Eli Ameyibor Senior Reflection

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Eli Ameyibor Senior Reflection

Eli Ameyibor, Contributor

Dear Freshman Me,

Congratulations! You’ve officially made it through the awkward, forbidden years of middle school and are ready to tackle the even greater awkwardness that will follow these next four years! Yay!

Okay, in all seriousness, don’t worry, it isn’t going to be that bad. There are going to be some moments, definitely, but life is full of good and bad moments, you know? You’re just one jumbled mess of hormones and confusion in a larger class of 1000 other conglomerated bunches of hormones and confusion desperately trying to find out who the heck they are and what the heck they’re supposed to be doing in this world.

Know the solidarity that exists in this fact and never forget it whenever those sudden palpitations in your chest come to torture you the next time you find yourself tongue-twisted in a terrifying situation.

Now, I know the central question that’s on your mind right now: What is it going to be like? Well, I honestly don’t know where to start which such a broad question. There’s just so much that happened. So I’ll try my best to answer, even if it ends up looking like a whole stream-of-consciousness.

In these next four years, you’ll form new bonds with a wide array of people. Some of these bonds will form from nothingness as you weave the strings that connect you to another human being. Some of these bonds will fade into the nothingness, dissipating back into the dust that they arose from. Some of these bonds will be made of a tough fiber that is enforced through every joyful or traumatic experience that is undergone. Some of these bonds will be of a fickle, fake plastic that snaps as soon as one semester ends and the other starts. No matter what shape the bond may take, allow them to morph and transform into what they’re destined to become. Allow Mother Fate to use her scissors to snip off any relationships that weren’t meant to be as she adds resistance to those that were. Don’t be afraid to take the scissors from her and cut off or strengthen these bonds yourself if necessary.

In these next four years, the image of the perfect, straight-A student you thought yourself to be will be mercilessly demolished, pummeled, and reformed. You are going to take some hard courses along the way and they will make you work. To this day I still question why you’ll decide to put yourself through some of the AP courses you’ll take. And you know what’s funny? Even though you’ll probably end up shaving five years off of your lifespan given the hours of sleep you’ll sacrifice to study or finish a paper, you still won’t get the result you wanted.

But I want you to know that it’s okay. You’ll learn in these next four years that you don’t have to be Mr. Perfect to be satisfied with your efforts. You’ll swallow the pill of failure on multiple occasions and it isn’t going to taste all that nice. But you’ll find out soon that these experiences will help you grow as an individual. You’ll become more diligent and more critical in your work. You’ll find out that true work can truly lead to adequate reward, and even when it doesn’t, your resolve will be strengthened as a result of undergoing the experience.

In these next four years, your view on this fat ball of dirt and water we live on is going to stretch and compress in the most peculiar ways. On some days it’ll seem like the only thing holding you back from actualizing your dreams and aspirations is the mental chain that loosely encircles your thoughts. On others, it’ll feel as if the world itself is the wielder of these chains, tugging at your immobilized limbs just to let you know that it’s in control and that there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ll feel like you’re in charge of everything and nothing at the same time. You’ll see the world through rose-colored glasses and feel as if an inherent good is present in all its nooks and crannies, justice following suite of every action taken. You’ll also see the world through dark shades that make everything seem bleak and desolate, no sense of right and wrong shining through the black that envelops the environment. Yet you’ll soon learn to remove the glasses and use your naked eye to discern the world for what it truly is. Whether that’s something overall good or bad is something I still cannot say for certain. You’ll start searching for that answer soon enough though, so I’m not worried.

But what’s most important is that in these next four years, you’re going to define your character. You’ll be placed in the most comfortable and the weirdest situations. You’ll sometimes feel as if you’re in your element and other times feel like you’re out of it. These following years will make you question every belief that you’ve always held as being indisputably true. You’ll feel so alone and so lost at times, your view shrouded with so much doubt and suspicion that you’ll fail to realize which way is forward.

But you’ll find your way in the end. You’ll find that close group of friends willing to prop you up whenever you trip on an unseen obstacle. You’ll find the clubs and activities that add another sense of joy to your life. You’ll find those subjects that truly invigorate you intellectually in a way nothing else could. You’ll find a way to dispel that cloud of doubt so you can walk forward with a new understanding of who you are as a person.

It’s going to be scary with all of the “new” that’s going to ensue. But that’s just how it is. Life is just a train that keeps on chugga-chugging forward at a steady pace, no brakes, no reversing, nothing. It brings tears to the eyes to let go of the past, but if you keep the extra baggage on the train ride, it’s just going to weigh everything down. Take the lessons that the past has to offer and bring that along as you progress to the next stage in life. That isn’t advice to just you either. I’m going to need to remember that too.

You’re going to be strapped in tight for a crazy ride with rises, drops, and loop-de-loops included. Have fun with it and scream your heart out.

 

Sincerely,

Senior Me

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