By: Dan Galal
As a wise man once said: “time moves in minutes, and these minutes can be broken up into seconds, and even microseconds, if you can think that fast.” Now that I’ve included an inspiration quote meditating on the concept and elusiveness of time, I can discuss my four years at JCHS.
In all seriousness, graduating in a few weeks is an interesting feeling. For some reason, it doesn’t feel very important. Yes, I understand that my high school graduation is technically a very important event; it is the culmination of years of work and it will allow me fulfill the “high school diploma” requirement on job applications. However, the weight of the occasion hasn’t hit me yet. Maybe it will soon, who knows. Despite this, high school itself was certainly a transformative experience for me. I learned more about myself, about others, about how to learn and think, how to have fun; high school is definitely an example of the journey being more impactful than the result.
As a freshman I came in with a few goals. I wanted to, for one, iron out my image; as the self-admitted weirdo in middle school, I wanted to salvage my reputation a bit. I also wanted to improve academically, both a personal goal and a partial result of outside pressure. I spent my first year nervously attacking both goals. Studying and academics became more of a focus, and I guess that meant I had less time to be weird. In retrospect, I probably spent too much time thinking and worrying about school, and this continued into sophomore year.
At the end of sophomore year, I first began exhibiting symptoms of early-onset senioritis. Not to say I stopped caring about school, but I think I made the wise decision to allow myself to mess up. This made me more interested in my schoolwork than ever; class is more interesting when you forget about the reading quiz and instead just enjoy the reading. I also started getting involved in more extracurricular activities during my junior year. I started writing for The Caldron, joined some clubs, and got a part-time job. These experiences taught me valuable lessons that hold equal importance to my academic experience. What you do outside of school is just as valuable as what you put into the classroom.
Any piece of writing from 2021 wouldn’t be complete without COVID-19. The lockdowns and subsequent Zoom school was a case study in how important personal relationships are to the high school experience. Class is more engaging and oftentimes benefits from being with your peers. As we reopen to a fully in-person experience, I think we can all appreciate the value of learning in a class, not from your bed.
I’m excited to move on from JCHS but will look back fondly on my four years here. The faculty and students here have given me a lot of great experiences and amusing anecdotes. And outside of the classroom, all my experiences with friends—from the meaningful to the profoundly stupid—I’ll look on back with fondness.