The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Those Things You Should Realize By The TIme You’re My Age: A Senior Column by Neil Gerstein

Hi, I’m Neil. I’m not sure if we’ve met. For those that don’t know or understand me, I hope that you’ve enjoyed my ridiculous, libel-filled articles throughout the year. I wrote those mediocre stories for you. Why? Because I love you. But that’s beside the point. I’m graduating in a few short days and I’m here to tell you about all of my high school regrets, right? Well…sort of. I’m not going to tell you my story, you can ask me in person if you like, but I will tell you some things I’ve learned from 18 years on planet Earth. Bottom line: it sucks. All of it: high school, society, the universe. But that doesn’t mean you have to suck too. High school is this awkward transition phase from being a gross kid to being a gross, slightly older kid. But life is filled with awkward transitions; honestly, they never end. You’re born as a child and brought up believing in all these aspirations and dreams with unlimited time to chase them, or think about chasing them. Then you’re shifted from one system to the next, each one limiting your FREEdom and your FREE-time slightly more than the last. Each one trains you to be a little more contained, a little more controlled. Each one offers as a bridge from the previous to the next, and you’re forced through all the awkward social and mental transitions. And all the while, you have to think about the one monotonous thing that you have to decide to do for the rest of your life. It sits up there waiting, lurking, and feeding as you climb the ladder from one phase to the next. You’re presented with conflict: what path do I choose? Do I go for money, something I’m good at, or something I actually enjoy doing? Well, a compromise between all of them would seem most promising, wouldn’t it? But you have to choose one if you even want to survive! …And in the end you find out nothing you do will ever actually matter. But don’t let it get to you. Teen angst gets the better of all of us sometime (luckily, I got most of it out in middle school). And remember this: just because we reside in this cold, generic world, that doesn’t mean that you have to fall victim to its unforgiving clutches. Seriously, this life is stressful and unfair, and it’s probably only going to get worse, but don’t take it personally. You should instead be awesome. Disregard everyone who says you’re doing it wrong and find a way to be awesome. Meet awesome people (they’re out there!), join an awesome club, and, for the love of God, just do SOMETHING that makes you interesting than your generic peers. Learn an instrument, play a sport, paint a pretty picture. Be AWESOME. Probably the only way I survived high school was through the amazing people I met and things I got involved in. I felt different, I felt unique, and at times awesome. It was exhilarating, despite whether it was true or not. And in the end, just choose something you can STAND doing for the rest of your life without putting a bullet through your skull. I guess what I’m trying to say is this place sucks, and it gets worse, but don’t take it all too seriously. Call me a pessimist, but none of it will actually matter in the end. Just forget your earthly ties for one day and be AWESOME, and don’t you dare let those fools stop you. After all great spirits often encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds, or something like that…

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