LIFE OF A HIGH SCHOOLER: Finding Out Who Your Friends Are
By Ronvel Sharper
Graduating from middle school, I didn’t expect high school to be much of a change. I thought, “It’ll be pretty chill, I’ll still have my friends to watch my back!” But I was wrong. The transition to high school is much more complicated than that.
Friends can be a teen’s greatest asset in high school – they help you out in your most vulnerable times, and they share memories with you, both good and bad. But finding real friends can be hard during these years. You may have to toughen up, as you can lose friends over the smallest things. They might find a new group of friends and one day you just don’t fit in, or they might end up befriending someone who doesn’t like you, and then they go from being your greatest friend to your worst enemy.
I lost a friend when she started to get popular. I felt like she abandoned me. We don’t even talk at all to this day. I thought that even though she was getting popular, she wouldn’t let all our time together just vanish. But to her I’m just a memory. That crushed me. I felt so depressed when she started ignoring me. But, I learned something – you gotta man up. The world can be cruel, but you can’t let that keep you down. And you have to be careful about who you trust with your feelings.
Developing a friend circle in high school is important, but at the age of 14 or 15, you don’t know where you fit in. You may think you fit in with a certain group of people, but then it turns out that you don’t fit in at all. Friends who once thought they were tight can end up distancing themselves from each other until all of a sudden they’re strangers again.
When you end up alone it can be hard to have a sense of identity. You don’t know who to hang out with, and if you’re awkward like me, it’s even harder to make friends, so you end up sitting alone. If you give up, you can lose a sense of yourself and turn into someone you weren’t meant to be. In my case, I was so lonely that I started questioning why I was even continuing to try, and that feeling extended into my academic work. I started to think to myself, “What’s the point? I’m going to be alone anyway.”
Now that I’m a little older and some time has gone by, I’m feeling my motivation coming back. All of this has helped me grow, and I’ve become one of the seniors. I’ve learned so much in the past three years. The life of a high schooler is tough, but now I can tell which friends are the ones to keep. I’ve learned that the world can be unforgiving, but you have to persevere.
LIFE OF A HIGH SCHOOLER: A Letter to My Younger Sister
By Wendy Gonzalez
Dear Younger Sister,
In just a few weeks you are about to start high school. I sincerely hope your experience is better than mine. I’ve never seen “High School Musical,” but I can tell you that high school is not all singing and smiles.
From what I have experienced, it’s difficult to navigate the high school journey. It’s different for everyone, but my freshman year was utterly horrible. My meek personality contributed to my lack of friends. It was dreadful going to school knowing that I didn’t have a “squad.” As portrayed in movies, mean girls lurked in the halls and made their wrath known to whomever was weak enough. I felt alone and I always wished that I could go back to middle school when everything was simple.
I wish I’d had more friends. I can tell you now that everyone needs someone or something to keep them from falling apart. One piece of advice from me would be to stick with people you know from middle school. High school is not a time to push all your old friends away and feel like you rule the world.
On a different note, I also didn’t get the grades that I could have earned under better circumstances. I was a straight-A student in middle school, but the social strain of freshman year had a huge impact on me. My freshman year, I earned a 3.6 GPA; for me, that was a disappointment, because I push myself so hard. I would strongly recommend that you get familiar with your teachers and stay after school or after class if you don’t understand the material. It’s important to do your best. The last thing you need is to have to repeat a class. Be organized with your notes, attend every class, and if you’re absent, make sure to make it up the next day.
Everyone’s experience of high school is unique, but I want yours to be positive. High school is your first small step out into the real world. It might be tough but I am here for you.