A Senior Reflects on Her High School Experience

By: Gabi Zhalov

Everybody always says that high school is amazing. Or the best four years of your life. Or the time you will always remember. Maybe even the time you would return to had you the chance. 

Respectfully, I have to disagree. I did think that high school was fun. Occasionally. I often tell people that the best year I had in high school was my freshman year - that was a time when nothing mattered. Looking back at it I smile, even at the “arguments” because they were so small and trivial. I made best friends in freshman year and took things so seriously. That’s back when I would start to fall asleep in class, I remember that my eyelids felt so heavy and how challenging it was to stay awake.

Sophomore year was simply just there. There’s really not much to say about it, and honestly, I don’t remember much about it. 

Junior year was definitely something to talk about. It was the most challenging academic year I experienced, neglecting the whole online deal. The amount of homework I had was nearly unmanageable and the courses I was taking never stopped. 

Then, I got what I asked for - everything stopped. And it was great. I couldn’t have asked for better timing. Except that at some point everything had to start again and it couldn’t - at least, not in the way it had. Thus we reached “hybrid scheduling”, a beast that wore us all down to the last thread. I mean, I blocked most of it out, but thinking back to it - each week I was home felt like Groundhog Day, everyday.  

My senior year blended in with junior year and I ended up with a bad case of the “I’m-Drowning-But-Don’t-Know-It”. What that means is as follows: you keep up with school work, but you also have to do college prep, but you also have to go to real work, but you also want to hang out with your friends, but you also want alone time, but you have that club you can’t miss and please do the dishes while you’re at it. At some point I got used to it, just a shell in the ocean being slowly eroded away into a singular grain of sand.

So what do I want to leave you with? Dear reader, high school attendee or soon to be? Well, for me high school was nothing special. I probably won’t remember much of it when I’m older, and I don’t think I’ll really want to. However, maybe for you it was or will be different. Or at least now you can make it different. I leave you with my favorite quote,

“...joy takes a strange effect at times, it seems to oppress us almost the same as sorrow.”

- Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo