Amelia Gomez: The reality of high school

Otto Tielemans

Set the pressure cooker to 400 degrees. Twist the knob to personal statementDon’t forget to add the scholarship application, search for a job, last-minute community service hours, new senior project, a pinch of bad hair day, and several dashes of family members throwing objects at the back of your head because you have to use the computer for all of your homework to complete the recipe. Let the batch boil for two hours and, before you know it, you’ll have your very own mental breakdown, complete with sobbing and hysteric rants about your fear of living with your parents until you’re 35.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. But, I’ve felt nothing but anxiety towards my senior year since I took the SAT last spring. That’s when it hit me, the whole “I actually have to grow up” thing. I suppose it’s a bit naïve of me to be so surprised that it’s time to mature. It is, after all, my final year of high school. {sidebar id=65}

The whole basis of this “last chapter of education” is to prepare me (us, my lovely Foothillians, Footies, Hill Folk, and what have you) for the real world. Yes children, believe it or not, there is a big bad world out there, full of wonderful and awful things, and more opportunities than our precious little angel potato brains could even dream of. My parents have told me stories of this feared “real world,” full of things like parking tickets and office luncheons and, do I dare mention it… taxes.

Many students can attest to the statement that it often feels like too much – too many essay prompts, too much self-evaluation, too many emotions, the list could easily go on. High school is a challenging time, to say the least. And your first day, a pivotal point that’s supposed to set the tone for your entire year, can often go awry. I suppose I can afford to tell you the story of my own first day as a freshman. Cue the rippling effects as we take a trip back to 2009.

‘Twas the night before the first day of school, and I was frantic, totally worried that I’d miss the bus and end up stranded somewhere distant and obscure. I set my alarm clock for 5 a.m., and I checked it eight times.

My mother tried to reassure me. “The bus will wait,” she said. “It’s the first day of school, and they don’t want to leave anyone behind.”

Foolish was I to have faith in such words. Surely enough, like clockwork, I became a perfect cliché in a Hollywood blockbuster. I missed the bus and ended up walking to Foothill. And, I was late – really late. Everyone stared at me as I walked into my first period with frizzy hair, rosy cheeks, and breath coming in short puffs, not knowing a soul. It was awful.

My high school experience has been embarrassing, to say the least. And, if you don’t believe me, then just ask. I can give you a list of all the unfortunate (and hilarious) things that have happened to me.

I’ve learned so many things about myself that I honestly never would’ve thought about otherwise. Things such as: I have a strong distaste for existentialism, I’m not a fan of being shoved into the stucco walls outside, and that people don’t forget that time you fell out of your seat in ninth grade English.

But I digress.

The bottom line is that high school is going to stress you out regardless of which grade you’re in. It’s your choice whether or not you wish to prosper from it and let it prepare you for the world of adults. Just remember that it’s okay to curl up in a ball on the floor from time to time.

What do you think?