No pressure, achieve your own greatness | Editorial

High school graduation is a great time in a person’s life. You reach that point where you feel like you have obtained a life-long goal, you can finally start making some choices about your life and that all-important feeling of freedom.

But it can also be a stressful time. Where do you go from here? What kind of jobs are available? What college do you attend? Should you take time off if it is available to you? That feeling of freedom and becoming an adult can be exhilarating and full of pitfalls. After all, the choices you make will only impact the rest of your life, so, no pressure.

But put the pressure into perspective. The rest of your life is now a blank canvas on which you get to make the decisions as to which colors you use and how to create the picture. So again, no pressure, but think big. Don’t settle for the first thing that comes along.

If your passion is the arts, don’t be put off by the struggling artist’s lifestyle. Most great art comes from those who struggle to attain greatness and dedicate themselves to their craft. The arts can be the most difficult to find success in than most other endeavors as it not only takes exposing your soul but hard work and some natural talent all mixed together.

If you are set on attending college, go for the area of study that you are most interested in. If it makes you happy, you can find ways to be successful. And aim high with your studies. You live at a time in human history when we are making huge breakthroughs. You could be part of a team that cures cancer, perfects growing replacement organs in a lab or lands a human on Mars.

Many people shy away from going after their biggest dreams for one reason or another. They feel the need to find comfort for the short term at the expense of taking their shot at bigger possibilities. Some are pushed onto a road they would not choose for themselves. But the great thing about your new-found freedom is that you have choices. You always have choices.

Some people go after their biggest dreams and fail. But the majority of those people don’t end up with regrets. When you commit yourself to your dreams at a young age you still have time to recover and find stability later in life. I have many friends who spent their 20s going after their dreams. Some achieved those dreams and some did not. But none of them have regrets if they committed themselves to it until they made it, or it was no longer obtainable. For those who never tried, it can be a different story.

Luckily, if you grew up around here and attended schools in the Lake Washington School District (Northshore School District) you have the advantage of receiving a good public education. You have a basis on which to build upon, whether it is the arts, sciences, athletics or another area.

But after you have removed your cap and gown and are able to relax a little, take a look at what you really want to do with your life. If it is a career, remember, you will be doing it for at least 40 hours a week, and maybe for the rest of your life. Sometimes achieving greatness is leading a life you are happy with.

If your dreams are more of a hobby that you would like to grow into something bigger, commit yourself to it and don’t look back.

But go for greatness and don’t waste that blank canvas that lies ahead. No pressure, just dream big.

Matt Phelps is the regional editor of the Bothell/Kenmore Reporter.

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