For Four Days

May 27, 2011
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Senior year has been such a blur, time passing by like sand falling through my fingers. Even now, I can see bits and pieces of some old forgotten high school memory flashing across my mind, but just as quickly, it disappears into the distant recesses of my brain. And yet my thoughts keep returning to just one snippet of my memory, to a trip that I took to San Antonio with the Academic Decathlon team this year. This, more than anything else, fully opened my eyes to the fact that I have to let go some times and take some time off to enjoy life. I learnt that life is not all about stressing over school all the time.
Now, before I go on, I would like to point out that I have been a workaholic for god knows how long. People have told me that I just keep on worrying about school and don’t know how to have fun. Some of my peers have even gone as far as to label me as the kid with the deprived childhood who needs to get out more often. Indeed, many curious inquiries were directed towards me when, asked if I was going to prom, I said that no, I was not going to prom or post-prom, I had to work on my novel notes. Anyways, you can get the gist of what I am talking about. All work, all the time, and no fun in between.
Now, call it serendipity, or good luck, but I was invited to go alongside the AcDec team to state competition in San Antonio. The most surprising aspect about this whole affair was that my parents, usually strict, stern, and severe in terms of restricting my mobility, did not hesitate to give me permission when I asked them if I could go on this trip. They also realized that I needed a break off from school. I was in AcDec last year, but could not join this year due to scheduling conflicts. Thus I was surprised when Fortune smiled upon me.
For four days, I did not have to worry about the spartan – yet ultimately rewarding – regimen of Mrs. Coxe in Calculus. For four days, I did not need to worry about the impending unit test in Biology. For four days, I did not have to worry about universal, thematic statements, to be used on open-ended essays in English, written only with blue or black ink. For my sake, I had an absolutely grand time in San Antonio. I had the chance to visit the Alamo, go to the scenic River walk, and eat in the River Center. I even got to tour the Menger Hotel, where Teddy Roosevelt stayed when he came to Texas to recruit for the Rough Riders. Staying up into the wee hours of morning playing Uno or just chatting with the guys on the team, I had the time of my life there. With no parents there to fuss over every single step I took, I was giddy with delight, like a little child who has just been handed a piece of candy.
I did not realize it at the time, but going on this trip was one of the most beneficial decisions I have ever made in my life. It enabled me to break from the monotony of school and get a fresh perspective. Looking back on it now, I absolutely needed this “chill time” off from school because it helped me refocus my mind on stuff that I was losing track of. For a while, this break did wonders for my senioritis. I was more productive and efficient in my studies than I had been in a long while. I finally realized that if I was going to be able to lower my stress, I had to take some time off and enjoy the little things in life.

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