The Power of High School

On the first day of school coming back from summer vacation, I am fully rested, my mental state is at an all time high, I am free of worries, and my dark, tan skin resembles long days at the beach.

I probably feel confident about the upcoming year ahead, as I am excited for my new classes and to make my junior year be the one in the books. The truth, though, is that it is currently March 19th, it’s thirty two degrees out, and we are expecting more snow this week. Although I am more than halfway there, junior year has been hell. And that isn’t even an overstatement. I have found myself struggling with the normal teenage bad habits-spending too many hours on my phone, going to bed way past my bedtime, and spending my nights with hours of homework or studying for tests that I saved for the last minute. Life today as a teenager in high school just is not easy.

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It is as simple as that. My school day appears as this: my mom barely wakes me up at 6:30 am, I go to school feeling like a zombie as I fall asleep in every class with the clock in the corner of my eye, I go home and tell myself to start my homework, but I physically and mentally cannot. My eyes shut, telling me that I need to nap. I promise myself that I will nap for thirty minutes only, but fast forward two hours later, I wake up delirious and I am in a funk. As I feel guilty, in the back of my mind, I know how much homework I have to complete by tomorrow.

I immediately become stressed. I cannot get myself to get up and open my backpack though. Procrastination has become my best friend. If I am lucky, I will be in bed by midnight. This cycle is vicious and it is inevitable; I tell myself I will make it change but I never actually do. I know that I am not alone.

Everyone is like me, caught up in our own lives and knows what is on the table for our future. I find myself never being social during the week because everyone, like me, has little to no time for work to get done. In my family, every single day my parents find a way to discuss the daunting topic of college, just to further increase the stress and anxiety I already have. The ACT too, telling me I need to prepare more and complete another practice test. Hearing the letters “ACT”, I automatically feel sick and my mind goes crazy.

I just want to get that perfect 30 score and be done. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. Is it too late to go back to those summer days spent full of boredom? I am so in the mood for that. I wish I had taken advantage of those when I had the chance. Oh, wait, I was probably on my phone worrying about trying to get the perfect photo to post on Instagram.

I am mad at myself. Nowadays, we are wrapped up in our phones and technology that we are wasting our lives away and not living in the moment. Competition to portray ourselves as a skinny, popular, pretty, and cool 16 year old girl is becoming more intense. We know we are addicted but will do anything about it? No. We are afraid of change. Social media forces us to fall into the trap it holds.

And how have I made it this far? Life as a teenager is definitely tough with the generation we live in. People are so afraid to make mistakes because they want those around them to think they are flawless. Throughout this entire process, I am grateful that I have such close friends and an amazing family. They are my support system, balancing the bad times with the good, encouraging me to always do my best. My parents continue to try their best conveying their excitement for me and what my future will bring. I know they are proud of me and trust that I work hard.

The life of a high schooler has never been easy and it won’t get any easier. My experience depends on me and what I make of it. At the end of the day, everything is my decision and my choice. High school has made me want to question who I am, it has made me want to pull my hair out from time to time, but at the same time, it has also pushed me in different ways to be successful. “I think there should be a good balance between being a good student and being able to enjoy your high school life” as Vanessa Minnillo says, are words our society needs to live by for our best performance from our students.

We must work hard for greatness but realize we cannot always be perfect. I want to look back on my high school experience and remember the great memories I created with my friends, not the many nights I stayed up drowning in schoolwork.