High school provides opportunties to be challenged

Story by Emily Hoover

Okay, so before you skip over this article in disgust, give me one chance to clarify. Sometimes high school is no fun. Teachers can come to expect too much, drama can turn up absolutely anywhere, and ridiculous demands on time keep us (or at least me) scrambling. I’m in a dozen clubs, my electives are leadership, newspaper, band, and French IV, and while I picked my electives because I love them, they aren’t the easiest.

If you want to talk to someone about high school taking over her life, I’m your girl. However, over the last three years I’ve tried to slow down and pay more attention to the people around me, and I’ve found that high school is a unique experience that I would not miss out on for the world.

When you were little did your parents ever give you that speech about nap time; the age-old “you might not want a nap now, but wait until you’re older?” I was rolling my eyes at that one by the age of 3; I would never want a nap as long as I lived. Silly adults didn’t understand me (or school, for that matter) at all. My kindergarten teacher and I came to an agreement: if I was quiet she would give me work to do, instead of making me sleep. The irony that I chose difficult work over rest never touched me, because I was right and they were wrong. The irony is that in the eigth grade, it hit me–all I wanted was a nap. As long as I remained stubbornly rigid, my own idiocy took quite a while to reach me.

I had progressed to rolling my eyes at the ‘it only gets harder as you get older’ speech by the sixth grade. As far as I could tell, it was just an extension of the speeches my mother had been giving me since birth, and need I remind you that I am always right? I mean, come on: the high schoolers didn’t have to walk in straight lines like we did, and they weren’t broken up into “pods” and kept separated by grade the entire school day. The work might be a bit harder, but the high school kids didn’t have all the ridiculous restrictions we faced every day.

I scoffed at the older kids who told me early release came with semester exams, and not to hold my breath in anticipation. I ignored the complaints about homework and time-drains; it couldn’t really be that bad. All I was able to see were the problems I faced every day in middle school, and the utopia I didn’t feel like waiting for: high school. I was a rather stupid child.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t like high school just because I’m me. I actually enjoy most things that I’m involved with, most classes aren’t difficult for me, and I have a wonderful group of friends I can rely on, no matter what. I know that my high school experience is different from everyone else’s, but I can’t imagine that anyone would be in too much of a hurry to get through it (of course, this is coming from the girl who decided nap time just wasn’t for her). Fortunately, having made a lot of false assumptions over the years; having laughed and rolled my eyes at anyone who tried to tell me life would only get harder, I feel qualified to assure you that it will. My only question is, if high school is so difficult, so frustrating, that you can’t wait to leave, why would you rush forward to the next challenge? If you don’t want to stand up and challenge yourself–and those around you–now, how do you expect to be prepared to face the real, ugly world, with all of its pain and anger and unfairness?

The most recent advice my mother has decided to give me (why she still bothers, I will never know) is to try to learn a thing or two to take with me as I get older, and to try not to grow up too terribly fast. She’s given me enough speeches over the years that I’ve stopped rolling my eyes. You never know, she could actually be right this time.