“Life is like topography," Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure (Calvin and Hobbs).” It will never slow down whenever things get tough, and it will never wait for you to catch up. To dare greatly is something that is not thought about often. It sometimes doesn’t even mean to do the bravest, nor riskiest thing in the world. Sometimes daring greatly can be just doing the right thing in today’s society. Unfortunately, in the average life of a high schooler, that isn’t easy. Seeing many fold to the pressure, keel at the anxiety, and suffer from the unknown of what their future’s hold, I feel sympathetic for the difficulties that each person is going through because it’s all a part of life and a little something called perseverance.
Perseverance: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. After reading the speech, “The Man in the Arena”, I was immediately reminded of a saying that a special someone has always been telling me throughout my years at Cinco: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.”
Most kids walk into high school with optimism, some walk in with absolute terror, and others walk in with the pressure to do as well as their older siblings. However, I walked in on crutches. The week before the first day of school I had unfortunately torn my ACL at football practice, and little did I know, that would affect every aspect of my high school life. Throughout my entire high school football career, I have gone through two major knee surgeries and only have participated in about 20 total plays of competition. Yeah, it was tough, but the comradery and brotherhood I felt being a part of the team was well worth staying involved. In an effort to get my mind off the sport, I got involved in groups that I probably wouldn’t have gotten involved with beforehand. I tried new things like ultimate Frisbee, FBLA, running for a class office, and now, even training for a full marathon. It makes think how grateful I am to be able to attend a school with as many opportunities as there are at Cinco Ranch.
High school is the time when people are pushed out of their comfort zones and are encouraged to dare greatly. If it was not for this aspect, I know for a fact that I would not be where I am today and my tale of perseverance would not be what it is. Some people ask me if I could go back in time and change what happened if I could, and to them, I answer, “It is the past that has turned me into the person I am today, I don’t know if I’d want to be any different.” Cinco Ranch holds a special place in my heart because it showed me that when things are tough it may only require a different perspective to solve the puzzle.
One of the greatest things I’ve been able to be a part of here at Cinco is something called Cougar Challenge. For those who do not know, Cougar Challenge is a day where students and teachers alike come together to participate in games, talks, and interact on a more personal level. Sometimes in high school, the most daring thing to do is to go up to a lone kid in the lunch room and introduce yourself. However, with Cougar Challenge, it’s designed to allow kids the comfort to step out of that shell and support each other because we are all one community. It’s something that makes Cinco Ranch High School unique from all other schools. It’s something that has allowed me an enjoyable environment to attend school because I know that if I ever need to get through a tough time or just have a friend to talk to I can find support just around the corner. Cougar Challenge has showed me that life isn’t nearly as great when you go through it alone.
High school isn’t easy. Challenges and tests, not only in the classroom, but in life, are going to set you back and wear you down to pits of exhaustion. Every aspect of high school, whether it be social, education, or athletics, will make you take risks, put yourself where you have not been before, and above all else, dare greatly. However, as long as you just stay true to yourself, you’ll never feel like you’re chasing something you’re not.
Another thing, don’t forget to have fun. These are the friends and memories you’ll have for a lifetime, and every day, you’re making new ones. I take the place I go to school for granted all too often. I wish I didn’t because Cinco Ranch High School challenged me and turned me into someone that I couldn’t have envisioned at a younger age. It showed me that perseverance doesn’t always have to mean overcoming a challenge, it could also mean just realizing a hard obstacle in life could actually be a hidden blessing.
Matt Ward, Senior