And so it begins, another year of high school. To be completely honest, we’re probably all a little nostalgic and teary-eyed for #Summer2k14. Going on beach day trips and bringing the beach back home with the astounding amount of sand found in, well, everything, lazy afternoons filled with lemonade and laughter, late night deep convos with your best friends. We can only longingly sigh and dream of returning to such a carefree and blissful state of mind…and then go back to doing our “summer” homework.
But if all we live for are these summer days, what happens to all the other days in-between?
For most, this means a repeating cycle of lectures, classwork, homework, tests, exams, over and over until June 16 (tentatively, depending on how many snow days we get) comes around, and we finally get the freedom and relaxation we so crave after slaving away at our loads of work all year, barely getting a hint of sleep or hardly seeing any sunlight—only the artificial brightness of study lights.
We feel you. We really do.
However, before you think about this upcoming year as a huge weight on your shoulders (literally it seems like, with the textbooks in your backpack weighing you down), we want to help you get a grasp on what the school year really should mean to you.
You only have a limited number of days at South, and the majority of us are already running out of these precious days.
Whether you’re the so-called wide-eyed sophomore freaking out about classes and how to open your locker (hint: you don’t), or you’re the seasoned, sleepy-eyed senior procrastinating on those college apps (senioritis is an actual thing), just remember, time goes by fast. And I mean, fast. As in, you feel like one day you’re walking around with maps to help you find every class, and then the next day, you’re stuck in a graduation cap and gown and you have no idea how you just managed to pull that off.
Life goes by fast, and it doesn’t slow down for anyone.
You can either skip classes, fail to complete homework, and sleep all day, trying to put off as much as you can to the last possible second. I mean, why bother, you’re only a teenager, right? Or, you can choose to acknowledge your future.
You can choose to realize you only have a few of these days left of high school and a few of these days left of being a teenager. Rather than slack off, all it takes is a little bit of effort (and a lot of coffee) to really see what you can do. This means actually trying.
What if you actually attended every single class? What if you actually completed and handed in your homework all the time? What if you actually developed a normal sleeping schedule?
We might not know your name, your personality, or your appearance, but it doesn’t matter. What we do know is that you will see improvement. 100% guarantee, full refund.
The truth is, the more you put into something, the more you will get out. Don’t think you’re not smart enough or you’re not good enough. The fact is, in order to become “smart enough” or “good enough,” you actually have to work.
That girl who you think is magically amazing at chemistry? Yeah, she studies it every single day, every second she can get. That girl who you think has a God-given talent of singing? Yeah, she sings every single day, every second she can get. That boy who you think is a natural-born athlete and wins every single race every single time? Yeah, he trains every single day, every second he can get.
Why? Because they love what they do. And that’s the trick to becoming “smart enough” or “good enough” for anything and everything there is. You simply have to care about it enough. Engross yourself in what you want to become better at because eventually, you will.
Finding something you’re passionate about can be difficult, and if this is the case, find something to become passionate about that you know can definitely benefit your future. Writing, reading, or practicing your speaking skills are a few examples of sure skills that hold true value and will benefit you no matter where you go.
When we say skills with “true value,” we mean skills that cannot be bought. Skills that require conquering lots and lots of difficulties and fears, and inputting time and time again into these skills.
No one’s going to remember that you had the latest iPhone or how many “likes” you got on that selfie you posted on Instagram. While these things may feel good at first, it’s only temporary. Skills, however, are permanent and are actual, substantial things that stay with you forever. And forever is a long, long time.
Don’t be afraid of the future because you’re scared of what it holds. Make your own future because you have all the opportunity to build your own future. You just haven’t ever realized it yet. Depending on how much you try and how much you work, you will form your own future.
If you slack off in class, don’t do any homework, shrug off any additional help offered, don’t expect to suddenly make millions of dollars or live on thousands of acres of land. You can only get what you put in. If you put in the absolute minimum, that’s what you’re going to get in return.
We admit it: high school is stressful. We’re high schoolers too. We understand. Yet, that’s not an excuse to use to hide away from the realities of the world we live in. Falling behind and giving up aren’t options if you want to keep up and succeed.
Success is built upon years and years of hard work and dedication, and high school is where you actually have an opportunity to succeed. High school is about a period of transition. You are transitioning into the real life and becoming an adult. You are an adult at age 18. Most likely, if you’re reading this, you have three years or fewer to go, before being an actual adult. In the grand scheme of things, three years is nothing.
In high school, you have your teachers, your guidance counselors, and your peers to help you along the way. Don’t be afraid confide or ask for advice when you need it. No, you’re not stupid, and you should not feel embarrassed at all. You’re utilizing the resources you have, which is the most important thing a person can do.
Take calculated chances, be bold, and embrace everything that’s thrown in your way. Be someone you are proud of. Be someone your little kid self would be proud of. Be someone your future self would be proud of.
You only live once, and you only go through high school once (hopefully!). Instead of dreading this year, view it with anticipation—the world is yours.
So don’t just live for these summer days. Live for these summer days and all those days in-between because whether you realize it or not, there will always be summer, but there will not always be high school. Cherish it, appreciate it, and make every single one of those in-between days count.