Senior offers three points of advice

By Matthew Shepherd, ’19

Even though scheduling week finished on the eighth of February, many juniors, sophomores and freshmen can’t help but worry about what next year will bring. They worry about the larger workload, the harder classes and, in the juniors’ case, applying for college and completing Capstone. Sadly, I can’t promise these students that everything will be great in the years to come; high school will always be stressful, and it will never be without difficulty.

That being said, as a senior who has spent four years in this school and is getting ready to leave for college, there are a few things which I can tell every student to help them prepare for the upcoming years.

1. Don’t center your life around getting into college

High school, despite its flaws, offers a lot of fantastic opportunities touching all areas of life. You can learn instruments, sing, dance, play sports, become an artist, learn about history and so much more. Sadly, many of these opportunities are squandered when someone believes that taking a non-honors course and thus lowering his or her GPA will  disadvantage them for colleges. This, frankly, is untrue. As I’ve learned from doing lots of research and being interviewed at various places, colleges like to see high academic performance but also want students who will make their communities more engaging and diverse. This means that taking an art class, although maybe slightly reducing your GPA, will not hurt you. With that in mind, do what you enjoy, because your time to do so in high school will run out before you know it.

2. Don’t procrastinate. Really.

This advice is one that I give from the experience of four years of procrastinating, a streak that I have only recently started to break. I would sometimes even complete assignments the day they were due, just because I hadn’t wanted to do them until absolutely necessary. Although I thought this was giving me more time to do other things, it was really only stressing me out and lessening the amount of time I could spend on leisure activities. Rather than spend time with friends on Sundays, I would complete that week’s big project because I hadn’t done it earlier. Worse, I was more stressed than necessary, meaning I didn’t enjoy a lot of what I was doing in school. If you choose not to procrastinate, you will be less stressed, have more time and generally create better work.

3. Speaking of leisure time, give yourself time to have fun

High school is a stressful time, I know; I’ve gone through my share of difficulty in my four years here. Despite that, I believe that every student needs to allow themselves the opportunity to do things they enjoy. Whether it’s sports, hanging out with friends or playing video games, don’t allow the pressures of high school to keep you from the activities you find entertaining. The four years of high school will fly by before you know it, so you should use that time to its fullest and not make these years ones you look back on with hatred or regret.