The Freshman Flashback: A Tip from a Senior
Starting high school can be a confusing experience. It is a defining moment in your life. It is when people explore themselves and their interests, when they become who they are. High school can seem to be filled with high pressure and high stakes, and in some ways, it is. You will be asked to make difficult choices about yourself and your future. Indeed, high school is very much about looking toward the future, but do not let this distract you from the experience itself.
When we choose to think of high school as only a stepping stone to our colleges and futures, we will inevitably fail to see the joy that can be found in the time spent there. The key to success in high school and beyond is balance. There is a time and place to worry about standardized testing and college applications, but there is likewise a time and place to have fun, to go to dances and hang out with friends. Neglecting either of these aspects of the high school experience, the product or the play, can result in a sense of disappointment. If we only focus on our product: our resumes, our course loads, and our college admissions, we risk losing the chance to form meaningful interpersonal and emotional bonds with our classmates. If we only focus on play aspect: the dances, the football games, the hang-outs, we risk losing opportunities for our futures. This is what makes having balance in high school so important.
But balance can be difficult to find. It may seem that clubs, sports, academics and friends are all pulling you in separate directions. It is impossible to do everything, yet it seems unthinkable to skip anything. But balance can be found in prioritization and overlap. There is no way to join every club and take every class, so you must decide what will be the most beneficial to you. Do you want to accumulate experience in the arts? Or do you want to broaden your science perspective more? Do you have a passion for reading and want to join book club? Or would you rather capture photos in photography club? Perhaps some activities cater to several of your interests. Maybe you can take your passion for English and knack for photography to your school newspaper, or maybe your creative and chemist sides can meet in baking club. No matter what you choose to do, being passionate about your activities is key. Fill your time with activities that you both enjoy and learn from.
SBS senior Rose Sansone suggests to “cherish your family and friends as much as possible,” warning that “in a few years, you won’t see them as often.” It is a scary thought, but an important one. High school is only four years, and it can only be done once. Take advantage of every moment. Take your notes, take your risks and take your time. High school will happen, and you will find your way.
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