Where will the river of life lead me?

Where will the river of life lead me?

Row hard and keep your eye on the goal

I’m almost a senior in high school. I don’t believe it! Many people reading this will probably look back to their senior year of high school with fondness and maybe some regret. Most likely, older readers   will look back on those days with the haze of having been “just so long ago.”

For me, the start of my senior year is now just a few months away and it’s stressful. When I think about it, my life seems to stop. I look down and realize there’s nothing left but to take another step into the future. Currently, the future seems like a river and I’m rowing a boat. Is that a waterfall behind me? Will I soon be gazing down into a misty abyss where the water disappears? I need to row harder.

See, my senior year is the year of college applications, and this seems like a big “make or break” point. I’ve worked my entire middle and high school career to make myself a perfect candidate for college. In my head, all I need to do is get into college and then suddenly I’ll be set for the rest of my life. I’ll have a good job with stellar health insurance.

The solution to the math equation of “life after school” seems much more simple than those in my actual AP math class (which I’m pushing myself through for, you guessed it, college!) Good College + Me = Good Life.

In reality, of course, this is not realistic. I have two sisters who have long since left the hallways of high school and I see them still working to get up the river, just on a different tributary with a lot more off-shoots and choices.

It’s honestly easier to believe that the world ends with getting into my dream college because that means the rowing will stop or at least ease up. The strong current will lessen, and the rest of my life will look more like a lazy river. It’s silly to hold onto this hope that somehow this fantasy will actualize itself. I know this. But I still don’t look forward to next year. I don’t want to be a senior.

I dread learning what is at the end of this journey. I dread tumbling down a waterfall and learning I’m not even close to the end. No doubt, I will experience this same feeling hundreds of times throughout my life, and perhaps I’ll get used to it. But for now, I’m still rowing and hoping a miracle lies ahead. I know it’s important to keep doing my best in the “here and now”. I know everyone is rowing up their own river wherever they are in life.

So, from a young, almost-out-of-high-school me to happy no-longer-in-high-school you, I wish you the best of luck. May we both row hard and complete the tasks ahead.


Elisabeth Dellit is an 11th Grader at Jesuit High School. She enjoys reading, writing creative stories, baking/cooking and participating in her school’s drama program.