by Aidan Trump ‘21
As I prepare to move on from Sherwood, I’m struck by a multitude of varying emotions. I’m anxious, yet full of anticipation for the years ahead. I am excited to further broaden my horizons and I look forward to tackling new challenges in college and beyond. Still, there is a part of me that wishes I could go back to my first day as a freshman and remember what it was like to be a newbie in the building. I was unwilling to believe the corny cliche everyone told me, the one about how “high school can have the potential to change your life.”
Until recently, going to Sherwood day in and day out gave me a false sense of permanence and security. For better or worse it felt never-ending, but now as I brace myself for the unknown I look back upon my past four years at Sherwood fondly. During my time at Sherwood I didn’t just learn academia, I learned real life skills. Playing on Sherwood’s various sports teams required teamwork and taught me accountability. The rigorous course loads of my AP classes meant I would spend hours into the night studying, which taught me determination. Sherwood introduced me to people with vastly different personalities and backgrounds, which taught me open mindedness. Everything I learned at Sherwood played a part in my personal growth these past four years, shaping me into the person I am today.
Now I see how I was in such a rush to grow up. I took for granted the repetition of waking up at the same time each morning and seeing the same familiar faces of my friends and teachers. Now as I think about college, the next chapter in my life, I’m nervous. It’s the nervousness that comes with any break or change in a cycle. The advent of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing quarantine gave me an understanding of how quickly a cycle can change.
After having had a glimpse of how life can transform in an instant I found myself having more and more reverence for my past in all of its structured familiarity. For me, this sentiment is best reflected in a line taken from Vampire Weekend’s “Step.” “Wisdom’s a gift, but you’d trade it for youth. Age is an honor, it’s still not the truth.” For me, that line has taken on greater importance and has become a personal mantra. The line is bittersweet and serves as a reminder that growing up, something that we have all wished for at one point or another, doesn’t just mean having new freedoms and exciting experiences. Growing up means taking on new responsibilities, and giving up youth and impulsivity.
If I could offer one piece of advice to any underclassman, it would be to take it slow and enjoy your time instead of wishing high school was over. Each day offers a new opportunity to learn and grow. High school really does “have the potential to change your life,” and if you’re not careful your time at Sherwood can pass in the blink of an eye. Even at the start of my senior year, graduation and college seemed an eternity away, but now it’s as if the reality of my situation has hit me all at once. Thankfully, although I’m nervous, I feel ready. My time at Sherwood served me well. I am ready to face new challenges and to continue my life’s journey.