Welcome (back) to high school.
As summer vacation comes to an end, many students will welcome school back into their daily lives, seeing again friends and acquaintances whose faces have appeared only in thoughts and dreams. Ironically, however, the same students will end up wishing for days off school after a few days.
Many of these complaints derive themselves from workloads or grades. To continue this school’s tradition of excellence, it should not surprise students that classes increase significantly in intensity once the curriculum gains momentum after the first few weeks of school. By that time, as you stroll through the halls during a passing period, it won’t be uncommon to hear classmates soliciting each other for information about recent quizzes or exams, hoping to grasp maybe an extra point or streamline their studying.
I’ll have to admit, I have been guilty of occasionally trying to exploit my friends, too. But at times I feel that the idea of school in the minds of some students has been so overly dominated by points and percentages that these people are missing the point of education.
There was a phrase that the orchestra director here used. Roughly quoting him, it went something like this: “Don’t let your academics get in the way of your learning.”
This might seem a bit paradoxical at first, but there is a truth in it that we can all learn from. In my past three years here, I have often seen classmates too bogged down with worrying about how many points they receive on the test or what percent they need on a project to get a satisfactory grade in the class to even understand or realize what they’re learning about.
Instead of calculating the mass of the limiting reactant or the answer to a tough algebra problem, they are more concerned with calculating the minimum number of points they need. Not to undermine the universal gauge of student performance, but grades are not the most important goal a student should pursue in high school, contrary to popular belief. What’s more important is that you should use school to not only learn about the subjects you chose to study, but also to learn about yourself.
I know this sounds extremely cliché, but learning about yourself is essential to finding that comfortable niche in which you will reside for the remainder of your life. Don’t believe that the most popular paths out there are the best – the best career path is the one that fits you.
There are careers out there that may not pay well or are less well-known. But these things should not matter to you if you are passionate about the subject. Sure, a doctor might have a higher salary than a librarian, but if you know that practicing medicine or working with patients doesn’t particularly interest you, there is no reason why you should be aiming for that career. A low-paying passion leads to a happier life than a lucrative burden.
Take the time to really try and find something you’re passionate about this year. Branch out and explore subjects you think you might be interested in. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Four school years is shorter than you may think, a popular senior phrase goes. Make the most out of it.