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A+Message+to+Underclassmen

Emily Hamilton

A Message to Underclassmen

There are only 181 school days in senior year, which means that someone’s high school experience lasts about 720 days. I know that 720 days may sound like a lot, but pretty soon, those 720 days turn into 180 days, then those 180 days become 20 days, and you find yourself frantically trying to hold onto what’s left of your time in high school.

I know that I’m not the first, and I’m certainly not going to be the last, to say that high school flies by. So be sure to enjoy every second of your time at LHS because before you know it, it’ll be over in the blink of an eye.

There’s this misconception in high school that a social hierarchy exists with seniors at the top of the food chain and freshmen at the bottom. This message, that underclassmen shouldn’t put themselves out there and that they have to wait until their senior year to actually make something of their time in high school, is false. Seven hundred and twenty days, 720 days is just way too short of a time to have yourself physically and emotionally restrained by the stigmas and stereotypes that too often plague the halls of LHS.

For all the underclassmen out there, I encourage you to not fall in line with these social norms that inaccurately define what high school is all about. As a freshman especially, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there by taking risks and trying new things that are outside of your comfort zone. There are so many things that I wish I had gotten involved with my freshman year, and now one of my biggest regrets as a senior is being confined to my own social bubble freshman to junior year.

Coming into high school, I’d encourage any student to stray away from this mindset of, “I’m going to be known as a jock” or “I’m going to be a theater kid.” Instead, strive to be the person who’s involved in a wide array of activities, exploring your passions and discovering who you are through different clubs, sports and people.

Let me just say, I don’t care if you’re the varsity starting quarterback or if you plan on swimming competitively in college; there is nowhere where it says that you can’t do theater during your offseasons. If you spend half of your 720 days wondering what your friends would say if you pursue your passions by joining GSA or trying out for the badminton team, then the hard truth is that those friends aren’t your real friends.

It’s important that during your four years in high school, you don’t waste time seeking fulfillment in what your friends think because the only person you should try to please is yourself. Even if you do end up being heavily involved in the theater department or you plan on becoming a 12-sport athlete, that doesn’t mean that the entire baseball team or theater group has to make up your inner circle of friends. As a graduating senior, I have friends who are involved in cross country, the water polo team, the lacrosse team, choir, band and the arts.

With only 720 days in high school, you shouldn’t waste a single day being invested in clubs or sports that don’t really excite you. Nor should you spend time with people who don’t accept you for who you are and for what you’re passionate about. High school has so much to offer, and it’s four years of your life where you can just be yourself and explore your interests. I spent the first three years of my high school career confined to my own bubble, within the realms of my own comfort zone, and I thought I was happy. By diversifying the activities I’m involved with and the people I hang out with, I’ve met some of the most amazing people, and I finally feel like I know who I am and what I’m really passionate about.

Don’t wait until you’re a senior to make something of your time in high school. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or senior — don’t waste another day being unhappy with the people you hang out with or the activities you’re involved with because 720 days is just too short.

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