Take Care of Yourself

by Connor Pugh

I spent much of my time in high school going through the painstaking process of trial and error. Many times I signed up for a class or joined a club or some other extracurricular with a genuine interest, only to come out the other side beaten and battered. A particularly eye-opening experience for me was when I took AP Computer Science Java in sophomore year and swiftly learned that field was not the right fit for me.

Many times I went out of my way to try the most difficult classes and experiences out of some misplaced belief in “proving myself” to others. Despite actively hating an experience, I forced myself to keep on going if only to merely tell myself I could. While there is value in grit and going out of your comfort zone, high school shouldn’t just be constant over-exertion every single day like I was trying to make it out to be. You’re allowed to have fun, and you should allow yourself to take a break when you need it, and to not go rushing into the hardest challenges just for the sake of it. My advice is to take your time, relax a little bit, and choose for yourself your own pace of work and effort instead of just attempting to do everything.

Despite my hardships, I had just as many times where I came out of an experience pleasantly surprised and accomplished. Newspaper class, for instance, helped me channel my passion for writing into a career choice I really wanted to pursue and plan my academic future. I think the lesson that can be learned from my experience is to focus more on taking experiences for yourself. Don’t be afraid to take risks, but also keep in mind that you’re the ultimate determiner of your own fate in high school, and there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun in high school and looking out for yourself.