Well, that’s it. I have officially graduated high school. I have received a piece of arbitrary paper that somehow certifies that I am eligible and somehow qualified to go to college, get a job, or enlist in the army. And once the initial saltiness of them giving me the wrong type of diploma wears off, I’ll be ready to face the world. In my case, facing the world means going to college and pursuing my dreams. I am studying Chemistry, but I love every subject, and I want to learn more about each of them. Because I love learning and absorbing knowledge. I can never know too much about anything. I’m continuing to educate myself about things while pursuing my dreams and making myself happy.
But, before I do that, I have to get through summer. Summer, which, for me, is filled with so much. Next week, I leave for my last ever Nationals in my favorite place on earth, to do my favorite thing on earth. And that will be a week filled with fun, exhaustion, tears, sadness, stress and joy. A few weeks after that, I leave for an amazing adventure in Kenya for a missions trip with Quizzing. Which will be a time filled with unexpected experiences and life changing moments. I have my graduation party, which is the last time I will see some of my greatest friends who got me through all of high school. I move into college. Where I will be rooming with a fellow Quizzer and Kenya adventurer. I’ll start college with some amazing Quizzing friends, and great school friends, by my side. And I’m so excited for all that the future holds.
I’m excited to see what Seattle and Narionlas holds. I’m not expecting enormous things. I’m not expecting to come home with the Alpha and Omega, or even a Sweet 16 trophy. But, I’m looking forward to the amazing fun I’ll have with my teammates and the memories we’ll make. I’m excited for all God has in store for me in Kenya. Because Quizzing has had such a wonderfully amazing, indescribable impact on my life, and I hope to be able to share that. I’m excited to move into my dorm and be on my own, although I am also terrified. I’m excited to get to know my Quizzing friends better, because, although we’ve known each other for seven years, it’s hard to really know someone when you only see them once a month, or once a year. I’m excited to get to know the Gates kids going to Roberts better. Because, although we didn’t talk a lot in high school, that’s still a huge part of each of us, and it’s nice to have someone to share and reminisce with.
But these excitements are only short term. What about long term? What about things that I can do now that I have finally finished high school? What about my dreams? My hopes? My fears?
Well, I’m excited for those too. I’m excited to pursue all my dreams. To study chemistry and become more informed about how the world works. Because I am incredibly curious and like knowing how and why things work and act. I’m glad to be continuing my education. And hopefully continuing it beyond just college. And I don’t just mean getting my masters and doctorate (although those are on my list). I mean continuing it in the world. Because one of the best ways to learn is outside the classroom. By experiencing and absorbing.
I’m excited to meet amazing new people. Make new friends. Have a family. Read more amazing books. Marry some amazing guy (you know, once they stop having cooties). Raise my children to be curious, loving, dreaming, hoping, hard-working and kind. Live in an amazing place. Pursue my dreams. Make sacrifices for others. Be a friend and support. Love everyone I meet. Give back. Experience new things. Travel the world. Discover myself. Use my gifts and talents for Him. Serve others.
I’m terrified to become an adult. I shouldn’t be trusted with any form of responsibility. I’m terrified of messing up. But, everyone messes up. I’m terrified because I know nothing about how the real world works. But, I’ll figure it out, eventually. Maybe. I’m scared to go out into the world. Because it’s a scary place, and I would prefer to stay under the comfortable protection of my parents. But, I can be a light in the scary world, and I have to go into it in order to do that. I’m terrified because I can’t see into the future to see how it works out. But, I know the One who holds the future, so, I’ll put my trust in Him.
Today, I was told by so many that the world is mine. But I think it was always mine, but will also never be mine. I don’t have to wait until high school is over to live my life and make my world into what I want it to be. But, I’ll never really make the world mine. Because it’s God’s world, and He put me in it for a purpose. So, as I go into it, I’ll remember His purpose, His love, His grace, and His mercy. I’ll pray that I may become who He desires me to be. That I may live in a way that pleases Him, honors Him, and fulfills His will for me.
So, I’ll go out with a sense of pride in what I have accomplished. But I’ll continue to work harder than I ever have. I’ll go out with a feeling of hope and excitement for the future. But, I’ll remember everything in my past that has made me into who I am today. I’ll go out chasing my dreams. But, I’ll be open to my dreams changing in order to fulfill His purpose for me. I’ll go out with a sense of excitement and also fear. But, I’ll remember my friends and family, who were always there, and always will be. I’ll heed the Salutatorian’s advice and surround myself with enriching and satisfying friendships. I won’t compete against others, because someone is always going to be better. I won’t let my fears or feelings of inadequacy or my weaknesses keep me from pursuing my dreams, conquering my fears, and building relationships. I’ll keep Christ always in my circle of friends, and at the center of my life.I’ll go out into the world, fearful, hopeful, and curious.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
He has shown you, o mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord not for men. Colossians 3:23