Bowling for Soup Got it Wrong, High School Really Does End

Maya Radcliffe (12th)

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“Just don’t blink,” “I know it feels like it’s taking forever now, but trust me, once senior year hits, it all ends really fast,” “You’ll miss it when it’s over.”

Well… yes and no. I have heard upperclassmen preach these philosophies since my freshman year, and while we all knew they were true, they were difficult to believe, because these four years seem like an eternity. How else could it feel when you are expected to take AP classes, participate in sports, music, or performing arts, hold officer positions in clubs, do volunteer work outside of school, have a job, and make friends on top of everything else? And not only must you do these things, you must excel at them.

Personally, I focused on good grades and drama (the theater kind, not the “OMG guess what Monica did” kind). I dabbled in sports and did track and field my sophomore year- now, I am a huge advocate for trying new things, but I quickly realized due to my innate clumsiness, that sports were not my strong suit. But even though the workouts made me feel like dying five days out of the week, I am glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone.

One of my biggest regrets is my lack of club participation; I made excuses after attending one Key Club meeting that the group was too large and I did not feel like dedicating my lunch hour to sitting around listening to presentations, and I had missed several drama club meetings freshman year so I had assumed I was not a member (but in reality, if you have the class, you are in the club).

I will not lie to you and say that the AP and Honors courses I took were easy, rather, they were the primary source of my mental breakdowns. But, like most challenging things, I was grateful for them when they were over, not only did they give me the opportunity to earn credit for college courses, but for most of them, I actually learned about topics I was interested in. However, while the boosted GPA is nice, I would not advise anyone to overload their schedule, but to take a few courses that you know will benefit your future education.

While our school has an abundant supply of elective classes, many students experience only a few, because the curriculum fills their schedule with requisites, and inhibits them from exploring fields in which they may find a passion. What little courses I took simply out of curiosity captured my attention, and made me wish I could have had more.

Aside from college applications, building resumes, taking the SATs and ACTs, and writing scholarship essays, which plague the seniors, the most stressful times of my high school experience (not including actual classes) were largely thanks to drama. I have spent countless hours in that black box- sometimes rehearsing until 11:00- but if I could do it all again, I would.

I would encourage anyone, regardless of what grade you find yourself in, to make the best of what could easily be the worst four years of your life. Get involved, not because it is what everyone else is doing, but because it is something that you love, and the only way to discover what it is that you love is to try things, if you hate it, oh well, you are not required to stick with it, move on to something else.

If you are one of the lucky ones, and high school is absolute bliss, I commend you, but for the rest of us ordinary chumps, there are uncomfortable, sometimes painful experiences in store, but trust me, there will be incredible moments too, and if those are few and far between, remember, high school does end. You are not stuck here forever, believe me. If you can, take your four-year sentence, and make it great.

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