A Senior Reflects on Leaving the Nest

By Aaron Thies

4827607499_2e2b17e695_bBaby birds don’t spend their time worrying about whether or not they can learn how to fly. When the time comes to leave the nest, these birds trust that they have acquired the knowledge how to take flight. As a senior, this is my last year being fully dependent on others, and I, unlike the bird, catch myself worrying about my ability to succeed in the “real world.” More than anything I fear inconveniencing everyone, including myself, wasting everyone’s effort by becoming trapped in my current state of mediocrity. But I can’t hesitate and risk losing all the momentum I’ve built up over the past twelve years.

Seniors have a lot of pressure thrust upon them. My entire childhood is culminating into an upcoming series of standardized tests, applications, and essays which will dictate who I’m going to be for the majority of my life. I have noticed that a favorite past time adults like to partake in is asking a senior’s plans for the future and watching them squirm anxiously; it must be hilarious. They laugh because they went through it themselves and in a sense it’s reassuring that in five to eight years I might be able to look back at these months of anxiety, and in a jaded sense of humor, push some seventeen or eighteen year old into an awkward conversation that ruins the rest of their day.

I don’t know how my future is going to turn out. Birds don’t either but they don’t worry nearly as much. Plus, they could actually die if they don’t succeed. They trust when they make that leap of faith everything will turn out fine, and that’s the best thing anyone can do. I have to trust that my eighteen years alive and the twelve of those years spent in school prepared me for life as an adult. I have to trust that all the schooling I have been through, all the advice I was given, has been for my benefit, unlike so many of my peers who complain about the practicality of our education. Trust is all I have, and in spite of myself, I am going to trust that everything will be fine.


Photo Credit: Finnamore, Kelly. “Baby Bird.” Flickr. Yahoo!, 28 July 2010. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.