Ambitions for Fulfillment

Maddie Porter, Ads Manager

I still picture myself four years ago pouring over class registrations, GPA calculators, and college ranks. Now I’m as unsure about my future as ever. School no longer excites me as much as it used to and writer’s block has boarded up my creativity, yet I am as excited for the future as ever. 

In my early years in high school, there was little anyone could say or do to draw my attention away from academic ambitions. I was purely on the path to university beginning the rigor by piling my schedule with APs and College courses. It only took three and a half years for me to realize that wasn’t what I wanted to do with my time. Of course, I was addicted to the adrenaline of writing a last-minute paper, but contentedness lies elsewhere. 

I recently, for the first time in my life, found myself seriously contemplating a gap year. From a transformative five weeks in Guatemala, I unearthed aspirations I hadn’t previously been aware of. I always knew I wanted to travel, I caught the bug early, but it was always something that had to wait a few more years. Now, however, I am anxious to be a nomad. 

Alterations in my ambitions have forced me to redefine success. Until recently success was measured by grades, test scores, college acceptances, and, in general, external validation. Now, however, I see the strength of self-fulfillment, the gratification that comes from confidence and comfort in myself and the paths I choose. I am learning that success is measured internally. It is incredible what occurs when the goal of my actions is inner satisfaction rather than an attempt at impressing others. 

In retrospect, I appreciate the bright kid that entered high school aiming for Ivy, but I also see that the line between success and the abyss of permanent inertia was thin. 

The reformation of goals is becoming a fundamental part of who I am. Entering college I still intend to focus on academic achievement, but above all else, I aim to continue seeking opportunities that fulfill my curiosities and educational pursuits awaiting me all over the world.