Four years ago, I entered high school immature and inexperienced but I left wiser, more responsible, and with a new sense of direction.
Those years resulted differently than I had planned entering high school, but I am satisfied with the way things changed for me. Graduation, to me, signified the result of all that hard work, and it was extremely satisfying. It was extremely challenging at times, and looking back, I wish I only knew all that I know now. I do have some newfound insight to offer, so I’ll do so as one who’s recently been in your place. To the freshmen and sophomores:
During my own freshman and sophomore years, I only performed mediocre work in order to pass my classes, and I declined to participate in extracurricular activities. I slacked off early, and it took a lot of hard work for me to compensate for the years that I was lazy.
I urge you not to do as I did during those years, but rather to learn from my mistakes. The earlier you slack off, the harder you have to work in the end in order to have a respectable grade point average. It really pays off in the end, too, to participate in extracurricular activities, take challenging classes, and do well throughout all of your years in high school. I now realize that it takes hard work and dedication to succeed not only in school, but also in life. Take full advantage of what your school has to offer to make sure you’re getting the lessons and experiences that will help you most.To the juniors:
My junior year was the year I discovered my potential. Even through the challenges of this year, I would advise you to continue to work hard, because it will pay off in the end. I would also encourage you to participate in leadership activities, which not only enhance your college application, but also provide you with the opportunity to grow as a person.
Another thing you can do at this stage that can be very helpful is get on a regular check-in plan with your counselor. Such is a great way to make sure you’re always on track to graduate; for think of how heartbreaking to you it would be if you were to discover that you were missing a credit during your senior year.
I know the biggest hurdle to overcome during this time of one’s high school career is the college entrance exams. Studying and practicing make perfect, like in all tests. There are numerous books and websites that focus on what skill sets one should focus on in order to achieve a great score; I advise you, then, to practice as much as you can. These tests follow the same format, and being familiar with that format places you at an advantage. You should also be narrowing down the list of colleges you wish to attend, and prepare for those applications next fall. If you take these simple steps now, it will be easier for you, believe me, when application time comes next fall.To the seniors:
This is the year I remember too well, as I was overwhelmed with college brochures and could not decide where to apply for college. However, I was able to make a clear choice after a few college visits, which are extremely insightful. You should aim for that college that provides you with the best fit. As for college’s huge price tags, remember that there are numerous scholarships for those willing to work for them; it may be as simple as writing an essay or stating your accomplishments.
Watch that you don’t catch “senioritis” if you can help it. In my own short tussle with it, I soon realized that when you slack, your grades do not remain stagnant, they go down. I even know people who slacked off so bad that they didn’t achieve graduation. Would you want that to be you?
Everyone has different ideas and thoughts about what should be done during those years, but I know the future is in your hands, no matter what you decide to do. Ultimately, only you can make decisions that affect your life outcome. Just like those Nike commercials say: “Write the future.” The pen is in your hands. What will you write?