As summer winds down and a new school year looms on the horizon, now is the time for every student to take stock and examine the promise and the possibilities that lie ahead.
Academic success should obviously be the main goal of any student. But, I encourage each of you to take advantage of all that your school offers outside, as well as inside, the classroom.
Pursue what interests you most, but don't be afraid to take a chance and try something new.
If you have the opportunity, take a class in a subject matter that you are not familiar with. Learn what is in your textbooks, but also learn about yourself.
If you enjoy science, join the Science Olympiads. If you enjoy math, join the Math Olympiads. If Social Studies is your passion, try the debate, or mock trial teams.
Better yet, if you have difficulties with any of these subjects, jump in head-first and give yourself a challenge.
Broaden and define your horizons. You may be surprised that what you thought were walls are actually hurdles that -- with a running start -- can easily be cleared.
If you are hesitant to try out for a sports team, I suggest that you go for it. The problem solving, communication, and team-building skills that you develop from all of these activities will only benefit you in the years to come.
But please, remember, as you immerse yourselves in your classes, clubs, sports, and other activities, do not neglect to spend time with your friends and family.
Cherish your moments with them, as time and opportunities may take you and your peers on different paths. Your loved ones may always be a phone call away, but not always within your reach.
New opportunities and possibilities will come quickly; they always do. So, in this ever-so-brief lull between the end of summer and the start of everything else, take this time and chart your course.
Good luck, and have a great year.