The world needs dreamers and risk-takers; Step Up

The world needs dreamers and risk-takers; Step Up

Nathaniel Rudolph, Staff Writer

It is finally over. After four long years, high school has been concluded, and yet again, another part of my life starts up like a never-ending cycle. Now I have to take all these years and comb through all the things I learned and the lessons that I will carry on throughout my life, and this is easier said than done. With so many memories, it is hard to depict them into one message, but there is always an overarching theme. 

So many students struggle with high school, and now I know why. Many see this time in their lives as an obstacle in their way and a useless part they will never remember and use in the future. But from what I have learned, this is far from the truth. 

High school may seem like just homework, essays, and tests, but it is much more than this if you look closely. The connections you can build and the passions you can find are beyond anything you could ever receive. I know this as I finally started to look closer in my sophomore year.

Similar to most sophomores, I still had no clue what my future was going to be or what passion the world had in store for me. I told myself that I should be an engineer; why not? They make a lot of money, right? In reality, I never wanted to take on this role because I never enjoyed math, and I would be screwed If I wanted to be an engineer. Luckily by some either pure luck or set destiny, I was given an opportunity that changed my life forever.

I had a problem with my schedule, an off-block, and my mother would rather me take two math classes than have an off-block my sophomore year. We went to the counselor, and my two choices were yearbook and newspaper. I was leaning towards yearbook because I loved to take photos, and I didn’t think I was a good enough writer to be a journalist. Although something inside me picked newspaper, and this was the start of many amazing things to come. 

Ignoring all the interruptions in my high school career – yes, including COVID – the newspaper became such an enjoyable experience for me. In my first year on the newspaper, I wrote 36 stories, and it became such a passion for writing that I often slacked off on my other homework to write an article. 

In my junior year and senior year, I created the West Report, a news broadcast that dived into unique stories concerning the school. This part of high school was by far the most exciting and turned my passion for journalism and videography into an addiction. I had finally found my place and had a purpose moving forward. 

Along the way, I created so many relationships with teachers, students, and staff. This could not have been possible without me taking a chance and being incorporated into the culture at West. It is so much fun to have a conversation with the superintendent or make such as close relationship with a teacher. I walk down the halls and get fist bumps from the staff, creating such a positive culture for learning. These connections will serve me long into the future and help me attain far greater success. 

I know it may be hard to identify your passion now, but trust me it will come. Give it time. I let the world steer me, and it led me down the right path. All I did was work hard and become the best version of myself. If you meet it halfway. good things will come to anyone – especially in high school. 

High school is a time to experience new things and experiment with your future. Never settle on something that won’t make you happy. Keep looking, and one day you will find the thing that makes you addicted to the excitement it gives you. You will not only get a passion that will drive your future but connections, skills, and lessons you can use in every aspect of your life. 

This might seem like a cut and dry senior story, but I dare every person that reads this to take a chance and become the person they want to be. Never conform to others, be you and when the world throws you an opportunity, take it at all costs. It has led me to success and will set me up for a great life, and I know anyone can find their passion. Remember it is on your time. The world needs dreamers and risk-takers, so step up, and I promise you it will pay off. For me, the opportunities and relationships I have built with my newspaper teacher, administration, fellow IB students, and others will always mean the world to me and will carry me throughout life.