Imagining the Future

We often imagine what our future selves will be like instead of appreciating the journey needed to get there.

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Digital Artwork by Kaitlin Chou

As young children, we fantasize about what it will be like to be older.

Anna Parsons, Senior Staff Writer

Elementary school is a time for imagination to wander and for intelligence to sprout. Middle school is the time for independence to take root and relationships to develop. High school is time for individuality to flourish and new beginnings to take off. 

When I was a little girl, I would peer up at the big high school students and imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. They were so grown-up and independent. They could drive, take cool classes, and stay up past 8:00 P.M. All I would think about was what I would be like when I was their age. 

Middle school came, which meant I was a little bit closer to being a “big kid.”  Spreading my wings some more, I gained a bit more independence. However, I would still look at the older kids and wonder when I would ever get there. It felt like a goal that seemed so out of reach. 

I seemed to believe that I would be some different person, that growing up meant becoming someone new. Somehow, I thought my younger self would be one person, and my older self would be this completely different person.

But now that I’m here, about to graduate high school in one week, I can proudly say that I’m just a taller version of my younger self who knows that 2+2=4 soon turns into learning the derivative and integral of 34x²+11x-5 divided by the square root of x. 

I have learned that getting older does not mean leaving behind the beauty of childhood, but instead evolving from it to become a brighter individual.”

I have learned that getting older does not mean leaving behind the beauty of childhood, but instead evolving from it to become a brighter individual. The mystical world of dreams and imagination does not die but develops into realities and experiences. It’s amazing how truly each year a little bit more of the story unfolds. 

Each trial and tribulation works together to form a person ready for the next step in life, ready to conquer the next challenge. Year after year we acquire the skills needed to go on to the next level. It is not a new person. It is an evolved person. 

We have all pondered who our future selves would be — how we would act, what we would look like, what our aspirations would be, who our friends would be, what kind of car we would drive. Painting this picture of what it would be like to be all grown up, we never really stopped to realize it would come when it comes. And it will be what it will be. 

It is a journey that needs time — time to work out the kinks, smooth out the edges, and create a final product. Although it might be agonizing to wait, being grown up wouldn’t be as special if the journey towards it did not exist. 

Let the story continue to develop. Let there be chapters instead of plotline gaps. ”

2022 appeared as some distant year that was so far into the future that it would never come. “The Class of 2022,” they’d say, but it was only 2009 and only 2014 and only 2018 and only 2020 until all of a sudden 2022 arrived. Now, we are all those big high school students the elementary and middle school students look up to. We have completed this journey and made it this far. We have experienced what has been offered and become better for it. 

But now it is time for the next level, a step up from high school, whatever that may look like. However, I encourage you not to yearn to be in a time that is not the present. There is still so much growing up to do, and it is easy to desire to be four, five, even ten years down the road. But let the story continue to develop. Let there be chapters instead of plotline gaps. 

In elementary school, I dreamed about being in high school. Now, being almost done with high school, I look back on the journey I traveled and the way I evolved because of it.