Music ‘n Musings

Approach the school year with an open mind

If I’m honest, I was kind of dreading the start of this school year. Sure, I couldn’t wait to see all of my friends or catch up with my old teachers, but by senior year, the novelty of the first day has worn off. New teachers and classes are all well and good and bring their own surprises and challenges, but one starts to learn what to expect by their fourth year. Now, a month in, everyone has their routine pretty much nailed down and things around school have lost their luster. But that isn’t how it always has to be.
One of my goals for this year is to try and approach things with an open mind and minimal expectations. I’m hoping it will make my senior year more exciting and a little less routine, and force me to not simply go through the motions until May. The inspiration behind this goal comes from the song “Feelin’ Good,” a soulful song brought to life by the great Sammy Davis Jr.
“Feelin’ Good” is a song about freedom and optimism, and feeling hope for the future. The lyrics describe peaceful sights, like birds flying, sun shining, rivers flowing and stars shining, followed by the statement “You know how I feel” to signify how the narrator feels at peace and free within his surroundings. He has left his “old world” behind for a “new world” and plans to enjoy the fruits of his efforts, knowing he can “sleep in peace when the day is done.”
Despite its rather laid-back sound, this song really does encompass the way I want to feel by the end of this year: energized, at peace, accomplished. In order to do that, there needs to be a change in perspective.
There are not a lot of surprises school can hold by the end of August, especially for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Excluding procedural, staff or other changes, every school day is more or less the same, and it becomes harder to spot the new and exciting among the day-to-day. In order to turn this perspective on its head, one should embrace the idea that this “old world,” full of familiarities, is actually a “new world, and a bold world,” one full of new possibilities and opportunities.
Taking advantage of the different extracurricular options SHS provides is one way to initiate a change in perspective. Attending the meetings of more clubs, going to more games or maybe even getting involved with the theater department can all be really helpful in showing a different side to high school.
Everyone’s high school experience is different, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. In the coming months, try to exercise a more open mind when it comes to school. It isn’t all grades and block schedules. It’s an opportunity for growth, and an important one on the crest of adulthood. My favorite line from “Feelin’ Good” gives the basis for this new perspective: “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.” In other words, every day is a new day, and every school year is a new year, so take a leap and take advantage of the blank slate that is being offered.
My hope is that in May those who have decided to view life through this lens can look back at the school year and gain a sense of satisfaction that has left them “feelin’ good.”