HANNAH WEST, GRADE 12
All our lives, we are told to prepare for high school.
From the time we are children, to the minute we open those big doors,
The same words are repeated millions of times, over and over and over.
“The best years of your life will be your years in high school.”
When we were kids, the thought of growing up and being independent was our biggest dream. To us, it meant no rules. Stay up as late as you want, eat whatever you want, play as much as you want.
We would turn on the TV and watch as teenagers were shown to be having fun constantly. As the years go by, we slowly build ourselves. We learn more, some of us may have even discovered new talents. Finally, we reach high school. Most of us were excited. You take one step in, and suddenly the realization sets in. High school is not what you thought it was. You turn around, and all those friends you’ve known for years, the ones you grew up with, are gone.
You’re drowning in more homework than you thought was possible, and the stress builds and builds until you feel like your head is going to explode.
You watch helplessly as you are forced to choose between your social life, or your grades.
Why, why, why would that ever be something you should have to choose?
You are expected to decide on your career path within those four years, and suddenly four years seems more like four minutes.
Four minutes until that bell goes off and you can leave with a sinking feeling in your stomach.
Three minutes until you have to tell your friends that no, you can’t see them tonight. Or tomorrow. Or the next month, because you have too much work to finish.
Two minutes until you’re staying up all night crying over sheets of paper.
One minute left and you’re panicking because you don’t have enough credits, you have multiple assignments overdue, your friends think you hate them, and now you can’t even walk down the hallway without feeling like everyone’s eyes are looking right through you.
In the blink of an eye, those four minutes are up. It’s all over… You’re an adult.