's just I've found a different perspective this time to look through, to drive away the fear, and let the change pull me out into the wide, vast uncertainty, where I know another adventure, filled with more life-changing experiences awaits.
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.- Alan Cohen
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama