The Prowler

A Message for the Road Ahead

Rafael Monkarsh, Student Life Editor

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With finals next week, the end of our 2017 fall semester is imminent. For everyone here at de Toledo, this represents something different. For some, it represents the end of a sports season, or the start of a new one. It could also mean the final meeting for a class or elective. Some are starting to get seriously focused on next year’s Young Frankenstein. Many are preparing for the winter holidays. But one overarching similarity is that 2017 is ending, and 2018 is beginning.

To my fellow seniors: we are almost there! I find it hard to believe we’ve completed almost four years of high school, and we have just over three months of that left. Many of us are well into the college application process, and for those who aren’t, they are hopefully starting soon. Within the next six months, our lives will be planned out for the next four years (give or take), and this is not a reason to fret. We should jump into the world head-on, with enthusiasm, with dedication, and with optimism. There is no way to go about the start of our adult lives except with these ideas in mind.

Others of you are in your penultimate year of high school. This is your last year before entering the commotion of college applications: enjoy it. Your worth is not defined by your academics just so long as you keep it that way. Beyond the campus of de Toledo, little of what happened in high school matters beyond how you built yourself. So build yourself well, make good friends, have fun, and don’t worry about what you can’t control.

Some of you have just about completed half your journey in high school. You are almost upperclassmen, but not yet; you’re still young. For those of you traveling to Israel, please. As an ancient EIEPster, I am partial to the longer program, and I maintain it is one of the best experiences I have involved myself in. Sophomore year is your year to explore yourself and become comfortable in your own skin should you let yourself do so.

Many of you have just about completed your first semester in high school. How did it go? Are you happy with your academic, social, and extracurricular performance? What would you do differently? It is important to ask yourself these questions once every now and then. Right now, senior year may seem like a distant country: a kingdom that should take as long as life to get to. You don’t have to commit yourself to one sport or activity or friend group yet, so take some time and experience yourself.

I’d like to take this opportunity to advocate the importance of exploration. For me, this includes the exploration of the natural world. Exploring the hills, mountains, forests, deserts, and beaches of Southern California and living in them. Honestly, if I don’t get out into the world for a long time, I have this restless feeling inside that I have to get out. I’ve allowed this lust for exploration to become an intrinsic part of who I am, and I don’t regret that at all.

I urge you all to find something like what I have found and let it imbed itself into you. Explore yourself, explore books, explore movies, explore whatever you want and let yourself enjoy it. Having something that can always clear your mind is important, and it is comforting to have that thing always available to fall back on if you need to get away from other aspects of your life.

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A Message for the Road Ahead