Pardon My French!

Beating the Fear Factor

On a daily basis, high school students are faced with many burning questions, the majority of which require an immediate answer. Personally, I would not make it through a day without asking myself a thousand, and it’s not just because I’m paranoid. We all do it: “What should I wear to the dance?,” “How can I hide my report card from Mom?,” “Does he think I’m cute?,” “Will anyone notice if I pick my wedgie?”

These common “should I or shouldn’t I” questions take up most of my time, and while life as I know it may feel threatened in the moment, the majority of the opportunities that I have utilized have resulted in great rewards. Thus, I have become more comfortable with said “burning questions,” making decisions with more poise and suffering from fewer sporadic mental breakdowns.

However, do not be fooled; in my entire life I have never made a decision that I hands-down knew would turn out well. But don’t misunderstand me; I do not encourage recklessness. I believe in making decisions. By doing so, I progress, take another breath, move onward. But as is the case with most things, such opportunities will not always be handed to me on a silver platter as they are at this amazing school we attend.

So the best piece of advice I can give you, whether you are a freshman, sophomore or senior citizen, is this: Turn into a sponge, and proactively try to soak up everything. Go forth and create answers to all the burning questions in your life. Sign up for new things, taste new foods, ask “that special someone” on a date, take some risks and live it up.

I say this as a confident choice-chooser who didn’t just get her feet wet, but was caught with a foot in every puddle. And now, as a graduating senior, I can look to the future and confidently say “I’m ready for anything.” Whether I end up in the White House or behind the window at Burger King, I am confident that I will not only be ready to take on new challenges, but I will do so with a fantastic life under my belt.

So the next time you are faced with life’s questions and you feel like you’re about to chicken out in a red-pill/blue-pill sort of moment, picture yourself as an old, crippled creature and ask yourself the most scalding question: “Am I really living my life?”