Senior Column – Ailin Atasoy ’19

Ailin Atasoy, Staff Writer

These past four years passed by in a blur, but not because it was filled with so many memories. There was little to no change in my growth between freshman year and senior year (except for growing a little more pessimistic). The reason I sound so cynical is because I’ve found this statement I wrote to myself a few months ago.

I recently caught myself thinking “when I finish college applications, I’ll finally have time to finish the album with my band”, or “my friend and I can finally finish writing the book we’ve planned for the past few years”, or “I can complete reading and watching all my favorite series”. And this is exactly what makes me think that I did high school wrong. Throughout high school, I was satisfied with myself that I haven’t succumbed to the soul-sucking college-is-the-endgame mentality that has afflicted the rest of my school. The group of friends I’ve built around me served as a VERY small oasis in the desert filled with barren souls and college climbers.

So this is why the realization that I have not been doing more of the activities I love as much as I’ve wanted to is disappointing. On one hand, I understand that people can’t have everything—there is only so much that can be done in 24 hours. And I have enjoyed the things that had occupied my limited free time (water polo, biology extracurriculars, volunteering, etc.) I absolutely do not regret taking the number of AP classes I took—I still stand by my belief that if I am going to spend an hour in a class, I should take the AP course.

But on the other hand, I just can’t help but feel disappointed in myself for having stopped reading my favorite books and growing as a person simply because of the number of AP classes I took. I feel like there is something I could’ve done—perhaps better time management or using better study techniques. Or something my teachers could’ve done; for example, there is no point in learning The Canterbury Tales word for word or quizzing us on the ten exact items Native Americans tribes traded with one another.

Writing this is cathartic—I hope this releases my frustration so I no longer have to grapple with this guilt about letting myself down. Still, I am grateful to have come to this realization so as to remind me to leave more room for other things I’m passionate about in the future.

The Takeaway: Actively try to keep working on passion projects and to not be misguided. And for the love of God, improve your time management.