Editorial: Is focusing on the future hurting us in the present?

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This year, every time we have sat down to write an editorial, we found ourselves writing about the future. Not just prom and graduation, but more of the undefined, murky future. Many events this year, such as Career Night, Scholarship Drive, and Senior Internships have set our eyes on the years to come.

It is clear that NCHS is preparing students for the future, but maybe at the expense of the present. As Eckhart Tolle explains in his book, The Power of Now, too much thinking about the future causes worry and anxiety, and even looking forward to positive future events can eventually lead to dissatisfaction with the now.

From middle school on, we look forward to the illustrious senior year and all the glory that comes with it. However, once senior year arrives, it’s not as glamorous as it seems. Start with the anxiety of college applications and the fear of judgement that comes with it, then add a workload that is far heavier than what seniors anticipate, and you’ll understand why senior year is so stressful.

At the same time, seniors tend to suffer from senioritis, which can be defined as the inability to concentrate on the now because of preoccupation with where you’re going to be in the future, making it more difficult to engage in the present. As we look around, we notice that seniors are not the only ones suffering from senioritis, as it has spread to the other classes as well.

While it’s laudable to provide many opportunities for students to think about the future, those opportunities need to be balanced by other opportunities to live in the present. According to Psychology Today, “your brightest future hinges on your ability to pay attention to the present.” The problem here is that students focus so much on the future that they cannot be mindful about the present.

Plenty of studies show that happier, healthier kids are going to be better learners and better learners are likely to have a better future. So NCHS, while you keep providing us with opportunities to better our future, can you give the same kind of opportunities for us to enjoy living in the present?

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Molly is a senior at NCHS and the an Editor-in-Chief on the Executive Council for the Courant. This is her third year of taking journalism, which she wishes to pursue in college.

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