This will be the last column I ever write as a student-columnist for the Nassau Herald. I must admit it is bittersweet. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my journey and would like to give a special thanks to my editor at Lawrence Woodmere Academy, Robbie Brenner: You have provided me with an amazing outlet and entrusted me with a project that has been so precious to you. Thank you for nurturing me as a journalist, a writer, and a student. I will never forget your words of encouragement.
As an official high school graduate, I now have the chance to reflect upon my journey. I was a typical freshman; certain that the four years could not pass more slowly. I did what was necessary to maintain excellent grades, but I often did not look to expand my knowledge. My hectic schedule and poor time management led to exhaustion and intolerable stress.
As I continued through high school, I became more and more interested in medicine. I began watching shows such as “Extraordinary People,” featuring documentaries about rare illnesses and disabilities. I found that my academic interest also became prevalent during my leisure time. TV shows such as “House” satisfied my craving for fictional medical drama. I can now look back at my volunteer work at Franklin Hospital and appreciate the insight gained from the experience. My conversations with Dr. Michael Harris, chief of Surgery at Englewood Hospital and a fellow LWA alumnus have made me confident in the career I wish to pursue.
Future freshmen: Please invest in organizing your schedules. This will save you extraordinary amounts of time and energy. Get involved in all of the activities that you find intriguing or just plain fun; your future profession should be related to one or more of these beloved activities. Speak to people about your interests; show off the knowledge you have acquired and you will be rewarded. Understand your strengths and weakness, and if the career you wish to pursue requires one of your weaknesses to be a strength, work to make it so. Take comfort in the fact that not every person is meant to be a doctor or lawyer, nor did every doctor and lawyer go to Princeton and Yale.
In the four years that I have attended Lawrence Woodmere Academy, my dreams have ceased to be far-fetched. I have learned that organization, hard work, and drive will allow me to attain my goals. Oddly enough, many people believe that I will pursue a career in writing or theater. Those activities may continue to be my pastimes, depending on my schedule, but they will not become my career.
My family, friends, mentors, and peers all have no doubt that I will be successful in my chosen field. Although it is nice to have the support of those around you, as I do, I must stress that this is not imperative to success. You must be your own cheering section and your most loyal supporter. However, I would never surround myself with people who would discourage me from achieving my goals.
I challenge all future and current high school students not to be passive. Rather than complain that you are too young to have any freedom, begin setting up your future. Be bold and demand the attention of others rather than whispering for it. I am elated to begin college. Hopefully, the next time you see my name in the paper, it will be followed by a list of my achievements.