12 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED BY NOW
For the graduating class of 2012, here are twelve things that I’ve learned during my enjoyable, if occasionally turbulent, past three years at Eastlake High School.
# 12 Read the book. Although at the moment it’s assigned, you might not understand why your teacher is making you read Robinson Crusoe or Crime and Punishment, but it makes writing that essay or completing that project much easier. And after all, Sparknotes can only give you so much insight, the rest needs to come from your own interpretation.
#11 Wear sunscreen. A leathery complexion looks good on no one!
#10 When in doubt, go to Chipotle. A good date with a friend and a good burrito can cure most ailments.
#9 Teens have more capacity for compassion that we are given credit for.Watching our community come together after the loss of Officer Stan Chapin (a fixture and a role model to teens in the community) was inspiring and uplifting. Watching my classmates support each other though such a difficult time gave me hope. It’s something I’ll never forget.
#8 Girls, bring another pair of shoes to school dances. I don’t care how cute or comfortable you think your heels are during the first fifteen minutes you have them on, I guarantee you’ll end up barefoot. Bringing an extra pair of Van’s is sometimes the best decision you’ll make all night.
#7 Some relationship advice to girls: he is not worth your tears. I know right now your relationship seemed perfect and wonderful and you miss him with your whole heart, but in the end, if he makes you cry, he’s not worth it, I promise. Sometimes you have to wait a little longer than you would like for the right guy to come along, but you don’t want to miss that guy because you’re wasting your time with someone that doesn’t treat you right. And some advice to boys: If she has another guy and she “doesn’t want to hurt you”, she’s not worth it either. If she won’t let you be the number one man in her life, chances are she doesn’t appreciate how great of a guy you really are. You deserve a girl that’s going to be as crazy about you as you are for her. Don’t ever settle for being someone’s number two. Half-hearted and lopsided relationships only end up hurting one or both parties involved.
#6 Humans have the capacity to surprise and amaze you, if only given the opportunity. Some of the most beautiful people are the most unexpected. Give everyone the chance to be amazing.
#5 Everyone is often so concerned with themselves that they don’t have time to worry about you. No one cares as much about your self-image as you do, so stop worry about what others think of you and instead focus on what you think of you, because in the end, that’s the only thing that matters.
#4 Although this high school scandal of seemingly preposterous proportions is currently dominating the hallway gossip circuit, and you’re embarrassed enough to wear a bag over your head for the rest of your life, keep your chin up. There will be another drama next week and everyone will forget what happened last weekend, as impossible as that sounds. Waiting it out is almost always the best course of action.
#3 Forgive others. Being slighted or wronged can hurt, but holding onto a grudge hurts more in the long run. Everyone deserves a second chance, and sometimes people even deserve third and fourth chances too.
#2 You will never be as young as you are right now. This is not an opportunity to make bad decisions or act stupidly, but it’s an opportunity to take risks and chances that present themselves. Hold onto every moment and soak up every minute of it. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
#1 Love unconditionally. It’s difficult, it’s frustrating, it takes a lot of forgiveness and trust, but it’s the most rewarding action you can take during your lifetime. Life is not worth living without love.
I’d like to end this with a dare. As the graduating class of 2012, we have the potential to do great things. I dare us to achieve them. I dare you to set goals, and to reach them. I dare you to live a life worth being replicated. I dare you to forgive even when you don’t think you can forgive, to love when you don’t think you can love, to persevere even when you don’t think you can persevere. I dare you to be an example to others. I dare us to be the best class to have ever walked out of Eastlake’s hallways, richer for experiences, for laughter, for tears, and for success. I dare you, I dare us, to be great.
– Ali Savage
Class of 2012