Please stop hating on high school


In only a few more days, I will be walking across a stage, receiving a (temporarily empty) diploma folder and taking in my last few moments at Granite Bay High School.

There are officially 507 students in the class of 2017. For the past four years, I’ve spent most of my days seeing a new face for the first time.

But for the past few weeks, I’ve spent my days seeing familiar faces, maybe for the last time.

Some of my classmates are going to rush to get their diplomas after the graduation ceremony, in a hurry to minimize all that these four years were into a piece of paper, an inanimate memory.

Others are going to leave their caps and gowns on for a little while longer, trying to slow down time and hold on to what they know and love, anxiously anticipating the season of change approaching.

I’m somewhere in between.

I loved high school some days. I also hated high school some days. But I’m ready for the next chapter, and hopefully, so is everyone else.

High school was something different for each one of us, and it’s important to acknowledge that.

For some, it might have been a time of unrelenting anxiety, pressure and difficulty. Others might have enjoyed it, with excitement and confidence. For many, it was a mix of those and a multitude of other feelings.

Whatever your experience was, the most constructive thing you can do with the last four years is accept them and embrace them for all that they were – in all of their glory, heartbreak and mediocrity.

At this point, we can’t really do anything to change them.

There’s a stigma out there that high school has to be something we can’t wait to get over with, and no matter how magically or tragically it went, that we’re all so glad it’s over.

Am I happy I’m graduating? Unashamedly, yes.

But, there’s a lot I’m going to miss about this season of life that I underappreciated.

High school presented a four-year window for us to be as reckless, irresponsible, immature and naive as we wanted to be. Although some struggled more than others, we all fell down and scraped our knees because of it.

Sure, college is the time to “find yourself,” and we’ll have the independence to experiment as we please, but with adulthood and freedom come greater responsibility – and fewer excuses.

We can rave or complain about high school all we want, but at the end of the day, it is what it was. We’re graduating and moving on, and we’re going to take these experiences with us for the rest of our lives.

I think we do ourselves a disservice every time we impose negativity on our high school years while we’re still in them. We’re going to look back years from now and long for the simplicity of life, and the friends we haven’t seen in forever.

We are so impatient and temperamental with our parents at their slightest shortcoming, and we push them away, but in about six months, most of us would give anything just to give them a hug.

When we’re failing our classes in college, and our TAs don’t have time to learn our names – let alone our professors – we’re going to miss Grubaugh unfailingly taking care of his people and Westberg’s ever-loving, warm hospitality.

It’s OK that we’re ready to move on – we’re supposed to be. That being said, we shouldn’t take for granted everything that high school has given us.

There were days that made us stronger, people who made us kinder and teachers who made us better. Their impact will last beyond graduation day.

So as we go our separate ways, we should give appreciation where it’s due, and close this chapter of our lives with grace.

It happened. But we have to keep in mind that it was just one chapter.

High school doesn’t have to be this monumental thing that defines who we are forever. It shouldn’t be, because our journeys aren’t over yet – they’re just beginning.

So don’t hold on to it, but don’t let it go.

Just let it be.