It’s almost hard to believe that high school is essentially over, and in a few weeks, I’ll probably be walking across a (virtual) stage to commend these past years. While the cancellation of over half the second semester makes our high school experience feel somewhat incomplete, I’m still more than grateful for the past three and a half years at Richard Montgomery.
I think that while we tend to center academics as our greatest priority, we end up learning so much more from our extracurriculars and peers. An especially clear example of that for me would (unsurprisingly) be this newspaper — a club that I originally joined just to improve my writing skills, but one that I am leaving with a love for journalism that I’ll definitely take into college. This club not only taught me the importance of the press, but also invaluable skills in teamwork, and a close network of friends I hope to stay in contact with after receiving my diploma.
Ultimately, however, when I think about my four years of high school, it’s almost shocking how little I remember. Most of the major events — homecomings, my best memories, my worst conflicts — are clear in my head, but almost everything else feels like a blur.
So, looking back on my freshman year self, if I could tell my past self one thing, it would be simple: not everything is that deep. My freshman year struggled to keep up with a new level of coursework, my sophomore year self struggled to manage a handful of extracurriculars with a job, and my junior year self struggled to keep up academic responsibilities in the midst of a handful of personal issues. Now they are all but distant memories; on the other hand, my development of time management skills, discovery of my passions and a sense of emotional growth will stick with me for the rest of my life.
In general, high school is, and always will be, what you make of it. These years are arguably the most important in terms of our emotional development into adulthood, so take a step back to enjoy them. You won’t remember the tests you failed or the petty fights you’ve had, but you will remember the activities you’ve loved, your memories with your closest friends, and the teachers who have shaped you into the person you are today.