The Future Can Wait

By Jasmine Lu, Regular Contributor

“We waste so many days waiting for the weekend. So many nights wanting morning. Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life”- Joshua Glen

The end of the long high school journey draws nearer and nearer for me, and I’ve been constantly grappling with the question of how to make these last few moments count… but there really isn’t much more to do than be able to look at the past fondly, which is why it’s so important to take every opportunity and live it out the best you can.

As students, we’re constantly encouraged to think of our futures before our current happiness. We are told to join this club for your college application, spend thousands of dollars for this SAT Class to get a 2300+, and study until two in the morning because you need to get good grades. I see so many students who are plagued by the motivation of tomorrow. Some affected so heavily that it starts to tread on their mental health and stability.

Of course, this form of motivation is not all bad. Big dreams keep you going especially through the low points of your life, yet they also seem to be the cause of excessive and unnecessary unhappiness. We let this uncontrollable element of the future control our emotional well-being. And before this turns into a rant about the problems of our current educational system, I have to say that we share just as much responsibility for our unhappiness.

Tired of feeling worthless and unmotivated? Go out there and find something to be passionate about! There are so many opportunities out there to get excited about, but we’ve all been stuck in a rut thinking about the impending doom of college applications and grades and AP Exams that we forget to spend time looking for ways to participate in something that will be enjoyable for ourselves! Whether it be clubs, extracurriculars, or even classes, by really putting yourself into your work to produce things that you can be proud of, you’ll get the most out of your experiences. Be motivated by a passion, not by an outcome.

In my time in high school, I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a slump because I was thinking about the uncontrollable future, but in the end, I’ve always been reenergized by challenging myself with short term aspirations and goals in my extra-curricular activities. By being excited about the projects I was working on, I was able to find more creative methods of guaranteeing their success and making sure they ran smoothly. If I had to pinpoint two reasons for my success in high school, it would be finding passion in the work I do and not being afraid to ask for help from those who are more knowledgeable or experienced. In doing those two things, I was able to gain so much experience and knowledge within these three years that have changed me fundamentally as a person, and also allowed me to grow as a person in ways I could not have fathomed. To top it all off, I had so much fun doing it.


High school may seem like a horrible period in your life and you may be itching to go to college already, but it is truly such a great opportunity to meet fascinating people and expand your interests. Get out there and make these four years count, but be sure to ENJOY them. Find happiness in what you are doing now, the future can wait.

Let's chat! Do you ever find yourself fretting about the future too much? How can you live in the moment more? What are you passionate about? Go explore it and share with us here!

About Jasmine

jasmine_lu.pngJasmine Lu will be attending Duke University in the fall and will be pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. She has many interests including global health, computer science, and film. You can learn more about how her mind works at her personal blog



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