What I learned in high school

Jack Cahill '17, Sports Editor

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The high school experience is different for everyone. Some people love it, others hate it. Some can’t wait for it to be over, and some still cherish their memories in college. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my high school career, with each year better than the last. As I look back on my time in high school, I wish I could tell my past self so much, not just about high school, but about life, and I hope I can share my advice with all the underclassmen.

Get involved. It’s cliché at this point as this statement seems to be said at every high school transition program, but any thought that is just a cliché couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s something for everyone, sports, music, theater.  Don’t be that kid whose entire high school experience is walking in every morning and leaving at 2:10 every day. My best high school memories have been made in after school activities, marching band, playing volleyball, writing for my school paper, playing rec league basketball. These activities are the memories you will have forever.

Go to every school event. This ties in with getting involved. Don’t avoid school events because you think they are “lame”.  The school events here are terrific. I had so much fun at these events, Township Madness, Monzo Madness, Powderpuff, going to plays, going to football games, the Buddy Walk, the dances. School events will make your high school career by giving you memories that will last a lifetime.

Grades aren’t everything. Obviously, every student should strive to get good grades, but don’t let that consume your high school experience. In middle school and freshman year, I was that student who let grades dictate every aspect of life. So what if you fail one test? It was difficult and that’s okay. It’s okay not to be perfect. Life goes on. Don’t stress yourself out by loading up on AP classes just to get a better rank. Don’t sacrifice a night’s sleep doing schoolwork. High school is about learning, and while you shouldn’t ignore grades to have fun, don’t focus all your energy on them. Once I learned to relax, things came more naturally. I had a lot less stress while still managing to get good grades.

Friends are awesome, value them. Friends are the best part of high school. Events and clubs are nothing if you can’t share the experience with other people. Your closest friends will have the greatest impact on you, but don’t undersell those friends you see in just one class per day. Making an effort to get to know people in every class makes those classes that much better. The more friends you have, the better high school will be.

Perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that nobody cares about you. What I mean by this is that nobody judges you as intensely as you think in your head, if at all. I was nowhere near popular in high school. I wasn’t invited to all the “cool” parties, but that didn’t stop me from having fun. While some people feel insecure about their popularity, the fact is, you don’t have much control over it, so focus on doing activities you find fun. If you have fun playing video games with your friends on the weekends, then do that. If going out to eat with a small group of friends is fun, enjoy doing it. The friends you make will not judge you for not partying all the time. This also goes for the kids who think they are big shots. Sorry, but nobody cares how drunk you got on Saturday night.

Bottom line, high school really can be a lot of fun. Value your time here because before you know it, it’s over. As I write this, I’ve realized that today is the last time I will play a volleyball game in the 9/10 gym, it’s my senior night, and it’s the last time I will wear my white jersey, ideas that never seemed feasible to me two years ago. If you seize even some of the opprotunities in high school, you’ll make memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

 

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What I learned in high school