I took a turn down the brightly illuminated hallway, boots clacking and echoing down the empty corridors. Making my way to meet a friend in her art classroom, I absentmindedly walked through the high school I’ve come to know so well – or so I supposedly should by now.
Though I’m now a second semester senior, I’m regularly floored by how much I’m still finding out about this building and the people who walk its halls. At the high school, it’s hardly a stretch to say that you can take an accidental turn through a different door, down an unfamiliar hallway, and stumble into a whole new world.
The choir room. The SGORR office. The art department. The weight training room. The band room. The theatre office. The photography room. Room 231, home of The Shakerite. Each is a little sphere of its own, and our school is full of them. Spheres attracting their own groups of people, with ideas, inspiration and laughs flowing through and uniting those who call them home. Time and time again, I’ve discovered a brand new department, room, office or club that reminds me how little I truly know of a place I’m slated to leave in less than a full semester.
In the time I’ve spent watching heart-pounding hockey games, hearing the choir fill the Large Auditorium with goosebump-inducing harmonies or browsing the art department with wonder, Shaker – and all the little worlds inside it – have never failed to impress me. There’s something about the way that any student here, after just taking a little time to look around, can find a worthwhile pursuit.
There’s a saying that in hindsight, everyone has 20/20 vision. With just a semester left before me at the high school, I couldn’t agree more. I can see the opportunities, the passion and the fascinating spheres that are all tucked within the school more clearly than ever before. And I want to challenge you – whether you’re reading this as a freshman, a sophomore, or even a junior – to go find your little world. The sport that leaves you exhilarated and craving more. The class you take because you decided you wanted to learn about it – not just because all your friends signed up. That one room in the school where you can come in, do something different, and not have to be anyone but yourself. A place aside from judgment, peers, social media — or anything else that influences us more than most would care to admit — to accomplish something great and just be.
If you think you’ve already found your sphere, find another, and another. Find the club, the sport, the class that makes your heart beat faster, relaxes you or changes you for the better, and throw yourself into it. For me, the satisfying sound of a field hockey ball striking the back of the goal and the triumph of finalizing a Shakerite page I’ve designed for weeks are moments that have made every bit of time and effort worth it. Down in the art room, my friend’s eyes lit up with pride and excitement over an incredible self portrait she’d stayed up late finishing. Everyone deserves to have something that makes them feel that way.
I really can assure you that every year flies by faster than the last. Shaker and its opportunities will be yours for awhile, but not forever. However, it’s not too late. Your sphere is waiting.
All you have to do now is find it.