An open letter to every confused or stressed high school student

Nicole Sceglio ’19, Guest Writer

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Photo courtesy of Nicole Sceglio ’19

January 2018, I stared at the class selection course. None of the senior English electives appealed to me, except journalism. I kept getting reminded that it’s a “freshman class”, but it offered a balance of analytical writing with creative elements that many of my past classes didn’t. I was excited for journalism because I was sick of writing impromptus about literary elements in books.

On the first day, I walked in with my senior shirt, and I realized I was the oldest in the class. I wanted to switch out, simply because I didn’t have any friends.

I was proven wrong. Not switching out was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year.

I made friends and mentored the underclassmen, helping them to manage their workload, with homework, giving advice about classes and shared my experiences with different high school events. It was my honest reflection of my high school experience,  they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I had.

But, they taught me more.

They taught me how to better communicate, teach others, serve as a humble leader and celebrate their personal accomplishments. They taught me how to step in their shoes and be an empathetic outsider– skills I will find extremely helpful next year as I go to college and future jobs.

Senior year is a year of growth and reflection. Through journalism, I grew as a person and have no regrets about taking an underclassmen class as a senior. I learned so much about our government and our news sources. I became a more informed reader, writer and citizen.

You only have four years to take interesting classes for free, take advantage of that.  Try art. Try astronomy. Try creative writing. We are fortunate to have passionate teachers that teach such awesome classes that want to help you. Stop being comfortable in one particular subject. Your fear of “looking stupid” or “not knowing anything” is holding you back and not allowing you to move forward

I want to encourage everyone to try something new this next school year. Don’t let something like an “underclassmen class” stop you. Don’t let a lack of friends in an activity stop you. Go out of your comfort zone, make friends and find your passion. At worst, you won’t like it but failures are just guide posts on your life path.

Finally, don’t stress about school. Being stressed stole a lot of happiness from my experience and it shouldn’t have. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care, but don’t deprecate yourself because of a bad grade. You’ll do well and you’ll either find a great college or a great career afterwards. Go out and enjoy high school: attend football games, try a new club, be involved and make new friends. High school flies by really fast, so have a blast and make good memories. You’ll never remember any test grade like you will with a fun memory with friends.

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