I remember my first day of school at RHP. Before I had the chance to worry about meeting new people at my new school, I was busy worrying about a class that I was going to be taking later that day. That class was Mandarin, a language and culture I had zero familiarity with, and that scared me. In my first morning meeting, Mr. McCormack had said something to the effect of “there will be a lot of firsts for some students today, but remember it’s not that you can’t do something, it’s that you haven't tried it yet.” That simple line turned me onto the idea of changing one’s mindset even when faced with challenges. This was an unknown concept to me up until then, but it was a concept I would find myself very comfortable with later on. Now in my life, this idea has translated into two simple words that I try my best to live by. Two words that time and time again have shown their effectiveness in bringing up my morale. Those words are “choose optimism.”
The sooner I realized that life was only going to be as difficult as I would let it be, the sooner I understood life more. Staying hung up on small misfortunes like a test grade not being what I expected or a teacher assigning homework over a break never got me anywhere. Dwelling on the past is like trying to go up an escalator that’s going down, you may get to the top eventually, but how much time are you going to waste worrying about aspects of life which are out of your control. Thinking through a positive lens and accepting what is out of your hands, has allowed for me to avoid that backwards escalator.
Now in no way I am suggesting that I have spent the last four years ignoring the negatives and hardships of highschool. Thinking of the positives in overwhelming situations can usually seem impossible, but we decide our approach to life. Next time the world seems like it’s collapsing inward on you, think about how you are approaching adversity. Are you stoking the flames of negativity? Or are you taking an active approach in recognizing what you can and can’t do? Right now we are living in a time of unprecedented chaos, but I rarely hear people discuss how out of our hands most of it is. I say we move forward with what we can do and choose optimism.