Though MacArthur has taught me many things about life, the most important seems to be that high school isn’t like what we see on TV. It isn’t the jocks and cheerleaders vs. the goths and geeks. It isn’t the cool kids skipping class and not caring while the dedicated waste their lives away behind textbooks. Though high school shares similarities with this stereotypical school world, it’s a beast all its own, taking different shape and form for each person who experiences it.
Though academics, electives, and extracurriculars formed the foundation of my high school experience, the most significant moments revolved around relationships that were created or destroyed. I felt my fair share of ostracism, rejection, and betrayal, but all those experiences helped prepare me for the real world and showed me that everyone has positive and negative characteristics – even myself. In the words of J.K. Rowling, “It is our choices, far more than our abilities, that show what we truly are” – I learned that my own decisions and reactions to situations showed far more about my character than the circumstances I found myself thrust into. Most importantly, I chanced upon a small selection of people who helped shape who I am as a person and will remain in my heart and my history forever. To my best friends, I love you, you got me through this difficult year and will always be a part of me. To my fantastic, wonderful teachers, you know who you are, what you meant to me, and the effect you had on my life.
Everyone enters high school with presumptions about what’s going to happen while they’re there, but they’re never right. For me, high school was a whirlwind, a frustrating, exciting, awkward, funny, and time-consuming whirlwind, but I will forever remember the experiences I had here and the people I met for the rest of my life.
Come August, I’ll be packing my bags off into the big scary world. My final words of advice – to my baby pubbers: keep writing, keep inspiring, keep informing. Believe in yourself and get your stories in. To everyone else: stay true to who you are. Don’t let possible opinions and prejudices others may have alter how you feel about yourself. Think about how your words and actions affect everything and everyone around you, and remember to care for those who are oft forgotten. Though school, working, performing, and succeeding are important, all that means nothing if you cannot find your own happiness.
Live long and prosper, and SO LONG, MAC!