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The Caldron

The Caldron

The Caldron

A Chapter Ends
A Chapter Ends
June 19, 2024
The End of an Era
The End of an Era
June 19, 2024
Finishing Strong
Finishing Strong
June 14, 2024

A Chapter Ends

As my time at James Caldwell High School concludes, I can’t help but go back and reflect on my time at JCHS. It is safe to say that my experience was unconventional, given that my entire freshmen year was spent on Zoom due to COVID. I would have never imagined that my first two years of high school would be entirely dictated by a pandemic, with even my sophomore year being characterized by social distancing and wearing masks. Even though I would say that my time in high school was nothing like I would have expected it to be, I still do believe that it was a valuable experience and I learned many valuable lessons I will carry with me throughout my life. 

With my freshmen year being on zoom, I felt such a culture shock coming physically back into school during my sophomore year. In the spring of my 8th grade year, we went remote and I did not have a typical schooling experience until 8 months later, which was a really difficult transition for me. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to treat the classes as carelessly as I did on zoom, and that I would have to apply myself in order to succeed. I knew I wanted to go to college and continue my education, but that would never be able to happen if I did not try in classes. It was my sophomore year where I decided to make the best of the remainder of my high school experience, despite the fact that it was cut short.

 

One valuable lesson I learned in high school which I will carry on with me is time management. I have been a competitive dancer since elementary school, but as I got older, I became more involved in dance while also taking harder academic classes in school. I had zero choice but to learn how to manage my time. Learning time management skills is easily one of the most important lessons I gained because I would have fallen behind in my academics and/or dancing without it, and that would have prevented me from the success I have achieved. Learning to prioritize doing work earlier instead of waiting until the last minute was super important, because I did not want to have assignments pile up to the point where the only solution was missing dance. Getting a planner and keeping track of everything I had to do was a life-saving skill, and it is something I know I will carry with me wherever my life takes me. Learning time management allowed me to thrive in school, but also thrive outside of school and to follow my passions and still maintain a healthy school-life balance. 

One rare in-person day during freshman year

My advice to freshmen, and anyone in all honesty, would be to step out of your comfort zone as much as you can. I took a biology class my junior year, and I do not like science, but I ended up making some great friends in that class. I’ve learned that you are able to find good people in the most unexpected places. During my junior year, I was struggling with my own friendship problems, so having a group of friends in biology really helped me get through, and they were the stepping stones of me branching out to new people. Joining clubs, trying new sports or taking a class out of your comfort zone can be really beneficial. 

I have also started to find other passions that I have discovered through classes. I learned through my Draw-Paint class that I really enjoyed drawing, and now I have picked it up as a hobby. I would not have considered myself an artistic person at the start of the year, but with a little practice and applying myself in class, I feel like my skills are improving, and now I find drawing to be therapeutic. I would have never figured that out without taking Draw-Paint, a class I was hesitant to take because I would not have considered drawing or painting two skills I would be good at. Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, but it will pay off in the end. 

High school is not an easy ride: it is a rollercoaster with a lot of twists, turns, bumps and unexpected surprises. While I would not be one to say that I loved high school, I will say that it taught me so many lessons that I know I will carry with me throughout my entire life. Leaving high school, I want to thank all of my teachers, especially the English teachers (my favorite subject) for making high school enjoyable— and this is coming from a girl who never enjoyed school! I will be forever grateful to have had such great teachers. My final piece of advice is to remember  that it is only four years, which may feel long, but before you know it, you will be in your cap and gown, wishing you could go back or slow down time.

College Day!

Photos courtesy of Lizzy Morcom

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