Friday, June 6, 2014

Che Ne Sara' Di Noi?

I meant to write this post as my graduation day post. The title is inspired by an Italian movie I watched two years ago, a film about three friends who go to Greece after taking their high school exit examinations as a "senior trip."

There they behave like fools, carouse, fall in love, get into trouble, get out of trouble, and find something out about themselves. The title means What Will Become of Us, and the eponymous song by Gianluca Grignani is one of my favorites:

Warning: this is a personal-ish post.


So: what will become of us?

I posted about my immediate plans for the summer on Tuesday. But the question has a long-term time frame: what will become of us in the future? We've graduated high school. We're heading off to college (most of us: I have a friend who is going to make bank at a technician job), some in-state and some out.

There, we will find challenges academic and social and other. I expect to fail a lot, to do things wrong, to embarrass myself, to get rejected. Hopefully I become the kind of person who can go to grad school and then get a job and, ultimately, change the world. What I really want is to be able to engage my competent, resourceful, level-headed mode in more situations.


But before I look too closely at the future, I should say goodbye to the past. Skip this portion if you'd like; it's a self-indulgent travel through my four years of high school.

I graduated only a week ago, so I don't yet have a good perspective on the experience as a whole. But as I've progressed, I've kept a sort of rolling interpretation engine going.

My first two years of high school, I was frequently unhappy. I had graduated middle school in a wave of glory and then found myself at the bottom of the heap again. Being at the same school as my older sister caused me a few issues because I couldn't stop comparing myself to her, and since I hadn't really come to terms with my introversion, the comparison was always unfavorable. This image explains how I felt a lot of the time:
Why the Sea is Salty

But some good things happened: as I discussed last week, my misery as a freshman contributed to my successes in mentoring; breaking away from my former group of friends allowed us to find people more suited to us; and, most importantly, I switched to euphonium.

It scares me sometimes how close I was to not switching: if I hadn't complained to my sister one evening in October 2010 about how miserable I was on flute, then I wouldn't have become part of the lower brass family, wouldn't have been mentored by the Trombonist, probably wouldn't have joined band staff, and definitely would not be heading to Stanford in the fall.

It humbles me sometimes how much I owe to the band, in particular staff and most of all, the lower brass. No wonder I started crying when I saw my empty locker.

Junior year I remember as a wave of stress and glory: learning to code, taking AP Calc (and self-studying BC) and Italian and Physics, playing in wind ensemble beside my hero, getting principal euphonium for the district honor band, writing several long stories and starting Orsolya. I don't know why that year went so well, though I suspect the occasional weeks-long bouts of misery and exhaustion had something to do with it.

During junior year, my group of friends began to coalesce. I use "group" loosely because, unlike most people at my very cliquey school, I don't really have a friend group. I am a band geek but my strongest connections are to people in my section and, oddly enough, to underclassmen. Probably has something to do with being the only female brass player in my grade. I get along well with most people in robotics but even there, I don't think I'm "close" to many.

When I say, then, that I found my people in junior year (or rather, began finding, since several have since drifted back out of my circle), what I mean is that I found individual people that I want to hold on to (though most in the list to follow were already my friends). Lieutenant Sarcasm. GG. The Chairman. The Teal Knight. The Master Ultra Clarinet Wizard. Leprechaun Z. And so on.

Senior year was too recent for me to evaluate properly. It was very stressful. There were several large failures but I have gotten over them, mostly. (It still makes me a little sad to think back to first semester when MIT was my dream.) Robotics, band, and volunteering shaped my experience the most. Successes came along with the failures, and I know I'm coming out of high school a better person than I came in.


Again: che ne sara' di noi?

Aside from me and my Tuba Brother, none of my closest friends are going to the same university. We have a lot of California, a lot of East Coast, and a few in the middle. My friends are overwhelmingly STEM-oriented: one wonderful person is contemplating psych or English, but mostly its stuff like CS (a LOT of people want to major/double major/minor in CS), math, mech e, physics, evolutionary biology, etc. I'm looking into civil e, as longtime readers know.

I cannot see the future. But we're a good group of people (of course I say that--I'm in it), mostly smart and hard-working when we need to be. I hope we all get into MIT for grad school (hahaha *sobs*), follow our dreams to good places, or (inclusive or) succeed big. I hope the world does not implode because of resource overstraining and the resultant political tensions, and I hope that the population does not exceed the Earth's carrying capacity.

I hope everything turns out all right, and if not, we'll make the best of what comes.


Note on scheduling: I'm going to China the next two weeks. Scheduled posts on Fridays only.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, make the best of what comes! Great adventures ahead :)