We’re back! It is that time of year, the time that I like to call “stress season.” Unlike most seasons, that only last for a few months, this season lasts for nine months. And August is the kick off. The month where the summer lifestyle starts to drift away, and the school schedule starts to get into full swing. It’s the time that, whether school has started or not, the stress for the awaiting year starts to brew. There are books to read, school supplies to be bought, practices to attend, and for me—and many others seniors—the time to start applying to colleges. For me, once school starts I never stop working until the semester ends. I am always studying for a test, writing a paper, attending a rehearsal, or trying to catch up on sleep. Although I love Dominican, the transition back is never easy.
Now, one week into the school year, my to-do list already stretches a mile. Unlike every other year, I love my overbearing tasks! I have finally realized before my senior year how precious my time is in high school, because in one year there will not be an opportunity to redo it. With this in mind I am trying to soak up every experience and engrain it in my memory, because soon I will be walking across the Dominican High School stage receiving a diploma and throwing a cap in the air.
However, it is not just high school, or college, any other event I should cherish, it is every day—ordinary or extraordinary. This past summer I have truly appreciated the simple gift of life. A gift we all take for granted that God has magically bestowed upon us. It is a true miracle that you and I are alive, and at any moment it can be taken away from us. Today I could land a big part in a musical, but tomorrow I could get in a car crash. Every second that God grants us is a second to savor. What becomes sad is when people disregard their gift. All people—whether they have a disability, disease, or are healthy—have something to learn, something to experience, and something to teach the world or an individual person. Do not assume you will have the same opportunities today that you will in ten years, go out and see all the things life has to offer.
This, my FINAL year of high school, I am reminding myself to love every minute. That includes dances, football games, performances, papers, tests, and even, lots of homework. I encourage you to savor every moment: of parenthood, your job, being a college student, or simply being alive; In addition, try something new! Whether you are faithful or not, life has the same significance.
Questions for Reflection
What makes you happiest in life? Do you take it for granted? How can you spend more time doing that?
Is there anyone or anything that causes unnecessary stress or problems in my life? Is it worth continuing with that person or thing?
What is something that you would like to try or experience? How can I make that happen?
What is something I can teach someone about the world? What is something they can teach me?
Amira Elsafy, a rising senior at Dominican High School, lives in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. She attended the local public schools until high school where she has become active at Dominican. She has been the class Student Council President, a member of the honor roll for the past four years and loves to volunteer. Outside of the academic world, you will find Amira on the stage, recently winning an award for playing the Witch in “Big Fish”. In the next year, she will share her experiences of failure and success, friendships, family her senior journey through the college process and ultimately how all of this impacts her faith.