Gazette/GBT.org staff photo
Hey, my name is Max Schwartz.
I’m a senior a Granite Bay High School, a place I have attended for the past four years, and place I will be graduating from in a few weeks.
As my time here comes to an end, I, like many seniors, have fallen into a funk of sorts. I want to run away from the inevitable—leaving.
I am not trying to depress you by any means, I’m just trying to paint the best picture possible (sorry Mrs. McCann for using the term “painting a picture”).
As I tossed in my head the last story I want to write for this paper, I settled on writing about everything I have learned in high school, and possibly help an incoming freshman, sophomore, junior, or even a senior.
Without further ado, here is what I learned in high school.
The other day, I was looking at pictures of my freshman self, an extremely underdeveloped high schooler who radiated insecurity.
Freshman year, I played football at 5’1, and 140 (ish) pounds.
While there is something to be said about love for the game no matter your size, that just wasn’t the case.
I played simply because everyone had a sport, and I was terrified of being left out.
I spent a year in a sport to impress others, rather than for the betterment of myself. Which leads to my first point–don’t spend high school doing something for someone else.
You’ll regret it, trust me. Though I made some good friends and had great memories with football, I distinctly remember quitting sophomore year and stressing about potentially losing my friends. And I nearly kept playing solely for that reason.
Looking back on that situation, quitting was one my better choices in high school.
All I can say for this next one is simply don’t be a jerk to your teachers. Arguing with them is not funny, it only makes you only appear childish. Teachers are there to help you learn, don’t make their job harder.
Adding onto that– develop good relationships with your teachers. They’re here to help you improve.
Teachers are not “out to get you.” If you aren’t a jerk, your teachers are much more willing to spend their time helping you out.
Trying hard in school isn’t corny. I’m not at all saying that you’re only intelligent if you have a 4.0–intelligence isn’t all about a number, but if you say that a lot, it becomes a cop-out from doing work.
A good work ethic is just as important as intelligence. You can say that you are more intelligent than your grades as much as you want, but if you don’t have a solid work ethic, then you’re wasting your potential.
I know for a fact that I could have tried harder in school. I could have gotten into a better college and spent the end of my semesters stress-free instead of catching up.
Sophomore year is when my life flipped upside down.
Up until then, my life struggles were pretty surface level things–school, small fights with friends, etc.
I never really understood mental illness, I thought it was an excuse if I am being honest
I’m not going to tell my story, I have already talked about it a lot. I went through a deep depression, dropping my grades from a 3.5 to a 2.2(ish), and going through it alone really, really sucked.
Reach out to your friends, and be there for them. Nobody is immune to mental illnesses, take care of yourself, and know when to reach out. All we have is each other.
Quick side note– DON’T START VAPING. You don’t look cool.
You have zero reasons to start, and when you start, you’ll feel like you have zero reasons to stop.
On that note let’s talk parties. You’re young, go to a party, have fun. I’m not encouraging drinking in the slightest, all I am saying that you are only going to be around these people for four years, branch out.
If you do end up drinking, don’t let that become the only thing your friend group does. You can have just as much, if not more fun sober. The group will end up losing the genuine connection that was there at first.
Don’t spend your time surrounding yourself with fake friends. It took me a while to figure this out.
Sometimes people in your life won’t be good to you. You can’t control that.
You deserve real friends that will be there for you. A large group doesn’t mean they’re good friends.
One of the best things to ever happen to me is finding the group I did my senior year. Find people that genuinely enjoy your presence, and where you don’t feel pressured to be someone you aren’t.
Also, realize you aren’t better than anyone no matter how expensive your clothes are, how much you party, how good of grades you have, how many followers you have, and so much more.
You miss out on so many genuine people when you spend so much time on your image.
If you have a crush on someone tell them! Don’t hide and become awkward, you’ll only regret not doing it.
You never know what the response will be. Rejection sucks, but always looking back on what could have happened is worse.
At this point in the year, the things I want to do are overshadowed by the things I have to do. It’s not the best feeling, all of you have time.
Use it wisely and make the absolute most of it. Leaving here is hard, but leaving it with regrets is even worse.
It’s been great Granite Bay.