The Next Big Step: Thoughts On College

The positives and negatives of moving on
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Photo courtesy of Apex Cougar Club
Alex Baker, the tallest student standing (second from right), poses with his Apex High School VolleyBros team, which won the schools 2018 VolleyBros tournament in April.

As a kid I always thought that life moved so slow that I was never going to grow up, that I was going to be able to play video games and sip on Capri Suns for the rest of my life. These past few years of my life have felt like the complete opposite.

Time has flown by at a breakneck pace and I’m about to make the biggest leap toward adulthood I’ve ever embarked on. I have a lot of mixed feelings about taking this next step but I can’t help but feel an overwhelming excitement that seems to blanket everything else. I feel relatively prepared, and I’m so thankful for all the people in my life that helped get me to where I am today.

One of the main reasons I want to write this post is just to remind teens to be thankful for the adults in their life, whether they are parents, coaches, teachers, pastors or other important role models. I have been blessed throughout my life with amazing people, and as I approach this next chapter in my life, I'm reminded of all they have done for me.

The prospect of going to college and being away from everybody has encouraged me to be more vocal about how thankful I am for these people, and to make sure I enjoy my time with them before I have to leave for a while. I think that’s a good policy in all stages of life, but I believe it is especially important to do so while you still live near — and with — these people. I am very fortunate to have an abundance of role models in my life and I’m sure I will get to know more who will change and shape me for the better as I move on to college.

One thing that is going to be tough is leaving behind my hometown and high school years. I love everything about the area I live in and having to adjust to a new environment will likely be a trying task. This place is so familiar, and although I am going to Charlotte, which is an area I know because of family connections there, I am going to seriously miss Apex and the spots I’ve fell in love with. The Bojangles by the old high school, Hunter Street Park, Apex Community Center and other spots hold so many of my memories from the past few years and it’s going to be tough not to be just a short drive away from them.

What I’ll miss more than anything though, besides the people here, is just being in high school. Sure, the work isn’t always fun, and it can be stressful at times, but I feel like I’ve lived more life these past four years than all the rest of my life combined. I’ve grown so much, and I’ll always have fond memories of these past four years. Whether I was on the field/court, in the classroom, or hanging out with friends after school, you can safely bet I was having a good time.

I have lived a blessed life so far, and although it is going to be tough leaving what’s familiar behind, I am looking forward to what college has to offer.


Alex Baker is a senior at Apex High School. He will attend Queens College in Charlotte, where he plans to play lacrosse.


Categories: College Planning, Education, Teen Scene, Teens