Senior column: Tom Mueller


Ella Davies

Art by Graesen Joyce. I’ll remind you that changes — big or small — can be incredibly transformative.

College: Washington University in St. Louis

Major: Undecided

There’s a neologism I’ve recently become fond of: sonder, the realization that everyone in the world is living a life as complex as your own, whether you’re aware of them or not. While my noting this fondness may seem irrelevant, it’s done in the spirit of reflection these columns have historically evinced. 

When I transferred from Saint Louis University High School to KHS a solid four days into my freshman year, I irreparably changed my life’s course; whether it be the classes I’ve enrolled in, clubs I’ve joined, connections I’ve developed or friends I’ve made, the events of my life since transferring have unfolded differently than they would’ve had I remained at SLUH. 

And making that decision obviously wasn’t easy — it was the first truly complex situation I’d navigated in my life. But after four years as a Pioneer, I’ve realized it was a decision I needed to make. I’ve realized it’s a decision I would make all over again.

I’ve always found it funny how seniors attempt to intersperse advice throughout these columns, as if we’re somehow sages worthy of imparting wisdom on our classmates — because, vis-à-vis sonder, we’re all living complex lives which make internalizing advice difficult. So take what I’m about to write with a grain of salt.

Essentially, embrace the complexity of life. Trying to circumvent it, after all, becomes a race with no finish line. When you accept there are just a smattering of situations each day of which you have control, it makes it easier to get the most out of them — and if you do that often enough, well, you’ll get the most out of high school. Out of life, really. 

 I’ve experimented with various endings for this column, tying in things and people from the NBA to Lil Wayne, respectively. None have felt apropos. Instead, I’ll remind you that changes — big or small — can be incredibly transformative.

Especially when it happens after just four days.