Looking Back

Mackenzie Powell, Writer, Photographer

People always say “high school will be the best years of your life.” They don’t tell you about the lost friendships, struggle to get work done and other things life throws at you. Four years ago, I walked into the halls of Oak Park. As a freshman, I thought high school was going to chew me up and spit me out – I was right. High school was a lot of ups and downs, but it also taught me four of the most valuable lessons I would ever learn.

1- Talk to your teachers.  As someone who would go from failing a class to having an A in less than a week, teachers are there to watch you succeed. I suck in English, so that was always the class I ended up failing for most of the semester. I got blessed with having English teachers like Melanie Warner and Natalie Prater, who want to see you go far in life. From early on in the semester, I established a relationship with my teachers so when I needed it they would help. Now most people would call this being a “teacher’s pet,” I call it knowing how to play my cards. From having that relationship, I was able to find a way to make my grade less scary.

2-Friendships will end. Sure, you meet this awesome person and you two click. You think “Wow, this friendship will never end”. Wrong. High school changes people and not always for the good.  As people get pulled in different directions, so do even the closest friendships. High school makes unnecessary drama that will ruin friendships. I lost my best friend of years over petty drama that does not matter, but it ruined a friendship I thought was going to be forever.

3-Do things you thought you wouldn’t enjoy. I started journalism because I needed a practical art credit, but ended up falling in love with it. The same thing happened with sociology. I put the class down as my alternate then it ended up being my favorite class based on Jake Voos’s teaching. If reading this teaches you anything, it should teach you to take every opportunity even if it’s silly. Go watch that movie on the football field, ask out the girl you’ve been crushing on, take foods class because you can. Take it from the wise Shia Labeouf and just do it.

4-It’s over before you know it. It felt like yesterday I was in Chris Goll’s physics classroom. Now, I am a week away from walking the stage. It’s been ride, but it has been rewarding. Take your time, don’t wish for it to be over. You’ll be where I am right now – wishing I spent more time doing the things I love. I would’ve done more than what I have done. I would’ve seen more football games or went to the club meeting that I’ve always wanted to join. Enjoy the ride while you have it, you’ll miss it.