Dear Students: An Open Letter from High School

Feven Shonga, Staff Reporter

Dear Students,

The four years you spend in high school will be some of the most crucial years of your young lives. These few years will be filled with highs and lows, but you can–and should–make the best of them. You’re going to have a lot on your plate with heavy class loads, extracurricular activities, and whatever standardized tests you will take to impress colleges. Regardless, take this time to live in the moment, and learn from everything you encounter.

Go to the games, scream at the top of your lungs at the pep rallies, and enjoy the dances. If you prefer not to do that, like many, join programs and clubs that fit your interests. Practice key skills necessary for patient care in the Health Careers Academy, tell moving stories through videography in the Broadcast Journalism Academy, challenge yourself to outwit your opponent in chess club, or play some of the many sports offered here. Take this time to experience all that you can, and figure out what you want or might not want to do. Take advantage of any and all opportunities presented to you.

Enroll in AP and IB classes not just for college credit, but for the knowledge you will gain in these classes. Join classes like IB Literature where you can learn about the different types of racism, something you will not find in many other schools across the country. Learn for the love of learning. Ask questions, challenge what everyone else believes, and actively seek the answers to your questions. Seek knowledge: as Alan Moore said, “Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.” Take advantage of an opportunity to get an education, an opportunity that others are denied.

All that being said, these four years are going to feel too long at times. There are going to be times when the work you’re assigned becomes overwhelming, when the amount of sleep you get decreases, and when life simply happens. You may feel alone being in a school filled with thousands of kids, but know that you are supported. Take care of your mental health. If you feel overwhelmed, go to your favorite teachers, your counselors, or your peers and ask for help. Go to your favorite teachers, your counselors, or your peers.

With all the work that you do here, there will be times when you will fail. You might fail a big test, in a competition, or at something outside of school entirely. Never let this discourage you. Be strong and learn from your failures. Don’t quit something you love because you failed it the first time. Don’t let your failures make you lose yourself. Reflect, find out what you did wrong, and do better next time, the time after that, and the time after that. Techniques that work for others might not work for you, so find out what you can do to best fit your needs. When you find out what you can do to be better, take it and run with it until you meet your goals.

Just as you will be going through these things, so will your peers. Remember to be kind. It doesn’t cost anything, and it will help us build a strong community. The smallest act of kindness, like a smile, can brighten up someone’s day. You never know what people are going through, so let kindness radiate through your thoughts and your actions.

Finally, after these four years, you are going to walk across that stage into an unpredictable future. Wherever this future may take you, all the hard work you persevered through will reflect there. Manifest your dreams into reality, see yourself in your happy place, and take on the world. You got this, kid!


High School