Living in the moment

Staying present while planning for the future


Megan Splan, Lifestyles Editor

As spring creeps up close, and the countdown to graduation becomes slim, my brain is almost forced to face the reality of post- high school. Although I have lived in Rochester my whole life, I’m excited to move forward onto the next chapter of my life. 

For some students, the thought of college is a scary thought and it can be overwhelming or stressful to even ponder upon. Applying for college alone can be stressful, but I’ve found that it’s important to enjoy what you have and live in the moment. 

Some very special moments from this year, for example, is performing for Elf The Musical. I had never done the theater program here at Rochester and I had spontaneously decided to audition. Although I was very timid at first, I found myself in the end with great friendship and having great memories. My favorite memory was running on stage for our bows opening night and receiving a standing ovation. I remember smiling ear to ear and the best part was being up there filled with the purest joy next to some of my closest friends. 

Another memory I cherish was during the second quarter. During this time I had my third lunch with all of my friends from middle school. Having lunch all together was a very rare experience, so during this time I knew to cherish it because the likelihood of us all having lunch together was unlikely. I have so many good memories at lunch, from the laughs to being there for each other through whatever we were going through, it was definitely one of my favorite parts of high school. 

Another memory I have is experiencing all of those memories from my classes that make me smile just thinking about. For example, I always laugh thinking about the crazy discussions me and my classmates would have in my 2nd hour, AP German class. We would talk about some of the most wild things for about 30 minutes. They always relate to our topics in class, but somehow one of my classmates always relates it to Kanye West. 

Although I love having these moments, I can’t help but think about the future too. I cannot wait to receive my diploma or to experience prom. I think that a part of living in the now is also planning for the future, so that way when it comes you feel more prepared.

I have been a very organized person since I can remember. I mean just ask any one of my friends and they can tell you all about my color coded planner. Because of this skill I have, I applied to several colleges before even starting my senior year, and within two months I had heard back from almost all of those schools. 

I think that preparing for college mentally is also important. I realize that moving away from home can be a scary thought for some students, and I can definitely sympathize with that. Over the past summer I went on a mission trip to Bozeman, Montana for 7 weeks. I went to a boot camp prior to the trip for 2 weeks. There the organization trains you and prepares you for the field. Throughout my time in boot camp, I learned so many amazing skills, whether I would use these on the field or not. I learned how to lay bricks, tie steels, carpentry (the kind without any electric tools), different songs and puppet shows (to perform to kids on our trip), and how to make balloon animals. I think that the hardest part of boot camp was committing to it and stepping on to the airplane.


I remember arriving at the airport in Florida and it started pouring down rain. I have lived in Michigan all my life, and I had never experienced a storm like this. There was lightning everywhere and the rain fell so hard on my head, it left bruises on my back from smacking it so harshly. Once we unload our taupe bags and sign in, we had to turn in our phones. I realized some people in this world or even school have never gone maybe one day without their phone. I was one of those people, and when I handed in my phone I asked when I would get it back. They told me soon, but reality was I wouldn’t be seeing that thing until I was about to go through security on my flight home. I remember sitting there soaked and I just started crying. I was 16 at the time and I had never left home for more than 5 days. I had no phone to call home from, I didn’t know anyone, and I was what felt like all by myself. 

As I sat there crying I looked up and saw another girl across from me sobbing and hugging one of her leaders. It then clicked to me that I did have people I could lean on. So I stood up and started looking for my leader. Once I found her I explained my situation that I was going through and she understood completely. Although she didn’t realize I was 16 until my 17th birthday, the 10th day in boot camp (yes I had to spend my 17th birthday away from home and in a boot camp with strangers), we built a relationship that was very comforting. I look back on that experience and realize how amazing we are as humans. By that night I slept soundly like a baby and I had stopped crying.

The important thing to remember when going through change, I believe, is relying on people that you can trust. I think this is important because once you build those stable friendships/ relationships where you can always have someone there to support you. At the end of my trip I remember saying goodbye was the hardest part of it all. And although I met half of these people crying my eyes out and scared, I can always look back on that experience in my life and remember all of the crazy adventures we went on. Like the time our tent site got flooded from the crazy rain storm. And instead of sitting crying and feeling defeated, I remember helping shovel mulch on the mud to create a harder surface. And then going into “woods” (a bunch of dead palm trees and vegetation) looking for palm fronds (the dead palm leaves) and meeting one of my closest friends on the trip, Candice. We laughed and talked about this crazy experience, we had both agreed that the rain water was a better shower than the Alligator Lake. 

So I think that even though some experiences may seem scary or intimidating, the risk can most definitely be worth it in the end. And even if it doesn’t seem nice at first, building those relationships can help in the long run. And that’s why I believe living in the moment with those friendships/ relationships can be the best thing to do when going through senior year.