Arriving for the first time at the high school can be extremely intimidating, even scary to a few. This is the next big step after middle school, so of course it’s going to be a little bit frightening. As a senior, however, what lies beyond high school is far more terrifying to the average joe. But on the bright side, here are some bits and hints on how to make better informed and beneficial choices to mitigate your fear.
Starting off with freshman year, I cannot stress it enough: pick something you know you might like to continue after high school. I personally chose Spanish my freshman year, but once I hit my junior year I thought about becoming a Russian or Japanese translator. While still unsure about the decision, I took both Spanish and French my senior year, but that is getting ahead of myself.
During my sophomore year, I looked deeper into my occupational options, but insisted on following through with things I would do if I were to remain in the United States. This would be good for someone planning to stay in the country, but I had other aspirations I wanted to follow through with.
Another thing that really hit me hard during my sophomore year was math class. Even though it doesn’t count for much with regards to homework, the material they give you allows for a better understanding of the subject material. Yes, I understand it can get overwhelming with a sheet every class on top of other class work, especially when you also have a job you need to attend to.
Then it comes to my junior year of high school. I still remained in my Spanish class (unbeknownst to me that it won’t help me so much in Europe), and I took the regular classes alongside that. I failed to mention in my previous two years about English class and how to work around speeches with ease. It was also my junior year when I figured out a much better solution to getting through verbal communication without much stress.
To do this, however, you must be somewhat dedicated and willing to go a little bit beyond the call of duty. When you go up to the podium and look back at your fellow classmates, gaze just above their heads and utilize the room by walking around a bit, unless instructed otherwise. By moving, you neutralize the protesting fear within your being and somewhat allow for more room, both physically and mentally. Make a few jokes here and there, but remain on topic while watching the time. Ranting may lose you some points, but if done correctly it should greatly benefit.
Lastly, senior year. Time flies when you become a senior whether you like it or not. It was this year that I found a developing compulsion to learn foreign languages, a skill most would not consider. I found my dedication to translation overpowering, which gave me a strong devotion to succeed in French class more than ever. It was also this year that I found out about college opportunities outside of the country, to the extent that learning French, German, Russian or other European languages may actually prove more beneficial than ever.
Now onto the struggle most seniors face with the end approaching way too quickly. College is a necessity in modern society, a goal every student is practically forced to think is for the greater good. By going to college, especially in the United States, students face a future riddled with student debt and loans. As a Russian translator (my personal occupational wish), I noticed how hard it is to learn a language away from the place of its origin, and then I thought about a short schooling trip to Russia.
It was when I looked up short term language courses in Russia that I discovered a whole new way to go about college education, one where the fate of every student heading off next year may actually become less of a detriment and more of an adventure for them. Russia has cheaper classes due to the ruble to dollar ratio, with equivalent educating standards in comparison to the United States. Germany has free tuition for every student, international or not, with high education standards as well.
The point I’m trying to make here is that growing up and attending a new school can be scary. Adapting can be a challenge, but that is why I’m making an attempt to reach out to students who have concerns for their future and forced adjustment. The world can be a terrifying place, but beyond the unknown is a world you can explore with the knowledge you learn in high school and college. Just keep your options open and consider every opportunity that you might not have considered in the first place. And for those who still feel a presence of perturbation, know that fear is only an illusion.