By Dan Hadley
So the summer has closed, and we have packed our new pens and pencils grudgingly into our bags — off to face the new times of the new year.
For some, such as myself, we’ve embarked onto new steps out of childhood and into the roles we will decide to play, college and the experiences that there await us. For others, the road of free education continues, paths just beginning to be paved. I offer congrats to all: We have survived thus far and will continue to go on.
Prepare well for the inevitable good times and the unavoidable bad ones. We’ve all come so far, but as any teacher could tell us, we’ve got a long way to go.
Make no promises of forever, for few things in school last — aside from memories, that is. Hope for the best, and hope that whatever drives you — be it writing, acting, building, inventing, playing, debating, adding, subtracting, drawing or dancing — continues to grow and push you to new heights.
Prepare, everyone. The one thing that never changes is change. The start of the year in particular is known for the climaxes it brings; it is a period of breaking and bonding, but it will not end there. For some, new friendships will form and others will fade. Some will find new passions, and others will forget theirs. It is inevitable as we cycle through the chaos that is our teenage career. The one thing I can guarantee is that you will not exit this year as you are entering. Do not fear it, but be ready.
To the parents, I offer you this advice from my own teenage perspective: Do not forget who we are. Too many times I have heard of a parent who forgets just how much their child has grown. Remember, a child’s age does not grant maturity. Only experience and the trials of life give that, which will never happen if you do not let it.
Hear us; we have important things to say. We have our own voices and our own mouths to make them heard. Take the time to listen, take the time to ask. To paraphrase something a dear friend of mine once said: No, we don’t know everything, but we know a lot.
Just Ask Dan is an occasional column written by recent West High School graduate Daniel Hadley. If you have questions about school, jobs, relationships or other things related to young adults, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.