Four more years: Welcome to high school

John Vassiliou, Online Managing Editor

Well, it’s that time of year again, at least in some ways. You’re probably accustomed to the whole “back-to-school” process by now, and you’re most likely being constantly reassured by your parents that high school is better than middle school, and the other usual cliches.

But entering high school represents more than just a few awkward days of getting used to the school and its rhythm. It symbolizes the last few steps of your childhood years.

Now look, I know, I can hardly call 14, 15, 16, and 17-year-olds “children,” in the usual sense. Trust me, I know quite a few kids who have grown up way faster than they should have, relatively speaking. And despite what some will tell you, there are plenty of minors at school who are brighter than lots of adults in the world.

Having established that, there is still one aspect of your lives that distinguishes “the men from the boys” so to say, and that is summed up in one word: opportunity.

Im not here to give you the simple, tips for your first few weeks; I’ve already done that in another article. Instead, I want to stress to you the main thing that I swear is every senior’s first regret.

Trust me, I know, I was in your shoes once and I didn’t take much of what any of the seniors said seriously either. But for the love of all that is holy, Just. Hear. Me. Out. I’m not going to try to get you to “feel” anything or try to make you empathize with us, that’s irrelevant, I just want you to listen to what I’m going to tell you, digest it, and think.

You currently have your last chances laid out before you to get involved in different clubs, activities, and sports. You can’t going to waltz into college and then decide that you want to go out for the baseball team, only to find out that your in competition with a bunch of guys who have made the tops of rosters at their high schools. Now is much more forgiving than the future, you can make mistakes, you can still learn from them, and you can adjust for the future when the stakes are raised.

The same will apply for your academics; colleges like to see diverse transcripts and myriads of extracurriculars. Making yourself stand out in your class, or even just maintaining good grades and throwing in a club or two, will make your chances of getting into your top colleges improve drastically. Getting a leg up now, and maintaining it throughout the school will be a lot more practical than trying to systematically determine what grades you have to get in what classes to get your GPA up to a certain number. Instead of applying unrealistic standards, know your strengths and weaknesses, and work to consistently improve yourself.

I’m not an expert on anything; everything I’m telling you is my opinion, not fact, but it is an opinion that is widely shared amongst students and staff alike. Take advantage of your opportunities. Don’t let yourself get bogged down by an impossible goal, but also give yourself higher expectations, and work to advance yourself both in academics and as a person.

Don’t waste what’s left of your childhood because it will be one of the biggest regrets you will have to bear for the rest of your life. You’re only young once, so enjoy it.