Every year I always make a checklist for myself, focusing on what I want to accomplish academically, socially, and athletically that year. I believe it has helped me to focus on what is important and what things take priority in my life. Sadly, I have realized in recent weeks that my academics took precedence over a lot of other options in high school. Therefore, my advice to high school students regardless of their grade is to find a balance between fun and seriousness in their lives in order to get the most enjoyment and the best education out of their high school years.
During our elementary school years all our choices were made for us, whether it was who would become our playmates or what subjects would be taught to us. But when we reach middle and high school, we are given more freedom on what we can take, and this gives us the chance to explore different materials and meet people who have the same interests as us. Although by the time you are reading this you most likely have already chosen your classes for the year, you should know that it’s not too late to make some changes. In almost all high schools, there are four core classes that are required to be taken for that given year.
Homecoming dances, football games, student government and passing science class; it all seems a bit much to fit into one year. And when you hear your parents and teachers saying you’ve got to do more you probably feel close to exploding, but it’s not as scary as it seems. The year ahead is bound to be full of fun, memories and an array of achievements.
My first day of high school was daunting. I knew only a handful of other students, was wearing what I had deemed a ridiculous uniform for the first time in my life, and carried around all my textbooks because I did not realize that they were not needed every day. What I wanted to hear on that first day of high school was the reassurance that everything was going to be OK. And it was. High school was challenging academically, socially, and emotionally, but I not only got through it, but found new friendships and experiences along the way.
The summer before high school I had the next four years perfectly planned out. I was going to have a 4.0 GPA, make the speech team, do as many activities as possible, and then eventually go on to attend an Ivy League school. Needless to say, 90 percent of those things never came true. As important as it is to set goals for yourself, I set my expectations way too high. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I actually came to terms with this.
After junior year, I figured, “If I got through the ACT, SAT, and all my AP exams, I can get through anything senior year throws at me -- piece of cake!” Truth is, I find that it’s a lot more complicated than it seems.
There are plenty of things I’m hoping to get out of this school year. I’m excited about senior year! When I looked at all the past seniors they looked like they’ve had so much fun and I want to experience all of that, too. That mini feeling of being the “Top of the School.” I’m scared because I know it’s my final year and I want to do extremely well but also enjoy myself. I want to accomplish having great grades in my regular classes and in the college classes I’m taking.
I play the trumpet in my school’s marching and jazz bands. And recently I acquired a spot in the choir and show choir singing tenor. I love to write, sing, and dance. I am also aspiring to be a screenwriter. I also like helping people, and that’s why I am writing.
Taking full advantage of the high school experience and preparing for later life…