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Fantastic four?

Fantastic four?

While adults think of high school as a generally good time, it should not be referred to as the best years of our lives.

February 7, 2018

Cliches abound concerning the high school years: the chosen few who will rise above and become popular, the mean girls, and the inexplicable preconception that one will be shoved in a locker are just a few. However, most people know subconsciously that these ideas are simply stereotypes learned from movies. There is one concept that most people do subscribe to, however: the idea that high school will be the best years of your life.

The Glory Years, people call them. You glide through classes, making friends as you go, go to parties on the weekends, and then you graduate and that’s it. You peaked at the ripe old age of 18.

This is a frightening idea. For many, the years of high school are times of academic struggle, acne despair and identity confusion. So why do so many older adults reminisce so fondly about these times that most students cannot wait to escape?

“Adults look back on high school so happily because they didn’t have any real responsibilities like bills or kids,” said senior Tori Graham. “High school was time where they didn’t really have to worry about anything other than school, and they had time to spend on themselves.”

The simple fact is that as people look back on previous times in their lives, they tend to see them through rose-colored glasses. They see the parties, the friends, the free time and the lack of taxes while the insomnia, self-consciousness and drama slip their minds.

These issues may not have even applied to past generations. Standardized tests and AP classes did not have nearly the prevalence they do today. As the level that students are judged by testing increases, the stress of high school follows suit. These relatively new stressors do not negate the positives of high school, though.

“I’ve grown more as a person in the past three years than in any other time of my life,” said junior Brandon Buchwalter. “I’ve created bonds with friends that could last a lifetime.”

While there are, of course, many positive features of high school, many students push towards the future instead of being completely fixated on the present. A prime example is senioritis. Students wait with bated breath for the day they can toss their caps and begin a new chapter.

There is no denying the bittersweetness of graduation day. The future is full of excitement, but the past is exactly that: past. New beginnings always do entail the end of something else, and for some it is hard to see the bright possibilities past the fact that things are coming to an end.

“Graduation is bittersweet because everything is over, and I won’t see these people I’ve spent most of my life with again,” said senior Lauren Hale. “However, I’m happy to be done with high school and starting life.”

There is no telling when the “best years” of one’s life will be, or even if they will be the same for every person. However, informing teenagers that their lives will be all downhill after they receive a diploma and a handshake is both discouraging and frightening. Why not strive to make each and every year of your life one of the best?

In its entirety, high school is pretty good (much better than middle school, I’m sure all can agree.) Despite this improvement, I choose to believe that the future is bright, and not at all downhill. New opportunities will arise, there will be new experiences to be had, and we will develop into our full potentials well after we cross the stage in the Coliseum.

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