The effort you put in will pay off

By Maria Maldonado on August 28, 2013
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In life, there’s a bit of everything, and it all has its own timing. Right now, high school has arrived. High school seems difficult, but the way you approach it makes all the difference. Take advantage of this time to better yourself for

 the future. These four years are filled with opportunities for you, and I encourage you to take advantage of everything that high school has to offer.

I participated in a few clubs in high school, and I was fully committed in the clubs I participated in. By senior year, I was officer of two clubs. Although it was a lot of work, it was definitely worth my time. Choose a few you are interested in and be fully committed. It’s fun, and I recommend that students participate.

Explore opportunities, learn something new 
I also volunteered in my community, and it was really fun! Volunteering is a great opportunity to help others. Pick an organization to be part of, or do a bit of everything. It helps you appreciate what you have and understand how important it is to help others. By volunteering, I was inspired to someday create my own charitable organization. Although I can’t do that right now, I know I can still make my contribution in my community.

High school is all about you. I wish someone would have emphasized that more to me. We are sometimes forced to believe that high school is just a place where popularity is the main goal, but that is completely false. Don’t be afraid to learn something new. High school is your time -- an opportunity to shape the person you want to be. This is a time filled with opportunities and lessons to help you succeed after high school.

Utilize tutors, career center, counselors
Take advantage of any help the school offers and use that to better yourself. I struggled in some of my classes, and although my school offered tutoring, I never attended. I regret not acknowledging that I did need help. Each new school year, you have the opportunity to prove to yourself you are better now than you were the last year, and shape yourself as a mature young adult.

Every effort you put into high school will make a difference. Many high schools have a career center where information about colleges, universities, scholarships, jobs, and other programs is provided. I spent much of my senior year there because their help was very beneficial to me. I regret not going my first three years. The career center helped me so much senior year, and I can imagine how much it would have helped me all four years. There are people to help you, but it’s your responsibility to ask for help.

I also asked for help from a few counselors my senior year. It is very important to visit and talk to your counselors about your classes and future goals. They are there to give you advice, but you have the final say in your decisions. I strongly recommend that you start exploring possibilities about what you want to do after high school -- what will make you happy and what you’re passionate about. Stay on track with graduation requirements! Keep yourself motivated and remember that every effort you put in is for yourself and for you to have the future you want.

Have the courage to rise above average
Don’t be afraid to shine! Don’t feel like you need to be average. Show your potential and the person you are. The shine you show can help and inspire others to use the courage they carry. We all have courage; our fears are what prevent us from using it. Choose to let your courage take over your fears. High school is your time to explore the possibilities after high school, time to decide what you want for yourself. Take advantage of this time, and choose the way you want to go. You’re the one traveling the path you choose, so why not choose a good one?

About the Author

Maria Maldonado

Maria Maldonado


Ventura College, Ventura, California
Hometown: Oxnard, California

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