Trash Decisions

Trash Decisions

By Arden Y

Yesterday, I was in a very happy mood. After coming home from a successful day of finales and an afternoon shift at work, I was finally starting to get excited for the last day of school. However, I soon realized that this would be my last night with my school-issued laptop. I decided to clear my laptop for it to be ready to hand in the next day. However, I carelessly started plopping a bunch of my files in the trash can, including projects and worksheets from four years ago. After emptying out my entire computer, I clicked on the trash can and, after a moment’s hesitation, clicked the “empty” button.

My dad kept telling me to back up my files, but I told him there was nothing I needed or wanted to keep from my laptop. Why would I want to look back on documents from those terrible middle school years?

However, I soon realized this was a big mistake. When I went up to the Spotlight search bar in the top right of my laptop and searched for my 11th grade folder, it was nowhere to be found. It was then that I realized I had accidentally trashed all my files from this year.

I started to panic, and searched all over my laptop, but my files were gone. All my memories of junior year were erased, but that wasn’t the worst part. I had all of my interview notes for my planned article about the recent history field trip in my 11th grade folder. This was my final for Journalism, to write an article about The Freedom Trail, but now all of my notes were gone.

I learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Well, a few lessons. The first is to ALWAYS back up your files! You never know when you’ll want to look back on something, but then realize that you wiped those files clear out of existence. You never know when you might need to look at something again, such as important notes from a previous class or a writing sample from high school to get you into college.

The second lesson I learned was: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

I realized that I shouldn’t start thinking that I’m the unluckiest person in the world just because of one mistake that was entirely my fault. Instead of yelling at my laptop (luckily I didn’t break it “by mistake” out of frustration), I decided to think positively.

Lately, I’ve been trying to do a better job of being overall more positive. Sometimes I am in a bad or sad mood for no reason, and I take it out on the people around me and make them feel terrible too. I’ve been trying to change this and my attitude in the past month, and I feel so much better. Life is too short to spend it upset or angry. Laughing at little things, reflecting on what i’m grateful for, and not letting one mistake define me are all things I’ve been focusing on improving. And I can say that, in the past few weeks, I’ve felt so much happier and healthier too.

I had two choices: I could either freak out about my dilemma, or I could accept what happened and proceed in a calm manner. Of course I originally picked the first option. This was my journalism final! It was my last final and I had been determined to make this article my best one yet. I was actually really excited to start writing it. I had interviewed three enthusiastic people, two students and one teacher. They each gave me some really good quotes and information about the field trip, and it felt good that I was the one who would put their voices out there, to be heard by the entire student body. Now I feel like I let them down somehow.

After an hour of panic, I realized there was nothing I could do. Then I started to remember the power of positive thinking. Of course my Journalism final is very important, but I realized there were so many worse things that could have happened to me. I’m lucky I even have a computer, because many schools do not hand out laptops for free like Duxbury High School does. I have been so lucky to have had a working computer for four years.

So, I learned my lesson, that’s for sure. Take a deep breath. Relax. Realize that it’s not the end of the world if you get a B or even a C on a final. Focus on the things you are grateful for, and so lucky to have. Don’t sweat the small stuff (not saying that a final is a small thing of course), and always remember to back up your files!

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