When I was a freshman, my English teacher decided to have the class analyze “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost. We talked about that road the speaker took, the one that was “grassy and wanted wear.”
Then, as the kids say, Mr. D dropped some knowledge.

The poem spends a lot of time on the road the speaker took. But the poem is titled “The Road Not Taken.” What was Frost really talking about, Mr. D asked — the road that was taken or the road that was left alone?

As a senior, I’ve been thinking about the roads I didn’t take. Because those are the mysteries. There’s no mystery about what’s behind us — it’s what we didn’t take advantage of that keeps us awake at night.

I started writing this post last night, at the National Honor Society movie night. I looked around and I realized all the things I could’ve been doing these past three years. I could’ve joined NHS sophomore year, when the NHS coordinator first started bugging me. The acquaintances that surrounded me might’ve been friends by now had I chose the NHS road. But I didn’t. I waited until this year, because I didn’t think I could really commit to 40 hours of community service when I was in the process of starting a newspaper.

That was last night. Then today rolled around — my 17th birthday. My friends took me out for lunch, a movie and ice cream. We saw Sully, which was surprisingly good, even though we were the youngest ones in the theater. We chattered about life, growing up, and the school newspaper. One of the friends I went with is the photo editor, so of course that topic came up.

As I was laughing my way through burgers, popcorn and sprinkles, I had a counter-epiphany to the one I had last night: I’m happy. My friends are the ones I should have and my occupation is the one I need to have. The path I’ve blazed through my high school career is the right one, because…

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

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