Reflecting on high school experiences as graduation approaches


Photo courtesy of Emma Yost

As my time in high school comes to an end, it’s difficult to decide how I feel about it. 

These past four years have felt like a lifetime, one that I never thought would come to an end. Maybe thinking like that has actually made the idea of graduating even harder for me- I never thought it would really happen. 

But as graduation approaches and I reflect on my time at Oviedo, I decided that if I could, I wouldn’t go back and change anything. All the hard times, disappointments, and bad friends were somehow worth it in the end. It sounds cliche to say, but I’m thankful for all the lessons I gained from these bad experiences. 

Throughout middle and high school, a pattern has recurred with my friends. Each time, I tried so hard and gave everything I could to be a good friend, and received nothing in return. It took me three years to come to terms with it, and realizing that they were never really my friends crushed me. 

Besides friendship problems, high school overall was rocky thanks to the pandemic interruption and everything else in between. To top it off, balancing putting together college applications and managing the newspaper this fall while adjusting to being back in-person was perhaps the most overwhelming experience yet. I felt hopeless, as if I was putting so much effort into something that wouldn’t have anything in return for me. 

Regardless, high school has not been all of what it’s cracked up to be. Experiencing the heartbreak of losing a friend, or that first breakup, is truly devastating. Because when you are sixteen, your friends letting you down feels like the end of the world. And in a way, it is. But I’ve found that somehow, two years later, it does all work out in the end.  

Because in my last quarter of high school, everything finally fell into place. I committed to my dream school that I think will be perfect for me. I won a journalism award that made everything that happened this year worthwhile. I found a new group of friends who appreciate me for me and a guy who really is worth my time.

Part of me is frustrated that I finally got to experience what I always wanted high school to be just as it’s ending, but I like to think it’s helping me learn to not take anything for granted. I try my best to soak up every moment I have left, and just enjoy the remainder of my time here in Florida, before I leave for college in Colorado. 

My high school experience was surely not the one I expected, or hoped for. But in the end, I’m not going to remember all the nights in my room I spent alone. It will be the moments where I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe in sixth period, mid-day Dunkin’ runs, and the Friday night football games that I reminisce about when I drive past Oviedo High School. 

I’ve come to accept that you have to take what you get, and I really am thankful for the experiences I gained in the past four years. All the bad has made me truly appreciate the good, and I could not be more excited for what the future holds.