OPINION: Find a positive mindset for the future


Caroline Nagle

Senior Haley Campbelll

On my last day of fourth grade education, the year was 2013. I remember having a big celebration, as my peers and I were excited to move forward into the big building that held junior and senior high school members. We wore shirts that read “21” to signify our graduation year. At the time it seemed so far away, we were all so excited to reach that year and call ourselves “seniors”. But now that the fateful year is here and it is almost time for my peers and I to graduate, that sense of excitement has been taken by fear. Fear of college debt. Fear of unstable politics. Fear of a climate crisis. And simply fear of the unknown.

I try to not look at things in a completely pessimistic light; however, with recent circumstances it has become difficult to look forward to the future. My graduating class has gone through losing part of their junior year to quarantining for the COVID-19 pandemic, not holding school traditions due to new social distancing guidelines, wearing a mask throughout our senior year, and extreme social and political strife. And now that we are graduating what is there to look forward to? COVID-19 cases increasing? College debt? Fear of war from political division?

The real question I begin to ask myself is, “Should I fear these circumstances?” Yes my college debt will be high, yes the economy is bad, yes there is currently a global crisis, but should I be so worried that I lose every ounce of optimism I once had. I am nervous for my future, but who isn’t? Many people are apprehensive when it comes to leaving high school and entering “the real world”. In 1965 men graduated, and immediately entered into a draft for the Vietnam war. Obviously my generation, weary from wearing a mask during graduation holds no comparison to entering a war. With stating this, it becomes clear that my fear of the future has little significance to past generations. This helps me in creating a positive mindset when enduring negative circumstances. 

I touched on the obvious negatives, now to actually answer my past question, “What is there to look forward to?” I personally can look forward to reaching my goals. My goals of receiving a college degree, entering the workforce, starting  a family of my own, and of course reaching independence. There will always be problems in the world, and we will never be close to a utopia. Of course this makes it easy to think pessimistically; however, especially now, when things seem to be at an all time low I think it is important to stay optimistic. Optimism is the foundation for achievement, and our nation will not prosper without it.