by Sofia Colignon | news editor
I had just moved from a different country, with different school rules and a completely different school system, a month before starting my freshman year here at Johnson. I remember walking into the school building for the first time, and going to the counselor’s office, where I was told that I needed to pick what classes I wanted to take, narrow down all of the electives that caught my attention to only three and pick an “endorsement” which, at the time, I didn’t even know what it was.
I left the building about an hour later, confused by what had just happened. I wasn’t used to making these type of decisions and, while it was only freshman and I still had four years to figure everything out, it was still my future we were discussing, and the fact that I didn’t understand the school system and different aspects of it like the “credits” was unsettling and concerning.
I know it was hard for me, to get the hang of it—how everything worked, how electives could be really helpful if I chose wisely and how AP classes are a must if you’re planning on attending college and getting some work done ahead of time. I know it’s hard for people who move from different countries—or even states, that have differences in their school system. But I am also aware that it’s hard for kids that have lived here their whole life—and still don’t know these things.
It’s hard for anyone, really, making that transition from middle school to high school and all of a sudden having to make these big decisions and think about things you might have never considered before.
What I’m trying to say is, it’s okay if you don’t have your whole life figured out and a smooth plan for your future at 13. Like my mom once told me, it’s okay if you make mistakes now, because that means you’re learning and building your character for your future. I know and have met very few people who know what college they want to attend before starting their freshman year. I know very few people who even know what they wanna be “when they’re older” at age 12 or 13. So if you’re not one of them, don’t sweat over it.
However, I’m not saying don’t put in the effort. If you can, take those AP classes, join clubs and get involved in school activities, volunteer if you have the time and choose your electives wisely—maybe they’ll help you narrow down what you want to major in. What I’m saying is, if you feel like you made a poor decision regarding the classes you’re taking, you shouldn’t be upset and you definitely shouldn’t be so hard on yourself—you’re still learning and preparing for your future. You have a lot on your plate—so, if you ever feel like your effort is not good enough, it is.
High school is the perfect time to make mistakes. While you should keep working hard for those grades and exam scores you want, also take time to enjoy life. Spend time with your family, hang out with friends, and practice some hobbies. You don’t have to have your life figured out at 13, but you can put in all your effort while still enjoying your time in high school.