Returning students, read this: Seniors on The Talon staff share lessons they’ve learned from four years of high school
When it comes to graduating, many of us seniors wish we had been given advice about how to conquer high school in the most effective and entertaining way. Instead of giving you this advice based off of my mistakes, I will instead present you with the wise guidance I have accumulated based on some successes.
First, take an art class. Take as many art classes as you can. Art changes the way you view the world. Through taking graphic design, I now constantly notice fonts and colors and layout.
Second, if you are placed in a class you don’t think you’ll enjoy, always wait it out two weeks before you switch. And on top of that, enter the room with an open mind. Taking classes you wouldn’t normally choose for yourselfallows you to discover part of yourself you would otherwise not have known about. I didn’t think I would enjoy journalism, but I was horribly mistaken.
Third, ifyou are given the choice between staying up late to finish an assignment or waking up early to complete it, always stay up. You can try to convince yourself that you’ll wake up when your alarm goes off, but we both know that’s not true. Don’t lie. Take the time to get it done and then check over it in the morning. And to that point, don’t overwork yourself because of homework. Unless it’s the senior term paper.
And finally, be nice to your parents. Watch TV with them instead of sitting in your room. Go to dinner with them every now and then instead of with your friends. Thank them for everything, no matter what it is. And always allow them to hug you in front of your friends.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my snarky cynicism while it lasted. Ok let’s be for real you probably didn’t but that’s beside the point. To play the fake revolutionary, my advice to you is to ask questions and challenge authority.
Don’t let any teacher, or any class make you feel any less intelligent than you actually are. Don’t let them/it steal your self-worth. Minnehaha’s student body can be incredibly competitive when it comes to academics. I used that as an excuse to give up.
I’m graduating with around a 2.4 GPA, and while I’m not proud ofit, I’ve learned to not be ashamed of it either. I’ve learned to own my mistakes and pick myself up off the ground and stop feeling sorry for myself, taking the time out of my day to feel ashamed is what made me feel sorry for myself.
Value your academics and don’t slack off, but never feel hopeless. I’m still going to a great college, and I’ve been given the opportunity to salvage my educational career. Acceptance rates don’t measure the quality of education, so don’t let anyone say that their college is better than yours just because they let more people in.
But this has been far too serious for my taste. I really want sushi. Ok bye.
The purpose of attending a preparatory high school is to get ready for college. Starting freshman year, many Minnehaha students consider which classes will look best on a transcript and pad their college applications with a variety of activities that often teach them about the nature of commitment, hard work and service. Students do so much to prepare for the most important event of senior year: getting into a good college.
Getting into a good college is important, but it’s not the most important. There are things of far greater consequence to young men and women. Holding the respect of your peers is more important. Realizing that everyone does
something better than you is more important. Regaining lost trust is more important. Knowing when to keep doing that assignment and when to go to bed is more important. Workinghardtomaketimeforyour friends is more important.
To those returning to high school, don’t squander your time. Remember that these are the years you couldn’t wait for when you were younger. Become friends with everyone you can, because you can’t always predict what other people can teach you.
To those graduating, don’t consider high school trivial and inconsequential as soon as you get your diplomas. You grew up at Minnehaha, so honor that. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to let it go. Greater and greater moments are just around the corner, so embrace them. Stay hungry for knowledge, define your own success and amaze yourself.
In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche described an obedient camel. This camel bore the burdens of its world, carrying whatever its masters directed. It didn’t discriminate against one burden or another; its job was to carry, not to ask questions.
Until it became a lion. Until it started asking questions, and until it started to understand defiance in terms of the action, rather than the word.
And then, the lion was a child. Innocent and unfettered, yet less obstinate than its former form. The child, already proven itself, took up burdens on its own terms and without ostentation.
The moral of this story? Find your own. But take the time to look hard. I suggest you start by reading thick books by dead people with funny last names.
Four years seems like an eternity as a freshman, but, from a senior perspective, it slips away from you so very fast. I honestly can’t believe I’m graduating and finally entering the world of adulthood and professionalism. I didn’t really get to know most of you, but here are some things that I wish someone had told me about high school:
1. Classes get more and more difficult; don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
2. Staying up late/all night to finish an assignment is fine; just don’t make it a habit.
3. It’s OK to get frustrated and angry with school; just don’t stop trying.
4. Social drama is unnecessary; staying out of it will make your life much easier.
5. I know it sounds cliché, but don’t be too concerned about what others think about you. If you learn to be comfortable with yourself, you’ll have a much easier time.
If you retain nothing else from reading this, please know that under no circumstance should you discount your high school experience as meaningless or trivial. You are so blessed to be able to attend a school where the faculty and staff genuinely care about you. I learned so much about who I am and what is really important in life while in high school.
Jessamine Von Arx
High school is the place where some thrive but many count the days until it’s over. Until the week is over, then until the next break, and then until summer. It is just a rush of pack-filled schedules and moving on to the next thing, not necessarily enjoying where you’ve been.
As a senior I can honestly say leaving is bittersweet. I am ready to be done with high school: with the petty drama, competition for the best grade and irritating brothers I drive home each day. I’m glad to be done with all ofthose things, but theperksofmovingoncomeswith a cost. Growing up is hard: making tough decisions, moving away from
family and friends and taking on unimaginable responsibility. Nobody said it was easy, that I know for sure.
My advice to you is to enjoy high school while it’s here and take advantage of your youth. Enjoy the meals your parents pay for and enjoy the sports season you take for granted now. Be with the people that make you laugh until it hurts and the people that will do stupid things with you just because. It goes by quicker than you think, and though I’m telling you all of this now, many of you won’t listen, and before you know it your high school career will be over, too.
So just know you won’t remember the score you got on that history test sophomore year when it comes to the end. Instead you will remember the time you stayed in the parking lot for an hour after a softball game just to laugh with your friends. Enjoy being a kid and find the people who will do the same.
High school is a culmination of the good and the bad, but yet again so is life. Some good in my high school life includes the unexpected friendships I made, the tests I persisted through, the deep conversations about life and faith I had and the clothes that I often ended up with (kind of like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants).
I’m sure many ofyou in the midst of all the work and all the drama find it difficult to see the good, but it’s there. I promise. As I look back at high school and look forward to college I would like to inspire you with the words of Albert Einstein: “Strive not for success, but rather to be of value.” I think in this day and age we are pressured to be so many things, and that pressure becomes our breaking point. I know college is going to be hard; I’m setting myself up for it, but I’ve grown in my years, and I’ve grown in my identity and urge you all to do the same.
The standards that your school, society,friendsandacquaintances make don’t have to define you. One of my close friends is the master
of individuality: she laughs at her mistakes, worries minimally, and brings lightheartedness to any situation. She is free. To you I say, be free to succeed and win, but also be free to fail and stumble because imperfection is innate and valuable in its uniqueness.