I have been told that I am wise for my years, but then again I have also been told that I am wildly weird, so I guess you should accept this article for what it is: a compilation of 500ish words from a girl who is sometimes wise but more often weird.
Anyone who has been in high school within the last ten years knows the intense encouragement that comes from guidance counselors, teachers, principals, parents and university websites, to “get involved” in high school. These encouragements, although often excessive, have proved to be advantageous. Every single college and scholarship application requires a resume detailing who you were in high school, and the more you have listed, the more outstanding you will appear.
The university that I fell in love with admitted me, and I luckily received scholarships that will reduce a tad bit of the debt that undoubtedly awaits me after college graduation; I have the over-abundance of high school extracurriculars to thank for that.
The sports and clubs that Shawano High offers open up doors to passions that may otherwise go undiscovered. From kicking a ball across a painted field to building rockets for state-wide competitions to taking the stage beneath bright lights, SCHS provides every single student an opportunity to explore all they can be.
So here is where I branch off and incorporate the iconic movie The Breakfast Club; here is where you take what I say with a grain of Himalayan salt.
I stand with every voice that encourages students to get involved, I really do, however, my advice to those who do get involved: do not allow yourself to be limited by the labels your involvement will bring. Moreover, challenge yourself to look beyond the labels that others have assumed, regardless of if it was purposeful.
People have called me a ‘prep,’ more have called me a ‘hippie,’ a few have called me a ‘nerd,’ a very rare bunch have called me a ‘jock’ and let’s not forget all of the times I have been called a ‘tryhard.’ Needless to say, high school introduced me to labels and the insurmountable pressure to be a certain ‘type’ of person.
The choices that individuals make in high school, whether it is the extracurricular activities they participate in or the way they treat others, mold them into definitive divisions. These divisions can set the expectation of assimilation and enforce limitations that inhibit the freedom of self-exploration.
Fitting neatly into these boxes is less of a headache than collectively belonging to numerous groups, but the joy you may find from defying expectations is undoubtedly worth the extra trouble of finding your place.
In the end, high school is what you make of it. You can choose to wear weird pants, dye your hair every color that comes in a box, play three sports for four years, make it to state FBLA, befriend as many people as possible, write every paper at 2 am the night before the
due date, have perfect attendance, really the list is infinite. Whatever your takeaway is from the four years you spend learning about the mitochondria and trigonometry, understand that nobody is ever just one thing; many hats are tried on in high school, some are quickly discarded, but an array are often chosen to stay.