Editorial: Dear Mr. Vernon…

Editorial Staff

Redwood Club FacesWEB

Long before our first day of freshman year, many of us were told that getting involved is the key to success in high school.

Sports can help ever-impressionable teenagers to learn a sense of teamwork and healthy competition. Clubs allow students to explore their ever-changing interests. Both are easy ways to meet people, and, of course, extracurriculars look good on college applications

But jumping into the extracurricular fray can be difficult. Going out for a sport is scary, especially if you have never played it before. You might worry about getting cut, your coach might be mean, you might not play much.

The same worries are associated with joining a new club or signing up for an advanced class. It could be too much work, you might not like it, the other students might be harsh.

Every facet of the unknown is terrifying, and that terror can supersede the desire to try something new.

Fear is an explanation for an aversion to something foreign. But fear is not a reason to halt efforts toward trying new things.

Delving into the unknown makes anyone vulnerable. But, in most cases, the weakness of being vulnerable evaporates over time, and the growth associated with trying to know the unknown is a worthy payment for vulnerability.

In situations where vulnerability never minimizes, we learn instead about failure, about how to continue on even when we haven’t achieved our expectations. We grow by understanding where we failed, and hopefully gain the ability to not repeat the same mistake.

While there are other ways to grow outside of school activities, committing to join a team or a club instills within us an appreciation for hard work and dedication that can’t be taught in a lecture.

Without trying something, we don’t commit ourselves as readily to growth, nor to accepting the fact that we might fail.

The concept of failure is hardly appealing, but the potential to find an niche that elicits passion is worth going through some ill-fitting activities.

Many people find a passion in high school. Some members of JSA and Model UN have been motivated to pursue politics because of their experiences in high school. Some of those who signed up for Photography to fill their art requirement discovered a new favorite hobby.

It’s okay if you’re someone who hasn’t found their passion yet — it can be hard to find something so interesting that it’s worth devoting copious amounts of time or effort to.

But, few have found their passions by hiding away from the world.

Few have found their passions when fear and failure stops them from continuing to try.

Those who have achieved success, whether on a personal or global level, kept trying.

During his lifetime, Vincent van Gogh couldn’t sell a single one of his paintings. But his inability to popularize his paintings didn’t stop him from creating, from continuing to do what he enjoyed. He still made over two thousand paintings and, presently, he is one of the world’s most renowned artists.

Maybe none of us are the next van Gogh. But, we’re still just as capable of overcoming the fray and failure associated with finding a passion. We’re just as capable of painting our own starry night, a sky streaked with the ambition and fervor.