Enough fake fairytale endings


Hailey Cho, staff writer

We’ve all seen it. The undoubtedly overused, yet still effective, romanticization of high school.

It’s present in every form of media that Hollywood touches. The main character heroically stands up to their bully, gets the glory and everyone who doubted them cheers them on. However, as the countdown to my graduation ticks by, this has been confirmed: high school is not like the movies.

Contrary to how I know that statement might sound, I’m not trying to be pessimistic. I’m simply telling the truth, which is that high school will not meet every expectation that you have.

I’ll admit that I definitely had a few unrealistic expectations for my high school experience.

I had this notion in my head that I’d be able to handle my social life, and extracurriculars, and earn straight A’s with the same effort I’d put into middle school. Instead, I spent my first semester struggling to meet my own standards. It took me way too long to realize that it isn’t shameful to take some responsibilities off your plate.

I understand the feeling that you’re simultaneously doing too much and not enough, but allowing yourself to be overwhelmed will only lead to burnout. You shouldn’t feel guilty about prioritizing your mental and physical health. It’s been said a hundred times before, but it still rings true that grades are not everything.

High school grading is a mixed bag. There are numerous factors that go into it, from the course level to the teacher’s grading style, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about not meeting your, or anyone else’s, standards. I am much happier now that I’ve taken some of the pressure off of myself. I promise that the world won’t fall apart if you let yourself relax for a minute.

I’m almost certain that half of my grade had plans for reinventing themselves coming into high school, but here’s the truth about reinvention: it never lasts.

You can wipe your slate clean as many times as you want, but as long as you keep drawing on it, it’s going to get dirty again. That is okay.

As cliche as it is, mistakes are necessary. In fact, my worst mistakes probably resulted in the development of my best qualities.

If you’re an underclassman reading this, I really hope I haven’t discouraged you, that’s not my intention in the slightest. My point is that you’ll never find that soaring feeling you seek if you constantly have set expectations for what high school is going to be like.

To tell you the truth, my most memorable moments at this school weren’t at homecoming or football games. I found beauty in the experiences that I had no expectations for. I found it in the ridiculous conversations that I had with my friends sitting in the hallways during lunch. I found it when I overheard the playful debates that my classmates would start with my teachers. I found it in the solidarity I shared with kids who struggled with the same concept in class.

So no, high school won’t be everything you expected, but that might just be the best part of it.  When you let go of your expectations, you’re giving it a chance to be everything you never could’ve imagined.