Don’t take your high school years for granted

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Maria Torres, Features Editor

A lot of people get first time jitters, better known as butterflies, in their stomach on their first day at a new school they’ve never gone to before. No matter how old we get, no matter how many times we’ve done this before, it’s always the same old routine. First day at a new school: get to school early, find your few friends that end up going to the same school as you, find your classes, make a plan with your friends on where you’re going to meet up at lunch. One thing people usually look forward to out of all of this is the fact that they usually have around three to four years before they have to worry about going through this process again. But for the class of 2023 it was different. 

We actually had two of these days in the span of two years, but it was completely different in the sense that we already knew what the campus looked like and how things worked. But we hadn’t seen people in a year and a half and suddenly we were going back to school wearing masks full time. It was like reliving the first day of school again but this time adding covid into the mix.

Crazy enough this is actually the first year the class of 2023 got to experience high school without any covid measures. We didn’t have to worry about social distancing, or wearing masks, or meeting all of those old friends you had in freshman year but hadn’t seen in a year and a half.  We got to go to football games with no worries, and when it came to basketball games we didn’t have to wear masks anymore. 

When everyone talked to us about high school and what it would be like, what to expect, what to do and what not to do, they never told us our time in high school would be filled with all-online classes and assignments that had to be done from home. They never told us that for a short period of time the desks we sat at would have plexi glass around them. They never told us that our sophomore year instead of having seven forty-five minute periods we’d have three classes a day that were one-hundred and twenty minutes long. They never told us that the teachers you had sophomore year wouldn’t recognize you and know who you are your junior year because they didn’t know what you actually looked like. They never told us that our sophomore year we wouldn’t have any football games we could go watch, and we barely got to play sports. 

When you’re transitioning into high school and you ask people what to expect and what advice they may have for you, they usually tell you to participate in all of the spirit days and to go to all of the football games and hangout with your friends and have fun; and even though people try to take this into consideration they always take it for granted. My freshman year I heard the same speech and I definitely took it for granted, and didn’t realize it until I was stuck at home wishing things would go back to normal and I could go back to school in person and go to the football games and hang out with my friends. When I look back on my highschool years I feel kind of robbed, but I also feel grateful for the things covid taught me and the memories I made because of it. 

I know for anyone in high school, and for any incoming freshman, they’re all going to hear the same old speech. “Go to all the football games, participate in the rallies and school spirit weeks, go out with your friends. Your high school years are going to fly by in a flash.”No one really believes them to the extent they should when they’re told this. But if there’s anything you should listen to, it’s the same old speech you’re going to hear a million times over.

If covid has taught me anything it is that time is not a guarantee and we’re lucky to have the time we’re given. High school really does fly by in a flash and when you look back you’re going to want to remember all of the fun nights you went to football games or went out with your friends. You’re going to want to look back at all of the core memories you made during high school. But you can’t do that unless you take risks, get out of your comfort zone, and go out and have fun in a safe manner. Don’t do anything you know you’ll regret doing later and don’t not do something just because it’s a little bit outside of your comfort zone.

The one thing you don’t want to do is look back and regret not doing that one thing with your friends, or regret not going to the football game that all of your classmates went to. High school is the last part of your life where you truly get to be a kid with no worries. It’s the last part of your life where you don’t have to worry about growing up. Take advantage of that and live with no regrets.