The Real Lessons Learned in High School

Dana Shefet, Editor-in-Chief

Day after day, year after year, parents kiss their children goodbye as they head off to grade school. This June, 400 Athens Drive seniors will walk across the Raleigh Convention Center stage in a moment of fame when receiving their hard-earned diploma. Graduating high school can be emotional, and for those heading off to college in the fall, it can mean leaving everything behind to embark on a new and exciting journey.

Each student has a unique high school experience, but it is safe to say that all of us have changed immensely during our years here. As freshmen, we were timid and everything was new, sophomore and junior year were times for growth and unnecessary drama, but as senior year comes full circle, we find ourselves coming into our own. All of the early mornings and late nights might have been for the academic studies, but do we really remember who was in George Washington’s cabinet? Our parents sent us to school all these years with the hopes of infusing our brains with mathematics, English, science, history, but what have we really learned in high school? Reminiscing on my past four years before I restart my life in college has left me with these final conclusions on high school:

  1. Stressing over that one bad grade on a test is not worth it. Maybe that grade brings your average down, but the constant stress is only harms you, and you are better off just studying harder next time. It is necessary to have a balance between work and play. Otherwise, you will be left with regrets in both high school and college.
  2. Not everyone is going to like you, and they do not have to. There is no need to impress anyone; being yourself is more valued and respected. Learn to tolerate others’ flaws, and as a result, you will become a more patient and understanding person.
  3. As tempting as it is, procrastinating is never a good idea. Waiting until the last minute in academics, extra-curricular activities, work, or anything else will not result in a good outcome.
  4. Hard work pays off. That feeling of accomplishment is unparalleled, and no matter what it takes to succeed at something, it will always be worth it.
  5. Believe in yourself. As cliché as it sounds, it is very accurate. If you do not believe in yourself and your abilities, who will? If you do not try, you will not succeed, and if you do not think you can, you probably will not be able to.
  6. Social media can be fun, but it is important to be aware of what you put out into the universe. Once it is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, it remains there forever, even if you delete it. Colleges and employers can access your social media accounts and potentially reject you based on the character you display on those accounts. Enjoy social media but always think twice before you hit “post”.
  7. Friendships require effort. You get what you give, and I have learned to invest more time and energy into my friendships in order to keep those friends close, especially those who I do not see on a daily basis.
  8. Having integrity is more than honorable. In the end, only you will be harmed from your lack of effort or your decision to take the easy way out. Be honest with others, but more importantly, be honest with yourself.