Opinion

Pella Senior Farewell

In almost every coming-of-age movie, high school is portrayed as this crazy, wild, beautiful time where everyone learns who they really are. While these movies are definitely a feel-good pick-me-up, the picture they paint is far more extravagant than real life.

It’s no secret that high school is really, really tough. Trying to fit in among peers and taking advanced classes is not an easy task.  Add trying to find your own personal identity and set of beliefs on top of that, and you have quite the mental load to think about.

Everyone always says to relish high school and enjoy every last second. Maybe that’s true, and I’ll regret my daily wishes to graduate and leave Pella High far behind. But for now, high school isn’t all that special to me. I didn’t participate in any sports, or music programs, or clubs, since nothing really fit my interests. I just took classes and worked for my entire senior year, which was enough for me. There wasn’t much to remember.

If you really like high school, good for you! Keep your memories close and don’t forget to look back on them from time to time, but high school will not define you forever. There’s a time to close a chapter in your life, and graduating high school is an important chapter to complete. There’s a time to move on and look forward to your adult life. After all, you only spend four years of your life in high school. If the average life span is about 75 years, only 5% of that time is spent in high school, and 20% of it is spent in elementary and middle school. Why focus on a mere 5% when you have a whole 75% more of your life to enjoy?

I’m not saying to not remember your high school memories. I will say, though, do not guilt those that want to get out as soon as possible into feeling like they have to cherish high school. For some, high school is hard, and they would rather move on and focus on brighter things. High school isn’t fun or enjoyable for everyone.

Enjoy high school and do what you want.  Go out with friends; go to games; participate if you feel led to. But, don’t forget that you have a whole life ahead of you with a whole host of experiences. High school, especially here in Pella, can be very sheltered. Prepare yourself to encounter those different than you, whether that’s by race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, or more. Not all of them want to hear about the time you won the last football game of the season. There’s more to life than high school.