The End of Another Chapter: High School
I can’t believe that I’m saying this but this past week I graduated from high school.
A four year journey which seemed never ending has come to a close. A four year rollercoaster ride filled with countless ups and downs has found its coefficient of friction and has converted all of its kinetic energy into heat, bringing four years to a close.
I still remember the first day of walking towards the new bus stop location: Kids from across the neighborhood all had scared faces as we all embarked on this unknown journey. I was a shy person who wasn’t really sure where I’d fit in, finding myself thinking what will I do in the next four years to make sure that I’m remembered here? Although it’s easy to think about the future, manifesting it and making your vision a reality was a whole new conquest that I’d come to learn about.
Today, I’m going to be looking back at these four years and describing some of the most important lessons which I am taking away as a Senior who just walked the stage.
#1: It isn’t about who finishes first, it’s about who finishes with the best quality of work
I remember going to the first official test I had in my freshman year in Honors Biology. Now up to this point in my academic career, I’d gotten away with being the straight-A student who didn’t need to study much for school tests, but this first test had me cramming in vocabulary terms starting with all the letters of the alphabet. The day of the test, I saw many students turn their answer sheets in before me which led me to questioning myself on day number one. Although it was a new feeling of holding onto the test till the teacher called time, I would eventually realize that there would be people from all over the spectrum in this four year journey. No two people would be the same, and all that mattered was how I ensured that I would cross that finish line in the most successful way. So, don’t stress out about what others are doing!
#2: Don’t start worrying about post-high school plans till early Junior Year
I know, I know, I know! This is probably going to cause some controversy, but calm down and hear me out. Going into high school, our counselors were sure to hammer in the “Big SAT” test that we’d take in our Junior year and how every class mattered in our future success. I by no means am doubting their intentions of wanting to help their students out, but looking back don’t worry about what’s going to happen after graduation. You just started a new four year journey and seriously got to enjoy it. You’ll have plenty of time during Junior year to prepare for the SAT and don’t need to worry about college applications till the start of Senior year.
#3: Take different types of classes
In my freshman year, I decided to take a class called AP Computer Science Principles as a toss-up in order to fill a spot on my schedule. Little did I know at the time that one class would start my endeavors into the world of computer science and technology. Looking back, that one class has fueled me to accomplish many of the things I have and has even led me to publish a realistic-fiction book about a student’s journey throughout high school and finding a sense of path.
I encourage you to take classes which seem interesting, especially as you start to have more options in later years of high school. Don’t be focused on whether the name has “AP” in it, yet instead, look at what the class has to offer because you never know whether that one class or teacher can help you shape a future you never knew about.
#4: Don’t stress out alone
Coming into high school, I was keen on being the top student in every class who would find his way through every challenge independently. For the most part, I’m glad to say I was able to but am even prouder to say that I helped out many people along the way. It became super important to have a good friend group with whom you could talk about and study with along with just having people to have random conversations with. Seriously, even though cross country is illustrated to be an individual sport, you’ll be glad to walk away with friends when you reach the end. Plus, talking with others is a great way to release emotion and stress.
#5: Be Unique
This may seem a bit cliché but it is the simplest way to put it. There are tons of ways to get involved in high school but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the boundaries of the school. In my experiences, I created new programs and clubs in my community which were able to impact hundreds of people and hope that you can realize that if you want to start something, it only takes an idea and reaching out to people.
The basic idea is “if it doesn’t exist, then create it!”
- One letter grade on an assignment or tests isn’t going to determine your future.
- There will be many people who will come and go in your life in these four years, enjoy your time with all of them.
- Don’t let high school drama cause parts in friendships. If you have an issue with someone, confront them and clear up any misconceptions. Remember that you will most likely not meet 90% of this group of people in your life again.
- The past can’t change, so don’t worry about it. Instead, look to the future and how you can make the next day, the best one.
- Don’t hold off everything till the last minute. I know that procrastination will happen, it’s just bound to occur. However, you must learn how to complete things before that 11:59 PM due date. It saves you a lot of stress, plus it’s a great feeling knowing that you’re done with something and don’t have to worry about it.
There we go! It still seems surreal that four years have flown by and now it is time to start planning for the future. Remember that this time only comes once in your life, so maximize each moment!
Thanks for reading my Medium Article! I hope you were able to take at least one important idea away. Stay tuned for more great articles regarding my experiences and other programming related topics. Don’t forget to follow me on Medium to stay updated!