11 Things I Learned in 11th Grade

BY KIAYA SECHREST

-Feature Editor

Being a teenager in high school can be a very confusing period in someone’s life. This is a time of change when we have to decide not only who we are, but who it is we want to be.

Everyone will agree that growing up, simply put, is scary. No amount of books, advice, or 80s coming-of-age films can fully prepare someone for the real thing.

However, even though getting older is tough it’s a learning experience that we all get through. Each person’s teenage years are unique, but we all have one thing in common: we have no idea what we’re doing.

In my personal experience, the year I was 16 I learned a lot more than I expected. Nearing the end of my junior year while preparing my summer college search, I looked back on the year and realized how every situation I had been in taught me something.

  1. Anything can be fun with a good group of people and the right attitude.
  2. Random acts of kindness are always a good idea.
  3. Your parents are getting older too. If you’re lucky enough to have them, it’s not going to kill you to have dinner with them once a week. Listen to their stories about when they were your age. You could be surprised by how much they make you laugh and, even more surprising, how much you relate to them.
  4. Anyone who took the PSATs can tell you for a fact that, “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.”
  5. Seize every new opportunity as it’s handed to you. When given the chance to act as an ape on stage when no one can judge you, take it.
  6. Your close friends matter, despite being told through middle school that having friends is unimportant. They’re the ones who are going to remind you that you’re not alone. Make as many memories with them as you can, because they’re going to be what you look back on.
  7. Nothing can compare to the feeling of listening to a really, really good song.
  8. When you get your license and hit a parked car, you should probably tell your dad before he figures it out for himself.
  9. It’s important to remember that everyone has a reason for being the way they are, although you can’t always see it. Even the girl you don’t like and the boy who used to make fun of you in elementary school, they have a reason for being the way they are, too.
  10. A good outfit might not fix a bad day, but it’ll at least make you feel a little better.
  11. Sometimes you’ll go through situations that don’t have positive outcomes, never let the fear from this stop you from trying again. You can get yourself through anything. Even when you think you can’t, you can.

As author John Green wrote, “I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.”

After this summer, my fellow classmates and I will return for our final year of high school. I expect senior year to hold just as many, if not more, new experiences and memories.

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