Make the most of where you are

First Posted: 8/27/2009

School is back in session. This message came through loud and clear to me when I got behind my first school bus while driving to work on Tuesday.
Being overly prone to romanticizing the past, I immediately began to reminisce about my most recent school experiences.
My last classes at Salem College ended in January. At the time, I was very glad to be done with classes. Those last few weeks working on my senior project took their toll on me. I went for days without eating, sleeping, or showering as I tried to curb my research project that frequently tried to expand into masters level work.
So when I finished my January Term class, I smugly pitied my classmates who still had a semester of work left to go. By cramming classes I was able to finish early. Not only was I saving money, but I was also finally free of the stress of my last year of college and was able to move on with my life.
Im sure many students from Surry County will soon experience similar emotions if they havent already. There are some high school seniors who will grow antsy over the next few months. They may feel like their last few classes are pointless, because they are ready to move on to college or a job. Similarly, some of these students parents are ready for their kids to mature out of high school. Maybe their teenager is driving them crazy and they cant wait until he or she moves out and gets out of their hair.
I understand these feelings, especially those of the students. But in retrospect, I advise you not to dwell on the frustrations. Make the most of your time in the place that you currently are, because one day its possible that Youre gonna miss this, as the popular country song by Trace Adkins says.
I wish I could go back to my senior year of high school and do things differently. Instead of getting fed up with my last classes, I would have given them my all. Maybe then I would have accumulated enough knowledge to zip through Spanish in college, a subject that I grew to love. My restlessness in high school clouded my mind from enjoying the class. And those books I boredly skimmed for English, I wished during college that I could go back and read many of them for pleasure. But all I had time for were the many books assigned for my undergraduate classes.
And I would have treasured that last college semester. I would have spent more time with friends instead of sleeping off self-inflicted stress. Those harmless pranks I always talked about pulling on campus I would actually have gone through with some of them.
But Im not stuck in the past. I am excited about my career and where it will take me. It does feel great to finally move on after being restless with one of lifes seasons. But that doesnt mean that I dont look back at some periods of my life with regret because I didnt take full advantage of my opportunities.
So, parents, treasure your last days with your teenagers in the house, even if they are driving you crazy. Students, dont grow lazy with your classes or spend so much time thinking about the future that you neglect your current friends.
And for those of you experiencing emotions opposite to the ones Ive described above, just put my suggestions on a shelf. One day you will come to a time when you wish your current situation were over.
It is great to move to a new stage in your life. If you want to be able to do that without regrets, then dont let dissatisfaction hinder what youre doing while youre waiting.
Meghann Evans is a staff reporter with The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 719-1952.

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