Discovering Yourself- A Change in Time & Advice for Underclassmen!


Shawn Mendes’s New Album “Wonder” is set to release December 4th.

Earlier this morning, your lovely Co-Editor in chief sent me a text message that put me unexpectedly in my feels at 9 AM. As some of you may know, teenage heartthrob Shawn Mendes just released his new song “Wonder” along with his music video featuring a misty day, riding a train, running in the forest, and repping a wet tank-top. Known for his hit singles such as “Stitches”, “In My Blood”, “Senorita”, and much more, this song was a unique change from his classic upbeat-pop vibes and rather revolved around a softer and more reflective rhythm. As The Rolling Stone’s put perfectly, “‘Wonder’ is a big, beating-heart anthem with cathartic peaks, packed with sky-high synths and pounding drums.” Shawn even showed a split second of him dancing contemporary in the video, a very rare sight. The personal and introspective lyrics definitely make the song a must-play for a late-night drive or stay-at-home day; I added it to my “FEELZ” playlist right away. “Wonder” is also the title for Shawn’s new album set for release on December 4th, and the name is exactly how it’ll leave his audience feeling! I’m in awe at his new change in music, love the album cover, and am excited to see what else he has in store.  

Later today, after displaying Shawn’s video on the huge flatscreen TV in the living room, making sure all my family members saw the brilliant masterpiece and with my dad’s exclamation of, “Wow! You still keep up with Shawn?!?” I did a double-take. Almost as if an epiphany had struck me, I thought for a moment and realized that even earlier in the morning, I knew the answer to his question which was, NO. Sadly, I no longer kept up with him as I had before. 

Anyone who had met me in middle school would have easily said that I was Shawn’s die-hard fan, knowing him at 100k followers when he posted vines and was a part of MAGCON. Call me a maniac, but I knew every detail (at least what I could find from social media) about the kid: from his height to his mom’s name and his least favorite food. I even tried begging my parents to let me attend his concert the night before EOC’s. Shawn’s music was something I started the day off listening to on the bus ride to school and ending it by falling asleep with “Life of the Party” playing on repeat. 

Realizing I hadn’t known about his song until Ameena pointed it out and seeing Shawn in the video with grown-out hair and added tattoos, my mind “wondered” to think about how much I might have changed in the past four years. For one, instead of this tall 6’2 guitar player from Canada, I’m currently obsessing over 5’7 Korean ‘stray kids’ from Australia (if you do not get the reference, OMG you’re missing out on good music). I’ve switched to staying up waiting for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to post their next episode in their “Week-Long BTS Takeover” and have now mastered going on mile-long hikes listening to songs in a foreign language that sounds close to gibberish to me. This change in music highlights a change in time and might also signify my own self-growth. 

I’m almost halfway through completing my four years in high school. Surprisingly, (and although a bit cliche to say), unlike my peers who have voiced how slow each year has passed for them, I think that time really has flown so quickly freshman to senior year, even to the point where I forget it’s 2020. I barely register that now I’m writing a thousand essays for fifty different colleges and in less than a year, I may be living halfway across the country from friends and family. 

Take it from a senior, when someone says that high school is the best worst years of your life, they mean it. Only half-consciously realizing it, I have definitely changed- in not just my music preferences, but my thinking and my mentality as well. I’ve crossed stumbles in friendships, and difficulties in classes (gotta love Calculus), and endured a whole move to a completely different culture and lifestyle, but all of these experiences have made me grow as a student and as an individual. I can look back at embarrassing moments and laugh or see Snapchat memories and wistfully try to go back to the day, willing myself to become a time-machine. I chased my own opportunities, went out of my comfort zone to get involved in different activities, and learned more about myself each step of the way.  

If I could give any advice to underclassmen, it’s to truly LIVE LIFE TO YOUR FULLEST! I have friends that complain they’ve never had a day of fun in high school and share their frustration on how COVID ruined their senior year. Although I understand their perspective, I cannot say that I feel the same way. Honestly, try your hardest to NOT be like them. Don’t find yourself in that situation, where you regret not doing something because you were too shy or too worried about people judging you. If anything, nobody is as focused on yourself, as YOU are. If you want to try something new, do it. High-school flies by quickly, so turn your camera on and actually talk in class, find new interests, and maybe even discover some hidden talents. If you told me four years ago that I would have a car named after a BTS member, I would not believe you. But then again, I was too spellbound on marrying Shawn Mendes to consider it. Hmm, well the possibility is still there. We Wonder.