Dear future self,
The world now is full of turmoil, clashing perceptions on all topics: political, social, and economic. As much as it is encouraged to be an optimist, to be hopeful for a better earth, I think realistically. I realize that twenty years will definitely not be enough time to find resolutions for all the conflicts we have now, and those that might arise later on. While the advancement of our world is a mystery to me, I do know one attitude that should be kept, no matter the state of the world.
In the past few months, I have slowly learned the importance of seizing every opportunity, despite how uncomfortable the idea of going through with it may sound. This learning came through experiences. The Daniel Murphy Scholarship, joining martial arts, enrolling in a boarding school, attending optional DMSF Scholar events. All of these experiences came with concerns and being uncomfortable. The fear of failing and being compared to others, not joining a new club because it was something foreign. Being away from family, having social anxiety and meeting strangers. These were my fears. Some might seem childish, others logical. Regardless of how they are perceived by others, they were genuine and resonated with me.
These events, these milestones in my life, were all worth it. I was accepted as a Murphy Scholar, which allowed me to apply to and attend wonderful schools. I joined martial arts, and was determined to continue. Now I have a black belt and am a certified instructor. I enrolled in a boarding school, which allows me to be independent at a young age. It opens new doors and opportunities for me; Lake Forest Academy will expand my world, and my family’s world. I attended optional DMSF events. The bowling event allowed me to make friends that I share similar stories with, people I can connect to.
These causes and effects were not coincidences. Facing your fears shows courage. Being courageous precedes, or accompanies having confidence. I will challenge myself to have this attitude in the upcoming weeks. I will make more friends as the program comes to an end. I will take the leap of faith at my freshman retreat. At the moment, the thought of taking these actions brings up fears and insecurity. It brings negative what if questions. What if I embarrass myself while trying to make a friend? What if the harness fails and I am afraid of heights? I am not perfect at jumping at every opportunity. I know this because there is always room for improvement. Creating a motto of which to live by is an excellent first step in becoming a better, more confident person, who takes everything the world has to offer.
To conclude, take the risk. No matter the state of the world, or where you are in life, never lose the value of being willing to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Remember how they benefited you. My message to you, and anyone, is to take the risk. Do not hold back. If it is something that remotely catches your interest, launch at it. Pursue your interests. I understand that it sounds like a cliche phrase, but in my opinion, one needs to experience it to actually believe it. Continue growing. Continue taking opportunities. Do what you have been wanting to, take the leap of faith.
Maya Tafolla – Lake Forest Academy – DMSF Class of 2027