My Kennedy Rewind

By Desiree Leong, Managing Editor

Four years of a student’s life are dedicated to trying to figure out who they are and what they’re interested in. Almost half a decade’s worth of time is spent on classes that are necessary to achieve a higher education. As for myself, interests have come and gone; throughout high school I’ve changed so much, while still in some ways remaining that same freshman from the first year of high school.

For the past four years, I’ve debated what my major should be, spent thousands of seconds cramming (but also getting distracted). From that first day of my high school career, I was determined to get perfect grades, grow closer to my best friends, and go to a UC. I was overconfident in my abilities, yet I remained terrified of not being good enough. I thought I had the big picture in mind that the small corner of the world I glimpsed was everything I would need to get by in life.

With my expectations growing more and more, I’m still not as confident as I should be. Despite the years that have gone by and the variety of experiences that I have lived through, the doubts about the future still linger. Learning about what I really want to do has been both thrilling and terrifying.

When I began high school, I was confident in what I wanted to do. I had plans to major in creative writing at UC Riverside and thought nothing would change my mind. I was set in my thinking and was determined to see it through. However, no matter how determined I was, my future wouldn’t be exactly how I planned it.

Though I was struggling, I still kept some belief that my skills would be enough to get met through. My grades, though not completely stable, remained somewhat consistent. While my motivation to better my grades was better in my freshmen year, it still wasn’t easy to score well and raise my grades.

Extracurriculars had been considered, but I wasn’t sure what I specifically wanted to participate in. Knowing people who were apart of the school’s color guard, along with having friends trying out too, I joined the winter guard. I’d never considered an activity that required grace and attention. Since I was young, I’ve been clumsy and hated the spotlight. As much as I struggled, I learned how to respect the strengths of others. My skills may not be as developed as someone else’s, but I didn’t have to be envious of what I couldn’t do.

Trying to follow through on my goal of being in the creative writing field, I joined the newspaper my junior year. It had been something I hadn’t ever even considered doing, a recommendation I had thought would help me. I was surprised at how different the class was and found it enjoyable. It forced me out of my comfort zone and I got to see what interested me. I gained the confidence to share my writing. While my first year had been an adjustment for me to get used to publishing deadlines and writing journalistically, this second year had been a far bigger change. Stepping into the role of a leader has been unexpected and something I wouldn’t have expected of me. Like color guard, it just wasn’t something I thought I was capable of. I wasn’t good at standing in front of people and telling them what to do. I was incredibly shy when I had to be at the center of attention. 

Having had plans for college influencing my decisions for the better part of this year, conflicting thoughts about wanting to end high school with good grades were a contrast to my wanting to do the bare minimum. Improving my grades had been a top priority, though my motivation was shaky at times. My dedication began to decline once college acceptance letters arrived, making it hard to get myself to do homework and study, but I finally pulled myself together to finish my work.

With this final year of high school ending soon, I’ve begun to realize that the plan I had may not have fallen in the ways I hoped it would. I would still have upcoming experiences where I would be able to further discover more about myself. Though I will be attending UC Irvine and majoring in computer game science, it is still a future I’m excited for.

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