Feature Photo By: Hannah Metzger – Senior Chris Arias poses on a pile of homework laid out on a desk. While students are constantly being told that high school will be the best years of their lives, many high school students find the four years to be filled with stress and anxiety rather than carefree fun.
By: Jaylen Dunbar, Review Staff
It seems as if the majority of adults feel the need to tell high schoolers to enjoy the “best four years of your life,” but how accurate is that? A statement as ambiguous as that is full of loopholes; my life isn’t over so how can these definite years be pinned as “the best”? How can you simply demean my middle and elementary years? Is it impossible for the best year of my life to be second grade in 2008?
Maybe it is nostalgia finally hitting that causes these adults to say this expression. Sure, behind rose tinted glasses, the past is full of phenomenal moments; they reminisce about the parties, dances, their friends, the multitude of marvelous moments in a high school experience. Granted these moments do exist, but not nearly in the quantity adults believe they do.
Sure, it’s possible to spend lunch laughing with friends, joking about TV shows or playing games on your phones together, but for every one of these moments comes the nights spent in fatigue reading textbooks or on the verge of collapse while writing a five page essay.
It is possible that I am an outlier; that I’m the only person who believes their high school experience is nowhere near the “best four years of my life,” yet there is reasoning behind my belief. Entering freshman year, I was at my lower point. I was separated from the majority of my friends from middle school, entering a new territory, and feeling unwelcomed. This, along with my first introduction to a loved one’s death, caused freshmen year to not only earn the title of my worst year of high school, but the worst year of my life.
Recollecting on my sophomore year, I remember my torturous first semester. I remember the days I sat at the kitchen table well past midnight typing away at research papers and chemistry homework. Yet, at the same time, I remember my excellent second semester; prioritizing enjoying high school rather than not and reaping the benefits of that mindset.
Then came junior year, this year…
While it’s too early to judge if high school will be the best years of my life, I can safely say that it is a possibility. From personal experience, I can assure that high school has its ups and downs; it can be full of great moments and dreadful moments. Regardless, high school occurs at a stage too early in life to firmly say it is the “best years of a life.”
By: Chris Arias, Review Staff
“Get ready. These are going to be the best four years of your life,” says my first high school’s principal as he stands in front of a not-so full auditorium of impressionable freshmen. I sat hanging on his every word, full of fear, excitement, and anticipation for the future.
My high school experience has been anything but conventional. I came to Rangeview after two other high schools where my attendance had suffered because of my ongoing struggles with mental illness.
During my sophomore year, I was hospitalized for bulimia nervosa. I remember sitting in my treatment center, wondering if I would ever get better, unsure if I would graduate, unsure if I would even make it to college. I remember feeling hopeless and feeling like my life was out of my control. When I went back to school, I hated it. I was super behind in all of my classes and I had a hard time fitting back in; it’s impossible to disappear for two months and seamlessly assimilate back in. I just wanted it to be over.
But here’s the thing: it got better. Yeah, it sucked, and it was monumentally hard, but it got better. I grew up and learned so much about myself.
So, maybe high school is not the best four years of your life, but I think it might be four of the most influential. These four years are the years that prepare you for adulthood and that begin to shape you as a person.
Four years later, as I sitting in front of a computer screen in my new high school, in a new city, reminiscing about my past journey, and I feel grateful. I feel grateful for the tolerance and the truths that high school has taught me. I feel grateful for the successes and serendipitous moments that I have seen. And once again, I am filled with fear, excitement and anticipation for the future.
By: Dominique Harlan, Review Staff
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of the word “best” is, “most productive of good; offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction.” “High school is what you make it,” the saying goes.
It could be argued that the curriculum, criteria requirements, and expectations have increased as the years have gone by for high school students. There is a heavier weight on student’s backs, and I’ve heard more people remark they can’t wait to graduate rather than celebrate the four years we attend. But, what is best to me personally isn’t what is “most productive of good,” as the definition of the word “best” states, it is what is effective, inspiring,hopeful. High school, for me, has been this. Thus, it so far has been the best two (out of the four) years of my life.
High school has taught me so much, I have grown beyond belief and I still have two more promising years to go. I have made so many mistakes that I’ve learned from, opened up to so many different cultures, and really exposed myself to the world. For other people who use high school as a time to slack off or create negative connotations, the experience may be nothing but a waste of time. But, I have learned to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, be open to new ideas, and not be afraid to make mistakes.
High school is what you make it, and so far I’m beyond pleased with how far I’ve come.
By: Vanessa Guereca, Review Staff
From the first day of freshman orientation, the most repeated phrase, “high school is the best four years of your life,” has lurked around in my head as I thought of the endless possibilities that the next four years would carry for me.
We expect it to be full of delights; at 16 you get a car and at 17 you get to go out with your friends and have fun. Well, I’m not denying that these things do occur, but rather, things are much more unexpected than we thinks.
In the average school day, students have about seven hours of seat time per day with, usually, 5-6 different subjects being crammed into our brains. “Be involved,” they say. My schedule consists of a college readiness program after school, school sports, and various AP classes. I usually arrive home at around 6:30PM, and that’s if I don’t have to go shopping for extra materials or just go out for family events.
How do I plan to go out with my friends with the amount of work I have to do?
“Best four years of your life.”
Sometimes I wish I were like the students who couldn’t care less about their grades. Night after night I constantly stress to finish my assignments on time and also having them be of good quality. Caffeine is already my best friend on the long nights filled with stacks of work. I will not deny that I procrastinate. For as much as I tell myself not to, it’s sometimes inevitable. Balancing whether I should do homework or finish up my scholarship application is difficult when I can’t seem to decide which is potentially more important.
These four years of your life could be the best regardless of the stress. You mature and learn that not everyone will remain your friend and there should be no shame. You learn to rely on yourself and yourself only. Along with high school comes more trips, more spending of money; you’re more independent.
The freedom you’ve always desired arrives and it’s bittersweet. You continue to tackle responsibilities while also being able to guide yourself. Your training wheels start to loosen and eventually, you’ll ride on your own.
High school is what you make of it. It can be the best four years but don’t forget there is a lifetime ahead of you. With one year left, I yearn to leave but am also afraid of what’s waiting for me in college. My advice is to live life in the moment; a number, a paper, a statistic, does not define who you are.