I believe that experiences truly are what we make of them.
“What is college going to be like?” “What if I don’t like the school I end up at?” “What if I don’t make any friends?” These are the questions that I, a high school senior, have heard quite often from my fellow classmates. I would assume that this is a common fear among other students of my grade level, but I have not found myself with these fears, because I believe that the college experience, like all others, lies in my own hands.
This past March, my Catholic high school offered a retreat for the senior class called ECHO, or Encountering Christ in Others. Rumors were flying around the school about how this retreat changes people, how everyone cries and is miserable, and even the extreme of how this retreat brainwashes people. I went into the experience apprehensive, anxious about the weekend that was to come. The first thing that the leaders of this retreat told us to do was to “Participate, and not anticipate.”
This advice stuck with me all weekend, and instead of being nervous and worrying about what was going to happen, I actively participated in the groups and in the activities, and I found myself having one of the best weekends of my life, full of self-revelation and introspection. I left this weekend with a new mindset, and at the same time realizing that had I remained hesitant, the experience would have left me unchanged.
I believe that when people spend too much time worrying about the future, they neglect the present, and in effect can ruin what is to come. Clichés such as “live one day at a time,” actually carry a great deal of weight, and I believe that taking each day and experience as it comes adds excitement and energy to life, and at the same time, gives life a flavor that is unique to each person.
“College will be what you make of it,” I try to assure my friends. I personally am not going to my “number one school,” but I believe that if I am open to the new events that will be thrown at me, I will find my niche and I will be happy. I am not a fortuneteller. I cannot predict the future. I just rely on my gut instinct that if I follow the wise advice to “participate and not anticipate,” what is to come will be in my own hands. Worries and anxieties only hinder, and I know that with faith and conviction, I can handle anything new and unexpected, and can make of my future a most beautiful and dynamic journey. This I believe.
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