SENIOR ISSUE OPINION: Four Years, Four Lessons


Ayush Arora, Guest Columnist

I’ll be honest: I have the memory of a goldfish. There’s not a lot that I can actively remember from my four years at MHS. Nevertheless, I’d say that each of my four years at MHS is defined by its own lesson that I would like to share.

Freshman Year (2019-2020): Be comfortable in your shoes.

My most significant insecurity as a freshman was feeling like I wasn’t “good enough.” I had an article bookmarked on Chrome titled, “To The People Who Are Mediocre At Everything,” and I spent hours wondering when I would find something I’m “truly good at.”

What I didn’t realize then was that there will always be someone better than you—that’s a mathematically unavoidable reality with over eight billion people in the world. But as I began to think about why I felt the way I did, it became apparent that much of my anxiety came from trying to conform to societal expectations where being “the best” meant more than exploring my passions.

Work hard enough to be proud of yourself and the work you’ve done, rather than seek approval from others. Never stop trying your best, but be accepting of who you are, including your talents (no matter how against-the-stereotype they may seem) and your weaknesses.

Sophomore Year (2020-2021): Thank your family.

When I say “family,” I don’t necessarily mean a mother, father and sibling. Your family is the set of individuals who will accept you no matter what and will bend backward to support you.

My family is, indeed, my mother, father and sister. And during sophomore year, I began to recognize their value. My parents bought me donuts for virtual debate competitions to simulate in-person meets. My sister gave me unsolicited advice about classes and my work-life balance to look out for my best interests (a fact I wish I had realized back then). My family didn’t need to do any of this for me, but they did.  They were my backbone back then, they are my backbone today and they will be my backbone for the rest of my life. I’m beyond grateful for them.

Do not forget to thank your family tonight, or whenever you can. If they truly are family, they are irreplaceable, and you know it.

Junior Year (2021-2022): Count your blessings.

Junior year is rumored to be the hardest of all four school years of high school. Frankly, I don’t think that’s a rumor—it’s a fact.

At the beginning of the school year, I was brutally unprepared for the workload I had signed myself up for. And it showed. I became stressed, irritable and scared about my future. So, following my parents’ advice, I started to try to change my perspective in second semester.

“At least I have the opportunity to take these classes!”

“At least I know that I’ll be grateful for the work I’m currently putting in later in life!”

As I started counting my blessings, I noticed that my stressors began to feel less monumental. Life wasn’t designed to be easy. But when things get rough, just count your blessings—it goes a long way.

Senior Year (2022-2023): Remember that everything works out.

This year, I’ve faced academic and interpersonal challenges that I could’ve never predicted. But there’s no good way to predict life, and that’s why I’ve found it vital to keep faith. First introduced to me by my parents and then bolstered by my rhetorical analysis of Steve Jobs’s commencement speech to the Stanford Class of 2005 (thanks, Mr. Stepnoski!), this perspective has helped me enjoy life more than ever.

In the words of my parents, “Everything will happen as it’s supposed to, and whatever happens will be right for you.” Similarly, Jobs remarks, “…you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

For my fellow seniors, I get it. You’re probably feeling some uncertainty right now about what life has in store for you—I am, too. But it will all work out. Craft your destiny while keeping faith in destiny itself.

It’s been an honor to serve you as your Student Body President, and if you ever need anything or just want to talk, you can reach me at [email protected].