No matter how cliché it is, we, as high school students, have each faced a fork in the road, a point where we made a decision. This decision may have defined us or may have guided us. For me, running for senior class president was simply the easiest decision I made, the hard ones would come once school started and planning homecoming would become a discussion of themes, layouts, colors, centerpieces and decorations. As the president, my task was to be able to mediate a discussion that involved my opinion without favoring.
This would happen periodically throughout the year and each time I would become more and more impartial to my own opinions and more open to the opinions of others. Once we had finally concluded on the final plans for homecoming, we then had to act on them and push to strive to accomplish them. Amelia Earhart stated, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” Each of us is at some sort of turning point in our lives where we look to the next years and wonder how our daily decisions will affect us.
In the past four years we’ve all made terrible mistakes, we’ve all failed a test, we’ve all cried, we’ve all danced our hearts out - whether that be at a school dance, in our showers or at a party, but most importantly we’ve each faced a decision, a decision to continue to pursue our education and wake up everyday to go to school and expand our knowledge. Not only did we continue to make the decision to come back to school the next day but also we decided to come back the next week, and even the next year. We decided to look past that failed test to see the success and the potential we each have, we took our consequence for our mistakes and moved past them. This is tenacity in action.
Our Class of 2014 is the last class to say we’ve been the state football game, when we decided to fill school buses that hauled us down to the University of Phoenix Stadium. Our class was the class that wasn’t allowed to go to prom as underclassmen first. Our class came together in unison to commemorate our friend, our classmate; Jake Barville. Our class has seen a growing population of students, and a changing rotation of staff. No matter what the circumstances were, we’ve continued to carry on and continued to act with passion. However these decisions may have shaped us, we’ve been guided, each with our own unique helping hand and throughout every educational journey many teachers reach out and influence student’s lives, and encourage them to make decisions and back them and attack them tenaciously. Many people have influenced my life, but the one I can say in particular is Mr. Steinkemper. Steinkemper has taught me that being a good leader means sometimes being a better follower and listener; you’re not always right and you won’t always win. He’s taught me to follow my gut decision, put it on the line and fight for it, to truly fight for what I believe in, to be tenacious.
At this point in our lives we are at one of our biggest decisions, our biggest forks, we must now decide what we want to do, to be. The most difficult thing is the decision to act and be able to get over the fear of failure, look past the worst to see the best. We must act in choosing our major, we must act and prepare to move out, we must act and figure how to cook something besides ramen. But once we make these decisions we must continue on courageously and be prepared to face the next one. And as we become liberated from our parent’s chains and our decisions become our own, in this process we will find our inner confidence, our independence, our own individuality.