Determination to Desolation: The Art of Obsession

Kelly Fagerman, Editor-in-Chief

Whatever happened to Rachel’s Challenge? What conviction there was at the beginning of the year seemed to drop off the face of the school by the second semester. Before, as people walked in every day, they could see their signature proudly showcased on the Rachel’s Challenge banner, symbolically stating their determination to remember acts of kindness and to “start a chain reaction.” But now, with less than 70 days until summer, their determination has turned to desolation. If anyone even remembers where their signature lies on the banner (or if anyone even remembers that it still hangs in the entrance, or that Rachel’s Challenge was actually this year), it seems to be a miracle.

High school students are so caught up in obsessions and the next available craze out there that they quickly forget what their last promise was. Last year, they promised not to drink and drive after Shattered Dreams. This year, everyone promised to be kind. Every year, students remember for a couple of days the importance of giving in Pennies for Patients and Can the Panthers. But that’s it. A couple of days. Maybe a week or two for the bigger assemblies and emotional demonstrations. But once those days are over, so is any conviction to follow through.

Remember when promises were a big deal? When pinky promises were an even bigger deal? When you make a decision to be a part of Rachel’s Challenge or Shattered Dreams, make a pinky promise with yourself. Tell yourself that these obsessions are just as important as any promise made, because these obsessions say something about your character and your ability to follow through with an idea. Signing your name on the Rachel’s Challenge banner was more than just seeing if you could take up half of the space on the white poster; it was a promise to remember what kindness is and to follow through with your conviction.

So next time this school has an emotional assembly or a community-improving competition (or, God forbid, you decide to remember Rachel’s Challenge and what it stands for) you might find yourself suddenly “obsessed,” and that’s okay. Just remember to make a pinky promise, because though it ultimately helps better your community, most importantly, it helps make a better you.