Lydia Velazquez – Senior Column

I Always Write over My Word Count and This Is No Exception

I would be lying if I said I liked high school, but I would also be exaggerating if I said I hated it.

The past four years has been a whirlwind of lows, short highs, and plenty of mediocre moments—my senior year probably being the clearest representation of it all. I spent first semester working part time at a retail store that rhymes with “Shmome Shoods,” resulting in me falling into a cycle of “school, work, sleep, repeat.” The few free Fridays I had I spent at Panera, having study dates with myself and a bagel. Aside from a concert here and a few hangouts there, first semester was boring at best and stressful at worst.

Suddenly it was second semester, and everything was actually fairly terrible before it started getting better. During the beginning of the new year, I was in an absolute rut with no idea how to get out. Then, the weather started to warm up and so did I. For the first time in a while good things started outweighing the bad, and the mediocre didn’t feel so second-rate anymore. The past few months have been layered with fun outings, from an art gallery field trip to attending two concerts in two weeks to going to another school’s prom, as well as days where I just listen to music and enjoy my own company. By doing things that may seem unconventional for the average high schooler but that I personally enjoy, I’m reminded of the fact that happiness in high school (like being super involved or always going to sporting events or dances) doesn’t determine my happiness during the high school years.

Looking back, I’ve recognized that my disdain for high school was because I am so aware of what makes me happy. High school has always felt like a second thought that was forced to be a priority, limiting me from improving on the things that felt most important to me, like my writing and artworks. It probably did not help that a majority of the friends I have made that match my interests and level of ambition live far away and/or are older than me, but now that I’m graduating I’m thankful that I will have those people to lean on.

In conclusion (if there even is one), high school has not made me the person I am today. But life has, and I am glad I’m able to separate the two from each other