If we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ve all read the Buzzfeed lists: “27 Things You Should Do Before You Leave High School” or “10 Things You Wish You Would’ve Known About Being a High School Senior.” There’s no shame in that. The advice given in those articles can be helpful, but the reality is you’ve heard it before. Most likely, when you click on those links and scroll through the entertaining gifs and pictures, they’re not telling you anything new. Everyone knows that you should try to make the most of your high school experience before it’s too late, and everyone knows you don’t want to graduate having regrets. If you’re anything like me, reading those articles only creates unnecessary stress and results in putting pressure on yourself to have the “perfect” or “ideal” high school experience.
With all the stress and anxiety of senior year, having to worry about making memories and having the best year of high school is something we seniors do not need on our plates. We already are constantly bombarded with the dreaded question of where we will attend college. This is shortly followed by what we are planning to study, become involved in, and many other details of our future plans that we have most likely not had time to even think about.
In an attempt to search for the best piece of underrated advice, I asked two recent high school graduates their opinions on what they wish someone would have told them before they graduated high school. Allison Glockner, graduate of Ursuline Academy and current 7th grade teacher at Winburn Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky, said she wished someone would’ve told her to wait to worry about future college majors and career paths until after high school. She suggests that everyone “experiment with different classes, clubs, and extra-curriculars in high school and college to discover your interests.” Allison believes that “if you take time to discover your true passions when you’re young, you’ll save time in the long run.” Similarly, Ryan Reen, graduate of St. Theodore Guerin High School and current junior at Ball State University, would give advice to enjoy the social aspects of high school while also remembering the importance of schoolwork. He would tell a current student “don’t kill yourself with school to the point that that’s all you’re doing” because while “high school is a time to learn, it’s important to get involved in clubs and other things.”
I am confident that my time at SUA has allowed me the opportunities to explore my interests and become involved in a variety of clubs and programs. Four years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be writing this article, leading a service club, or taking advanced placement classes. Attending the Academy was the first opportunity I had to choose my own path and, although I made many mistakes along the way, I am grateful for where this road is has led me. Looking back now, all the cliché advice that I have ever been told is definitely applicable. The past four years flew by and each year I tried to move forward with the goal in mind of having fewer regrets than the last. But what I have come to appreciate is the deep familiarity and comfort that comes with senior year. Nobody ever told me that I would make new friends, recognize and greet so many people in the hallway, or feel so at home this year. Senior year has turned all of my doubt and careful treading, walking on egg shells so to speak, as an underclassmen into a very rewarding and satisfying experience. I would tell underclassmen now not to rush your high school experience. The feeling of being a fourth-quarter senior is indescribable but it comes at the end for a reason, so that’s the feeling you’ll remember forever when you think back on your days at SUA.