Wisdom from the end of the tunnel

Nicole Felici, Editor in Chief

Some people say that when you drive through a tunnel, you should hold your breath for good luck. A deep breath and then darkness. Lights blur past as the lungs begin to burn, eyes fixed on the bright exit that can’t seem to approach fast enough. As the chest continues to smolder, the tunnel is lost to periphery as the exit consumes the view.

High school was my tunnel. When I picked classes for my freshman year, I already had college in mind. I wasn’t concerned with the classes and clubs that I wanted to attend, only the ones that would look best on my college applications. I didn’t view high school as its own experience to be cherished, but rather as a simple means to an end. College was the goal. High school was expendable.

I am glad to say that I recognized how damaging this mindset was to my mental health pretty early on. Even though I’ve put a lot of work into trying to appreciate all aspects of high school, it can still be hard at times to acknowledge what a unique experience it is. 

Sure, the school part of it can suck at times, but the opportunities, freedoms and relationships that come with being a teenager are rarely seen at any other point in life. You have the rest of your life to worry about your future; go spend time with your friends and enjoy being young!

Your parents aren’t lying when they say that your teenage years only happen once. If you treat them as expendable, you will only understand their value once they’re gone. 

If you can relate to my journey at all, I encourage you to join me in the continuation of this extended metaphor. Rather than becoming absorbed in the bright light of the exit, enjoy the tunnel! Crank up the music, stick your arms out the window and drink in that rushing wind. If you’re feeling really adventurous, open up the sunroof and have your The Perks of Being a Wallflower moment (For legal reasons, that advice did not come from me.). If you can learn to appreciate the journey that you once thought expendable, you may actually be sad when the end arrives.