Going Beyond the Land of Expectations

What challenge have you faced in high school, and how have you met that challenge?

In Norton Juster's novel, The Phantom Tollbooth, the protagonist, Milo, undertakes a journey much like the one many high school seniors find themselves facing today. He isn't sure of where he is going, and like many of us, he is carried by a sense of adventure and of expectation. Like Milo, we begin in Expectation, where, Juster claims, "you must always go to before you get to where you're going. Of course, some people never go beyond expectations..."

Today, we are in the Land of Expectations. Parents expect many things of us: good grades, obedience, and successfully getting into the college of our dreams. My classmates and I expect even more from ourselves: senior privileges, guidance from family and teachers, and a new start in college. In high school, we know what to expect. We expected to be caught if we didn't sign in to homeroom. We expected either Phil or Kevin Lee to thoroughly destroy us in games of Net Tetris. We expected our parents to pay our bills and help us to make our important decisions. Indeed, some of us have yet to face a difficult decision that we, as adults, must make entirely for ourselves.

But next year, we face the unfamiliar. Most of us only know what not to expect: homemade...

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