Jane Shim

As April comes to an end, I realize that my four years of high school are wrapping up. In between preparing for AP exams, online shopping for my future dorm room, and battling senioritis, I find myself thinking about the things I’ve done and the things I haven’t done in high school.


When I look back on my four years, what I recall most are my friends, teachers, classes, Catalina milestones such as Ring Week and senior prom, and investing my time into my academics and extracurriculars. I’ve laughed and cried the hardest in these four years. I’ve tried new things and followed old passions, and I’ve picked things up and left things behind. And although I have no regrets, sometimes I wonder what things would’ve been like if I had done them differently. That AP Statistics course I didn’t take—what if I’d taken it? That track manager position that I decided to take on last-minute—what if I’d never taken it? What would’ve changed if I’d done or not done these things?


Yet, the things done and not done have collectively brought me to where I am today – anxious to graduate high school and start attending my dream school. The worries of things I could’ve done are no more, and instead my thoughts turn towards the things I will do and the places I will go. My next stop is college, and needless to say, nowadays it’s all I think about.


Years ago, I wanted to attend a large college in a major, bustling city such as New York or Boston. However, half a year ago, I set foot on the campus of Williams College, and my perspective completely changed. As I walked through Williams, I realized that although the scenery was unfamiliar, the school felt like a second home. I wondered why this was, and it hit me—the community was so close-knit and welcoming that even though I didn’t know the people in it, the atmosphere was so similar to the one here at Catalina that I instantly felt at home. I wished with all my heart that this college would be my new home, where I would be surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains while I grew in my liberal arts education. My wish came true, and I feel at peace because I know it’s home, just like Catalina has been my home for the past four years.


I want to end my reflection with this: Never take your education for granted. Yes, have fun, explore the world, follow your passions, and involve yourself in many, many things—just don’t forget to learn some valuable life lessons along the way. Although you might think at times that high school is never-ending, as you celebrate each passing year, just know that the end of your time here at Catalina isn’t all that far away. In fact, you’ll find that soon enough, you’ll be presenting your senior reflection, too. So in between times of studying for AP exams, online shopping for your future dorm room, and perhaps not-so-successfully battling senioritis, just remember not to worry about the things you haven’t done. It’s the things you will do from now on that count.

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