“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Rachel Labarre, Staff Writer

I’m a firm believer in fate.

But I’ve learned over the last four years that there isn’t only one road to get you there.

My dad loves to tell the story of how he met my mom. How fate brought them together. While I might roll my eyes when I know he is about to launch into the story…again, it has actually impacted my perspective more than I could have imagined.

My dad hadn’t planned on going to UPenn for medical school. In fact, he wanted to stay in Boston/Cambridge after having spent four years there as an undergrad. When he didn’t get into his first choice school, he felt as though his dreams and plans had been disrupted. But once at Penn, not only would his medical career take off, but his entire life, as well. After all, it was there that he met a cute girl studying as an undergraduate. That girl became my mom, and you know how the story goes. My dad speaks about how it was destiny that he ended up at Penn, and teases me about how I wouldn’t have been born otherwise.

But that’s his story. I have one of my own.

When I was a little girl, I would go to every single Staples Players show. As an avid dancer, it was my dream to twirl and tap on that stage next to the fantastic singers and actors that I had idolized as a teenybopper. I thought that being in Staples Players was my fate.

But when freshman year came, I didn’t make the fall musical. I auditioned again and again throughout all of 9th grade, but no matter how many times I practiced my songs or how much I tried to perfect my arabesque, I just wasn’t going to make the cut.

Coincidentally, one of my brother’s friends suggested that I take Intro to Journalism freshman year, and second semester I found myself engrossed in reporting and interviewing. I could have stomped my feet and begged Mr. Roth to give me a part in the ensemble, or I could have even given up and spent my afternoons locked in my room, but instead I decided to follow the new track presented to me: Inklings.

My high school career, and even my life, would not have been and will not be the same without Inklings. Not only has my love and passion for journalism blossomed, but the Inklings newsroom has become a second home and the Inklings team a second family. There is no place I feel more comfortable and no people I would rather be with than the Inklings staff. People question why I would ever volunteer to stay after school until 8 p.m. some nights–I see it not as a burden, but as a blessing. And what was Inklings for me might have been robotics for someone else, or the gymnastics team for another, or culinary club for a different classmate.

So now, as I sit on this sweaty and claustrophobic bleacher at graduation and your hands stick to the inky newspaper pages, we’re all staring fate right in the face. We’re staring our future right in the face.

Some of us might not be going to the college we had always dreamed of, some of us (let’s be honest, all of us) might make some poor decisions over the next four years, and we may wish that we were in the safe confines of Staples at one point or another. The roadblocks we hit may sometimes seem insurmountable, and there will be times when we find ourselves on a path that we can’t imagine will take us to the place we want to be – when everything will seem out of line and when we will want to give up.

But there is not just one answer. The path that seems less traveled might just be the path that will lead you to success. If we don’t let the obstacle in front of us deter us, we can discover something perhaps even greater.

The class of 2014 is being given a blank page. No one knows where fate will lead each of us.

Or is it the other way around?

What opportunities will we seize to lead us to our fate?