Appreciate what you have before it’s gone

Nina Simon '21, Page Editor

Photo of Nina Simon ’21.

“You don’t know how good you’ve got it until it’s gone.”

For a while, when older folks would preach this and stress the importance of enjoying life before university and true responsibilities, I’d shrug off their advice and simply say, “High school sucks. It’s not as romantic as it seems.”

And I stand by my assertion that high school is not a time of rainbows and butterflies- because it’s not. It is a time of diverse feelings. Stress, happiness, sadness, anxiety, anticipation, community. Although all of those feelings had purpose. They meant we were making differences and fostering relationships. Even anxiety and stress were important. They meant we were trying.

I hate to be so predictable, but honestly, everything changed last March. Sure, it was fun to have minimal homework and so much free time in those first months. It was fun to spend so much time with my family. But, after a while, the smoke screen lifted and we were left with the harsh reality that nothing in the remaining year of our high school career would be the same. I was left looking back on a comparatively idyllic, normal three years of education. How good we had it. How lucky we were.

I definitely didn’t understand how fortunate I was to have been able to spend hours after school working (fooling around) with my Tower family or how fortunate I was to have been able to spend nights being young with friends. Now that we are returning to a more normal world, I appreciate each late night Taco Bell run or dinner out that much more. The moments I’ve spent with friends in the past several years have brightened my life to no end, but the opportunities I’ve had to see them in the past few months are some of the most treasured memories I think I’ll ever have. COVID has renewed my thankfulness for everything and everyone I hold dear, and to me, that’s worth more than anything I’ve lost.

I can’t say that the years I spent at South were the best of my life- I hope, as we all should, that the best years and times of life are still to come. But I’ll look back on my time here with fond gratefulness.