David Wang is a student at Garibaldi secondary.

David Wang is a student at Garibaldi secondary.

In Education: A part of home will follow

Venturing outside comfort, discovering world on own.

In the past several months, I have been scrambling to apply to universities and colleges, getting reference letters, sending out transcripts, and writing application essays.

This got me thinking what would life be like after high school?

Having spent essentially my entire life with my family, I would be taking my first steps into living an independent lifestyle.

Going to the East Coast, there’d be no one to greet me when I come home at night, no familiar roads or architecture, and no familiar places or people to talk to when I arrive.

I feel torn thinking about it. Half of me will desperately yearn for the comforts of home while the other feels untamed excitement for the unknown.

I know Maple Ridge in and out; throw me blindfolded onto a random street and I’ll find my way home, and so the thought of living in another city far from home is disorientating.

Yet, the expanse of possibilities that loom ahead there is interminable and the image of a new found freedom begins to flash before me.

I could take my first weeks there exploring the campus and community – tour through the city and see notable landmarks and points of interest and familiarize myself with the city’s public transit.

As I walk down with the streets with the winter parka that my mother bought me for the freezing winters near the East Coast, I realize that despite leaving for a city I’ve never been to, to take classes I won’t understand, there will always be a part of home that will follow.

Honestly, as much as I’m excited to leave home, I’m equally as afraid. Unfortunately, that’s the process of growing up and maturing; it requires people to venture outside their comfort and discover the world for their own.

I realize that life after high school is a new frontier. As one thing leads to another, I may not stay in my community for long, and I may not spend time with my family for long – or at least the way I do now.

The connections I will make in the future could require severing ones in the past. So I presently cherish the time I have with my friends and family; it’s limited in nature and mustn’t be wasted.

Of course, life after high school may vary from person to person. Those who chose to pursue an education or career near home after graduation have the gift of spending more time with family. But as life progresses, we are, one by one, required to trek further into the unknown.

However, until then, my mind is still preoccupied by piles of school assignments, school club meetings, extracurricular activities, badminton practices, and house chores.

For me, the reality of leaving behind the community I grew up with doesn’t represent a bleak future as long as I move forward with my friends and family in mind.

No matter the circumstance, I see Maple Ridge as a place where I belong, and if I’m presented the opportunity, I’ll be on my first flight back to visit.

David Wang is a student at Garibaldi secondary.