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The Caldron

The Caldron

The Caldron

Photo courtesy of Billboard.
The Holdovers Review
February 20, 2024

“I can’t wait to leave”

Along with the majority of my classmates, I have been uttering these 5 words since I stepped through the doors of JCHS on the first day of freshman year. At times I’ve meant it, but at other times I was completely lying. High school is an experience; for better or for worse it’s four years of your life trapped in one school with the same people you’ve known since elementary school. Some people thrive in high school and some people dread every single day. There’s not much you can do to make every person cherish every day spent at school. I, for one, did not cherish every day.  I didn’t always love my classes; I hated the constant studying and homework, and the whole social aspect wasn’t always thrilling, but I did enjoy my four years as a whole. Ask a lot of people and they will probably say they’ve heard me saying one of my staple phrases: “I can’t wait for college” and “I won’t miss this place” or “High school sucks.” To be candid, I probably meant every word at the moment I said these things because high school isn’t perfect. It isn’t what you dream it will be as you’re watching High School Musical in elementary school, it isn’t what your parents say it will be; it’s something unknown. The minute you step in the doors on the first day you have no clue what’s coming up in the next four years. It’s a complete mystery. I could not have possibly predicted anything that happened to me during high school. My preconceived notion of what high school would be was rather inaccurate due to the perfect movie portrayal I had seen all my life. I’m not saying that it’s an issue that high school isn’t perfect. I actually believe that that’s the most fascinating part. You don’t know what’s coming. You don’t know how to prepare for what’s next. And you certainly don’t know what will happen post graduation.

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I hated middle school. Actually, I despised middle school with every ounce of my being. Because of this I entered high school assuming it would disappoint me just like middle school did. I was never thrilled with the idea of going to school for four years with the same old people I’ve known all my life, but I went anyways because I’m required to both by law and my parents. I quickly learned that high school can be awful and you can be miserable all four years, if that’s what you choose.

After spending four years at JCHS, I’ve determined that high school is what you make it. It can be the best years of your life, it could be the worst years of your life, or it could be four years full of great memories and opportunities. You can be friends with people who tear you down or you can find friends who support and motivate you. You can have an in school suspension everyday or you can be the valedictorian. High school is a place full of teenagers, teachers, tables, desks, but most importantly decisions. Every aspect of your high school experience is chosen by you. It is what you make it and speaking from experience, I suggest you work to make it phenomenal.

High school is a crucial four years. You are a teenager in the most confusing and difficult time in your life thrown together with hundreds of other teenagers attempting to find out who they are as well. It’s not simple and it’s not always fun but without high school I wouldn’t have learned about my peers, my interests, and my self. High school taught me numerous lessons: friends aren’t always forever, memories are important, every single test score doesn’t matter, and your mistakes don’t define you. Some people don’t grasp the lessons that high school offers you. These people, I would assume, struggle in the future. You need to look around in high school. You need to see who you want to be and how you want others to see you. Even if you “can’t wait to leave” even if you can barely get out of bed because you hate every aspect of school, you need to open your eyes and actually see what these four years can offer you.

Along with a great education foundation that can get you into your top colleges, high school gives you knowledge that will forever impact your life. I spent four years of my life thinking I would never miss high school. I told people I’d easily leave it behind and honestly I thought I was telling them the truth. But as graduation grows near, I’m realizing that I didn’t hate high school and I didn’t hate all of my classes. Out of the four years here I enjoyed a pretty good portion of the days.  I made friends I never would’ve expected to make, I took classes that showed me my passions, and I had experiences that strengthened my morals and knowledge in general. High school isn’t perfect and sometimes you might seriously think it’s the worst place in the world, but the four years go quickly and even though you might not believe me, you’re going to miss it.

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