In a Flash – Boater’s License

Cara Tran, News Editor

As a child, above all else, Maddy Kester (12) was a planner. She liked having set times and details for every event. She liked having a sense of control over situations. She liked knowing that there wouldn’t be too many surprises or issues to worry about.

But, she’s recently come to find out that you can’t plan for the unexpected.

As the unexpected events of COVID-19 unfolded and effectively stole her high school experience away from her, Kester had to become more comfortable with surprises and unexpected events. She learned to accept the uncertainties in life. She learned to appreciate spontaneity. She learned to value the small surprises and unexpected experiences in life as they came.  

So as Kester entered her senior year, she let go of her desire to plan for everything. While she still liked to have the details settled, Kester now subscribes herself to living life as it happens—doing things “just because” and agreeing to outings and events without taking time to really plan ahead.

It was, after all, her last year of high school. It was her last chance to make the most of her time in San Diego and in high school with all her childhood friends. 

In this year full of lasts, Kester was committed to introducing new firsts in her life.

So, on a Wednesday night, with no tickets to the Olivia Rodrigo concert and with school the next day, Kester found herself sitting on a small, cramped boat in the San Diego Bay with her sister and her friends from preschool. 

The air around her was cold and brisk. The wind provided a constant chill. There was no real room to stand. To put it simply, it wasn’t a comfortable position to be in. But Kester didn’t regret it for a second. 

Kester was being spontaneous. She was okay with not planning ahead. She was taking advantage of opportunities as they presented themselves to her. Kester was making the most of her senior year.     

As she shouted the lyrics with some of her closest and oldest friends, she couldn’t be bothered to care about the less-than-ideal circumstances. Sure, Kester was sitting on an uncomfortable boat with a terrible view of Olivia Rodrigo’s performance. She wasn’t in the venue itself. She wasn’t dancing with other fans in the pit.

But, she also wasn’t going to trade this experience for anything else.