The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Meredith McCalmon

I am in my fourth quarter of my senior year of high school. Naturally, I am ready to get out.

When I was in middle school, high school seemed so big. Especially Olathe West, which is a school unlike any I’ve ever seen. The massive layout and moving classrooms were especially intimidating to me.

It really wasn’t until I had been in high school for months already that I realized it wasn’t that cool. No one broke out in song and dance at lunch, and no one shoved each other in lockers (not that this is possible at West anyway). 

Adults were constantly telling me to cherish these years, to live in the moment, because before I knew it high school would be over. I believed them, for the most part. My first two years of high school were spent dreading time’s inevitable passage, wishing I could stay in high school forever.

 But, like most upperclassmen, junior year brought forth great stress. For the first time, I really began to look forward to graduation.

At the time it seemed so far away. I felt stuck, wishing away my last two years as a high schooler. Now, I have but a few days left, and it feels like all I did was blink.

I think that the most important thing I learned during high school is that it’s not about the lesson plans. The countless projects and worksheets, grades and assignments don’t matter. Every single thing I learned was forgotten the minute I finished a test. Not that you shouldn’t try in school. Grades are important for colleges and scholarships, should you choose to take that path after high school. But the real point of this time is to discover who you are.

Everyone will tell you that high school is where you decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. While the activities and extracurriculars you partake in will probably have some influence on your college major, I discovered far more about myself these past four years than simply what I want to go to college for.

I learned that I learn far better when I am teaching myself. I learned that flashcards are my best friend. I discovered a passion for choir and theatre, and I met lifelong friends through it. I read lots of books. I learned what kind of people I want to surround myself with. I learned what kind of person I want to be. I grew into myself. 

I staunchly believed that the point of high school is just that: to grow into yourself. 

I bet you were hoping for a manifesto where I tell you exactly how to get good grades, how to ace your ACT, and how to study effectively. While important, none of those things are what I’ll remember when I think back on high school in 20 years. I can tell you with great certainty that I will remember the people, and how they made me feel.

The advice I can give you is this: Find something you love, and stick with it. Whether it be choir, sports or chess club, this is what makes high school important. Surround yourself with people who make high school a little less miserable. 

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