Why High School is the Best and Worst Experience of Your Life: To a Freshman from a Senior

BY KIAYA SECHREST – Editor-in-Chief 

On my last first day of high school, I wasn’t nervous at all. I knew where all my classes were, I looked decent enough, and I didn’t even have to worry about whether my ride would pick me up on time, because I had a license and could drive myself.

Flashback four years, however, and it’s a completely different story. My freshman year was spent mostly with headphones in stumbling from class to class during school, somewhat participating in cheerleading practice, and then going home.

While I don’t regret anything about my high school experience, there are quite a number of things I’ve learned the past few years I wish I could tell my freshman self. Unfortunately since time travel hasn’t been invented yet (that we know of), the next best thing is to warn the current freshmen of the possible trivial events they may undergo over the next four years, and how to not feel like they want to quit school and become a hobo, as I told my Mom I was going to on numerous occasions during my freshman year.

High school, simply put, sucks. It’s awkward, confusing, stressful, and full of changes.

The workload increases yearly for students as they get older. For students like me, this meant setting aside more time for class work while also juggling extracurriculars, volunteer hours, and part-time jobs to somehow create a decent college application while still trying to have a bit of a social life.

Besides academics, relationships between peers and family members take on new roles, and multiple friendships die, while others are born. Not only is the world around us evolving as we move through high school, but we experience multiple internal struggles through the years.

Looking back, I can tell the distinct differences within myself in each year of high school. Remembering how I felt, the way I reacted in situations, and even the way I thought, make me realize how changed I am.

Every fall of the new school year I walked into the same building, but it always seemed as if there was new air to it. It wasn’t the place that changed, but rather, me.

My fellow senior classmates have agreed with this too. Each year of school is full of letdowns and lessons that mold us into the human beings we are today.

When I first stepped through the doors of Lebanon High, I had completely written off high school. To me, it was pointless and fake, I was only there because my Mother forced me, and as a result I was completely and utterly miserable.

It went on like this for a few months until I realized something: if you’re expecting something to suck, then it is definitely going to suck. On the other hand, if you just simply try to be present in where you are and actually learn something, nine times out of ten you’ll surprise yourself.

My main piece of advice to any freshman is to explore and try as much as you can as soon as physically possible. Some of my best moments came from times I forced myself to participate in something new.

My sophomore year I managed JV baseball, and I remember sitting on the bus thinking, “so this is what teenage boys talk about.” I was uncomfortable and out of place, but the more I was there the more I found myself being included with the team actually enjoying myself.

Sometimes the opportunities in high school are ones we can’t get anywhere else. When I was a junior I participated in musical, and believe me when I say I cannot sing (or dance for that matter), but it was a “learn as you go” experience that at the end I was proud of.

It’s inevitable to have bad days, and at times we can feel like we’re on our own personal losing streak. I find that there are a lot of positives within the negatives though, which help shape us into who we are.

I, for one, am still evolving today as I plan for my future. It doesn’t matter how much I think I know, I still change my top choice of college at least once a week.

High school, simply put, sucks. Yet it is filled with adventure, growth, friendships, and moments that you won’t get anywhere else.

There are approximately 144 weeks to get through before graduation, and personally I think those four years should be spent doing more than just trying to survive.

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