Column: Welcome Back


Remember when school used to start the day after Labor Day? Sadly, no one does. School districts are pushing the start date early and early and while it can be seen as a negative things, it also has some positive spins to it: longer holidays, for example. Who doesn’t want a week long Thanksgiving Break?

Now that school has been in session for the better part of a month, it feels like life is just starting to settle into place. There are enough items in homework assignments in the grade book that the summer homework you turned in a week later is starting to even itself out. There are tests, the dreaded tests. There are school events advertised on every available surface. There are after school activities. There are all sorts of sporting events including Friday Night Lights.

Did you know that term came from the television series “Friday Night Lights” ?

As a senior, the start of school also brings the ends of things. This is the last time we will be in these halls, with these teachers, with these friends. And while it’s exciting that we are starting to move to the next stage of our lives, it is also scary; change is always met with some sort of resistance.

To the underclassmen I say this: Try to get into as many activities as you can. Never tried a sport before but have some sort of interest in it? Join it. See a club that catches your eye? Try it out for a meeting or two. Your grades do matter, but don’t stress yourself out over that A-. You’ll do plenty of that later.

To the juniors: your year is going to be stressful. This is the year that you ‘officially’ start thinking about college. The use of the word official is loose, since there are some of you who have started looking at colleges long before. And there are some of you who haven’t thought about college at all. Recall five sentences ago where I said that you’ll stress later? This is the start of later.

To my fellow seniors: They say that the four years of high school pass by you in a blur, and I have to agree with them even though we’ve only been in high school for three full years. I’m sure I’ll be saying this at the end of the year as well. You’re a senior! You have to do XXX because you’ll never been in high school again. As forced and as cliche as it sounds, I do actually believe this. Is not doing one high school activity going to be the end of the world? No. But is it probably going to be a lot of fun? And why let the opportunities for fun pass you up. They really are yours for the taking.

As we enter the sixth week of school, I hope everyone is ready to make this year theirs. 

A new year, a new you-but not really. You still look the same (except for newer clothes and a fresh haircut) you still act the same, and you still are the same. As a senior, I’ve gone through this process so many times that it’s become boring to say the least. Why try so hard to reinvent myself when in a few days I’ll be back to “normal”. I wasted a lot of time these past three years of my highschool career worried about what other people think of me, and how I can be remembered by the people that matter. But I had to ask myself the question: Who matters?

It used to be “the preps”. People who I “knew” but didn’t really know.

Then it was my teachers. I felt if I wasn’t their best student, It wasn’t good enough.

Lastly it was my friends. Sure, I love them. Yes, they mean the world to me, but they’re not me. They won’t have to look back at the decisions I made and regret them,  and they won’t have to live with the consequences.

When faced with the inevitable: college, moving out, bills and such I feel like I’m nowhere near ready. But when looking back on these past few years, I know I am.

I didn’t suffer through awkward situations with my peers, lose good friends, almost fail two different math classes, and tear my hair out stressing over AP classes for nothing. In the moment all I wanted for it was to be over, but now I want to breathe it all in. Laugh at myself, talk to people I haven’t before, and do things that make me uncomfortable.

If someone asked me what the most important thing I’ve learned in all my years of being a student I would tell them this: I’m human therefore I make mistakes;I’ll mess up really bad sometimes, and other times I’ll do well; some people will like me and others won’t, and it’s okay.

To anyone who feels like being themselves would produce less than desireable results: it won’t.

Be bold. Be brave. Don’t be ashamed to be unapologetically yourself.

Whether it’s your first year, last year, or somewhere inbetween make it unforgettable.

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