Student Feature: Jake Zanini

June 2018 (Volume 68, Issue 5)

By Nina Yee, Features Editor

As we say goodbye and congratulations to the Class of 2018, we eagerly await what the future has in store for them. We ask about their carefully orchestrated college plans and career paths, wondering not only where they will be in the next five or ten years, but also how they are getting there. However, for Jake Zanini, a graduating senior, the future seems comfortably uncertain, and that’s completely fine.

When asked if he was planning to go to college, Zanini brushed off a seemingly stressful and loaded question for most seniors with a chuckle and nonchalant shrug. Instead, he rephrased, “I plan go to Israel on the birthright trip, or volunteer at a place of my choosing,” adding, “or work at a national park.” Zanini’s “plans” (or lack thereof) echo opportunity and independence, unlike the definitive, and frankly, rigid, track that most seniors at Needham High School pursue.

Zanini’s motivators are fairly open-ended as well. When asked where he wants to be next year, Zanini responded, “Wherever makes me happiest.” However, it is not necessarily happiness that drives Zanini, but an overall sense of purpose. “The world we’re in today– at least in society’s view– you need a degree and such to get certain jobs,” observed Zanini. Rather than aspiring for specific indicators of success, Zanini stated, “I want to learn a little bit more about myself through travelling, and interacting with others, or at least the people that help me.” We wish Jake happiness and fulfillment in his future!


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