Academy of the Canyons Class Cup (Photo Courtesy of Maria Manalstas)


A Letter to My Former Self: Shaun Thomas

Looking back at high school memories.
<a href="" target="_self">Shaun Thomas</a>

Shaun Thomas

February 23, 2023

Dear Shaun, 

As high school comes to a close, I look back, and I can proudly say am grateful for everything and everyone. However, the journey seemed like a hedonic treadmill where I was constantly chasing my goals but never satisfied. I feel tired; I feel like a failure sometimes; I feel like I didn’t do enough but did too much as well. I wonder: now what? Was the work all worth it? 

Well, Shaun, you might be studying for a test, you might be writing, you might be researching something. You might seem like you always seem to do more, but trust me, spend your limited time wisely. You don’t always want to be “doing something.”

I certainly loved keeping myself busy in fear of having a banal high school experience, but with all this, I stayed glued to my computer. I wish I had had more fun and made memories I’d live with forever.

When I think of my favorite high school memory, I don’t think of the victories such as the 100% on a Calc-III final or winning an award. I think of staying at IN-N-OUT till 1 AM with my closest friends after our school’s annual Class Cup football game. Following that memory, it was driving my best friend to Malibu for the first time, right when I became legally allowed to drive my friends (yes, you were 17, and yes, you will get to experience these memories). 

Looking back, I now realize I wish I had spent more time doing that instead of grinding to feel like I deserve more. Balance your time, so you don’t spend nearly the whole time just grinding to feel empty, like me. 

You only have one shot in high school in this beautiful life. Study and focus on yourself, but also make sure to go out and have fun; have that phenomenal balance between school and life because, trust me, it takes you a long way. Balancing this time will make sure your four-year journey counts. So, be yourself, but be open to new ideas that are introduced to you. Instead of chasing something to gain external validity, look at what you have, and make the best memories from it. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be present at the moment, free from all obligations. Good luck!

Your soon-to-be-graduated future self, 

Senior Shaun

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