Future me: Am I tripping for no reason?

March 31, 2022 — by Shaan Sridhar
Photo by Minsui Tang
Everything I work toward always seems do-or-die. Does any of it even matter?

Hey, future me.

It’s my junior year and I’m sitting in the journalism room contemplating what I’ve done in my life. To be honest, I don’t really know what to think of what I’ve done; it’s hard to say what’s truly impacted me deeply.

But back to the point. You know everything about me, from the things I’ve done to the things I want to do. Tell me, was any of it worth it?

Everything in high school seems pretty much do-or-die at the moment. College applications, summer programs, grades, even my social life — everything must be perfect or I won’t get into college, ending up as a disrespected failure on the streets (according to the legends, at least).

Yes, I know it’s not true. 

At least the people I respect, especially my parents, tell me it’s not true. One of their favorite phrases is “you can be anything you want as long as you set your mind to it.” It’s corny, but I really want to believe it.

So, tell me, is it a lie or not?

Let’s start with school. Like most of my peers, I’m taking my fair share of difficult classes — enough to keep me busy at all times. Will future me remember AP U.S. History? Or AP Environmental Science? Do you still remember that article about the “9.9%” from English?

There’s also extracurriculars. I’ve been spending the past weeks snooping on the Board (it’s a specialty of mine). Will I ever get into politics? Will I even remember my school leaders? Will I let go of the fact that I lost a class office election?

And lastly, I want to know about my friends and family — they’re the most important, after all. I hope I’m still close to my family. But what about my friends? Will I still stay in touch with them? Or did everyone drop off the grid?

These are a lot of questions, I know. But all of these thoughts circle my mind every day. In fact, it basically sums up my time as a student: A constant, never-ending desperation to understand the “real world.”

I have no idea what the future holds. I have no idea what it means to be an adult. But everyone around me is so focused on college that it feels like we can never take a break and evaluate what we’re doing in the first place.

So, tell me, future me: Was it worth it? All of the things I do right now — spending time with friends, activities, school, etc. — did any of it really make a difference in the long run?

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