The power of spontaneity

Every year of high school, I would waste money on a gorgeous Vera Bradley planner. I’d think, “this is going to be my year, the one where I stay organized,” and then would proceed to map out every hour of every day. Student council meetings, yearbook design sessions, cross-country workouts, shifts at work—all would be carefully penciled in, surrounded by allotted time segments for homework, babysitting, and eating. I’d usually make it about two days with this lifestyle, before my planner would be buried beneath folders, doomed to be forgotten about until my annual backpack cleanout. 

Students of LM, I am about to present to you the key to finding happiness in high school (and probably life): saving room for moments to just happen. My absolute best memories atLM weren’t the ones penciled into the planner, but were instead the ones that came about spontaneously. Grabbing Green Engine or Rita’s after school with someone from my last set. Painting eye black on my friends’ faces in the bleachers before a soccer game. Closing my laptop during a free to help make a video for the announcements. Sprinting through the rain with all of the other unfortunate back lot parkers and laughing giddily upon reaching my car. These are the moments from high school that, years from now, I know I will remember.

We are so lucky to have the plethora of resources that Lower Merion provides. Though some days I felt like the busiest person in the world, I don’t regret participating in any of the organizations that I joined here. In fact, while giving tours to incoming freshmen, I often encourage them to get on as many email lists as they can during the Fall activities fair, and to try everything that interests them. Sometimes, though, the endless lists of clubs or AP courses that one can participate incan make it seem like high school is only about bulking up your resume and looking good for colleges. It’s not. 

These four years are about learning what you love to do. They are about learning how to make mistakes, learning how to surround yourself with people that make you smile, and forming bonds that last a lifetime. For many of us, these are the final years that we will ever spend in our hometown. Instead of spending them hunched over your desk or your phone, I encourage you to turn towards the empty moments with arms open wide. Embrace spontaneity. It’s what makes life so special. 

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