High School Won't Be the Best Four Years of Your Life, and That's O.K.

We’ve all heard it or some version of it before: “Enjoy high school, they’re the best four years of your life!” Well, what if I told you the person telling you that was wrong? Don’t get me wrong, high school has been and will continue to be an unforgettable ride of self-discovery. Even now, in only the second month of senior year, I can confidently say have been through so many experiences that have changed me. I have learned how it feels to fall in love.

I know how it hurts to have your heart broken. I’ve learned what it feels like to find something you’re passionate about. I know how it feels to have your inspiration taken away. I’ve felt connected to thousands of people in a music arena, our hearts beating along with the bass. I’ve walked alone on a beach mourning the loss of my beloved dog. I’ve felt the feeling of accomplishment as I finished writing a novel written for pleasure.

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I’ve cried for hours worrying about a Spanish test I failed. Long story short: high school has been a roller coaster. I have not hated my time at my school. It certainly hasn’t been all rainbows and cute relationships like in the books, but it hasn’t been horrible. But it won’t be the best time of my life.

And thank goodness for that. Why, do you ask? The average life expectancy of a United States citizen in seventy-eight years. You are in high school for four of those, usually in between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years old. This means that, should you live to that age and spend the best four years in high school, the best part of your life was spent in the first quarter of your life. Maybe this doesn’t seem so bad, but does that mean that everything for the next 75% is all downhill from the peak of high school? Probably, and definitely if a student spends all four years trying to have the best years of his or her life and disregards schoolwork, negatively affecting that student for the next 75% of life.

So note to all freshman: you can have fun in high school. But every time an adult tells you high school is the best time of your life, politely smile and disregard it. Save the best years of your life for when you are doing something you choose to do yourself. Which, by the way, will be dependent on how hard you work in high school and college.