By Elizabeth Nacion, Loyola School ’19
I’ve always been a pretty future-driven person. As a kid, I used to dream about who I would be when I grew up (this was when I still believed being a Disney princess was a career). It’s the strangest feeling now, having to make decisions about colleges and what I want to major in. When I project myself into the future, past high school, I can imagine myself growing and experiencing life in ways I never have before. I think the idea of college and living on my own used to scare me, but these past four years have helped me become exactly who I need to be heading into college.
I think one of the greatest skills needed to succeed past high school is being able to communicate with and get along with other adults.
Being at such a small school, I’ve been lucky enough to have more personal relationships with my teachers and peers. Loyola allows us to be accustomed to communicating our issues in a class to our teachers in a respectful way, which is an extremely important skill at a university.
Going to school in the city has also taught me independence, and how to trust my instincts.
With the long commute I trek through every morning from Jersey to Manhattan, I’ve learned how to carry myself like a confident adult and be able to find my way on my own. I also learned Google Maps is my best friend in a panic. Commuting has taught me to discipline myself as well. I think anyone who can wake up at 5:30 am every morning can manage their class times in college.
It sounds pretty cliche, but I’d say the greatest quality I’ve grown in through high school is confidence.
I’ve learned to become comfortable with who I am and where I am, simply just through my experiences. The past four years have taught me to keep taking chances on myself. Whether that was my choice to go to high school an hour away, or to audition for a solo at the concert, the small ways I have put myself out of my comfort zone have made me comfortable with risk taking (as ironic as that sounds). I believe initial discomfort foreshadows growth, and I have a feeling that will hold especially true when I’m hours away from home for months at a time.
Succeeding past high school is all about your mindset. If you bet on yourself and are willing to grow, I believe anything is possible.