Words from the Top

Oh, All Right … Sing It

Summer approaches, and with it, the end of yet another semester. Some may graduate, some may travel, some may seize the break in classes as the perfect time to give up and drop out. More than any other, this is a time for reflection. Certainly more than that sham of a milestone called New Year’s, which inevitably degenerates into thoughtless, drunken mirthmaking or depressing, anticlimactic homestaying, the end of a school year brings a change of schedule, a change in routine.

So seize the moment to think–chin in hand, elbow on table, with dreamy eyes raised toward the sky–about what this year has meant to you.

Maybe you’ve made some mistakes. Maybe waiting until after the engagement wasn’t the best time to announce to your girlfriend that you’d like to see other people, even if she was happier when she had a ring. Maybe you should have stopped that night when your car bumped that girl riding her bike on a poorly lit side street. Maybe you should have attended your father’s funeral–his cancer was your fault, after all. Regardless of your shortcomings, now is the time to take stock. Perhaps as your summer unfolds, you’ll have a chance to redeem yourself. Perhaps.

What have you done right in the past year? Surely your decision not to see Pay it Forward, despite the presence of Oscar-winning acting talent and overblown advance buzz, was a wise one. Keep it up–your avoidance of all things Helen Hunt will surely serve you equally well in months to come. Or how about the time your papier-mache satellite dish helped ward off hostile aliens that no one else believed in, but you knew were there? Saving humankind always leaves a warm feeling in your heart–remember that, and exploit it.

Possibly most important, however, is that you take this very special time to look toward the future. What are your goals? What’s on the horizon? Remember, if you reach for the stars and fail, you might still catch the moon. The lesson? False, inflated expectations will help you to reach otherwise unreachable goals that are merely mediocre. Learn to enjoy consolation prizes, but never lose sight of the showcase showdown. Someday, you just might win–with the help of a little luck, a little tenacity, and a little time spent on personal reflection. Aces!