The Student News Site of Olathe West High School
Ellie Pogorek

Ellie Pogorek

High school is a weird four years with everyone telling you to treasure these fleeting moments of adolescence, but that you have to have a full life plan at the ripe age of 17. I wish I could tell you the key to high school or how to ace all your AP classes, but I truly have no idea myself. 

In my freshman year, I thought the key to high school was through honors classes or winning “Romeo and Juliet” contests (Act 3, scene 1 all the way baby). That’s not what high school is really about though. Sure, it’s important to get good grades and care about your classes, but that’s not all it is. I think no matter what, you will come out of high school as a completely different person than when you started, you just have to determine who that person is.

Freshman year was scary, for any new freshman, but especially for me. I didn’t go to one of the feeder middle schools, so I came in knowing no one. Don’t let that scare you though, you will get the opportunity to meet people that will quite literally change your life. Freshman year is a time to establish yourself and who you are. 

My high school experience was rudely interrupted mid-sophomore year by a minor global pandemic, so I don’t think I’m the best person to speak on the high school in general, but I think, no matter what your circumstance is, high school is going to bring some challenges, some change that will force you to grow. 

People may say that Junior year is the hardest year of high school with the ACT and whatnot. I would disagree, at least on my part. I made some great friends during my junior year and I took some of my favorite classes that year (shoutout to APES and AP Lang), but I wouldn’t necessarily call junior year ‘hard.’ It’s intense, whether that’s academically, athletically, or whatnot. I finally found something I was passionate enough to major in, so junior year isn’t really all that bad. 

Senior year: the hardest year of high school. You’re burnt out but still trying to make it to that graduation date that seems so far. You turn in assignments, rewrite and rewrite essays, take test after test, and then boom. You’re a week out from graduation. The scary building you walked into for four years isn’t so big and the college campus you toured in Febuary starts looking like home. And you got through all of it, everything to bring you here. 

I know it’s cliché to say, but high school really does go by in a blink. For me, that was a good thing. I simply cannot wait for high school to be over, but that’s not to say I don’t, or that you shouldn’t, treasure it. It wasn’t all dance battles and breaking out into well-rehearsed songs like High School Musical would have you believe, but it’s good to treasure your experiences, good or bad so that you can either learn from them or just to reminisce. 

What I’ve learned from four years at Olathe West is that life happens when you stop and look around. Life is not planning out what classes you’re going to take all throughout high school or prepping for another test. Life, especially your teenage years, consists of those small moments; getting ice cream after a football game, driving with your friends back home, and those little jokes you make at the lunch table.

 I was going to try not to end this with a Taylor Swift quote, but this one was just too fitting. “Be yourself, chase your dreams, and just never say never. That’s the best advice I could ever give someone.” – Taylor Swift. 


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