Where Do We Go From Here?


Matt Mikos, Staff Writer

Continuing into the new year, we are all confronted with the age-old question: Where do we go from here? For some folks, that may be simple to answer. They are going to wake up, go to school or work, maybe relax for an hour or two and then proceed to sleep before repeating the process all over again. For everyone else, though, it is not that simple. After a chaotic couple of years, the future could not be anything besides complicated. For the freshman, it may be confronting how to handle the next three years of the gauntlet that is high school. For the sophomores, it may be agonizing over testing next year. For the juniors, it may be worrying about the college application process.

Then there are the seniors. A class with a history of chaotic turns for the worst. In a period in which nothing has ever felt normal, how do you reconcile with the future coming up so suddenly? How do you come to terms with the fact that your world is going to get shaken up again just as it is starting to go back to normal? Do you just try to brush it off as nothing more than a mild disturbance or do you buckle underneath the mountains of stress that it has caused?

I will preface this with the fact that I cannot answer this question for anyone else. I have only started to reach my own answer for this question as of recently; I have not even begun to try and decipher what is ahead for anyone else. Even then, the only way I figured out what is ahead is because of a series of events that would probably confuse an outside observer as much as a unit in AP Calculus! At this point, I am still not sure whether my path for the future is right for me.

Since I am not exactly a psychic, I can’t really predict what is in store for anyone or how they should handle it, but I can at least offer some advice. In fact, I will provide three pieces of advice. One piece of advice will be for dealing with the past. The second piece of advice will be for confronting the present. The last piece of advice will be about what’s in store for the future. These little pieces of advice are not immutable. Their accuracy and implementation will be different for everyone. All I ask is that you will consider what follows:

Starting off, let’s deal with the past. When wondering where to go from here, be ready to let go of the past. When I say this, I do not mean try to bury and forget it. If anything, that is probably the last thing you should do. If you refuse to acknowledge what has happened to you, then it is probably as good as guaranteed that it will happen again. There’s a reason for the saying, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” What I mean is this: do not let your life be ruled by what has happened before. You do not need to forget the past, but you need to move on from it.

Going off that last point, we come to the present. A period in which everything seems hectic and cluttered. Now what I am going to say may seem to conflict with what I just mentioned, but you will have to stay with me on this. Life needs to be lived in the present. It may seem easier said than done but it is true. Living a life too much in the past makes you blind to what you have now and living too much in the future makes you forget where you came from. The present may be a messy place and maybe it is not the best place to be. It seems like anything good either has already happened or is yet to happen, but you can’t confront the future without fighting through the present.

Lastly, we come to what this entire piece is about: the future! This is supposed to be the point where I give you some piece of miracle advice that will help you be suddenly prepared for the future, but I know I cannot. As I prefaced earlier, I’m ill-suited to talking about my own future, let alone anyone else’s. That is why I can only offer one fact. The future is unknown. I know this may seem like an obvious point, but it needs to be reinforced. We make plans and schemes for what will happen, but they almost never go to plan. That isn’t always a bad thing, though. Life never goes the way people want it, but it still goes on. As much as we may not want to, we also go on as well. We still wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, regardless of what the future brought us. Ultimately, that’s all we can really count on. So, where do we go from here? Wherever life has taken us and where it will soon take us. That may be everywhere and that may be nowhere, but you will never know until you start living it.