Pushing the Limits to Gain Ground

By Hannah Smothers on June 16, 2013
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High school is a unique experience for everyone. No two people look back on those chaotic, difficult-yet-exciting four years and reminisce on the same set of memories. Whether you’re just finishing your freshman year or are preparing for graduation, you’ve probably gone through a lot of change since that first day you nervously set foot into this scary environment. Some people come to the end of their senior year very reluctantly and hate the thought of leaving the place. Others, however, can’t get to graduation fast enough. The latter is an attitude that’s surprisingly common and you may find yourself feeling this way as the year comes to a close. But shutting the doors on such an important chapter of your life can come with a lot of unforeseen consequences.

Support system

My first year of college, and my first year away from home, has taught me repeatedly is that you always need a support system. The trials and tribulations you experience in high school are only amplified when you’re out on your own and dealing with them alone will only make them more difficult.

You never know whom you’ll need by your side in the years to come and the connections and relationships you have with others could make a huge difference in where you end up in the next few years.

Becoming self-sufficient

The relationships you have change more in this first year of semi-independence than ever before. You’re treated more like an adult, and are expected to be more self-sufficient. The most noticeable change has been my relationship with my mom. I never would have imagined that we would grow as close as we have and, while she’s still my mother, she has also become one of my closest companions. It’s hard to move out and become your own person and the relationship you have with your parents is only going to become more important.

Building confidence

The real world is sometimes a very scary place to live. What once would have constituted a detention in high school can now end up getting you expelled or fired. The consequences for your mistakes are much greater than they were when your life was confined to hallways and lockers. But the rewards are also much sweeter. There’s nothing more satisfying than completing a task on your own or accomplishing something you once thought to be impossible. I’m starting to find that nothing worth having comes easily, but the things that require work are usually very much worth the effort. Don’t be afraid to push your limits and see how far you can stretch yourself. There’s so much more to gain than there is too lose.

The next chapter

There are a million different routes we can take as we begin this next chapter of our lives. Some pathways are more difficult than others and some may not appeal to you at all. But no matter where you are headed in the next few years, don’t take the easiest way out for fear of failure. This is the time to make and learn from a few mistakes and, sometimes, the things we learn from them turn out to be the most valuable.


About the Author

Hannah Smothers

Hannah Smothers

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