The Fourth Year

At the time of writing this, I have around one week of high school left. It’s a weird feeling that I’m just now starting to process. The amount of growth I experienced over these four years was astounding. It almost feels like freshman me was a completely different person. I would look back on that person and resent them. I would tell myself they’re gone forever—but that’s just not true. It’s all me. I’ve always been me. I’ve changed because of my past. Every mistake I made, big and small, that’s what helped me grow. I used to let those mistakes get me down. I told myself I was dumb. I told myself I was a loser. But I don’t want to do that anymore. I need to stop focusing on what I lost or didn’t have, and start focusing on what I gained and do have. Every mistake I made helped me become the person I am today—I just didn’t know it at the time.

Being part of the school newspaper has been nothing short of wonderful. It felt so good to write about what I was passionate about, with almost no restrictions. Even before high school, I knew I had a passion for journalism. This was the first club I thought about joining, and it ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve made. I wrote about movies, video games, current events, school events, or just whatever. I’m currently taking a journalism elective in the second semester, and have been thoroughly enjoying it. I’ll now be majoring in journalism at a university, and couldn’t be happier.

I’ll be entering college with a completely different mindset than I did in high school. Entering high school, I was overly optimistic. I expected everything to go the way I wanted it to. So when that didn’t happen, it crushed me. Now that I’m heading to college in a few months, it’s completely different. I know I’m going to feel stressed. I know I’m going to lose friendships and relationships. I know I’m going to fail exams. I know I’m going to cry sometimes. And that’s okay. Because I’m going to learn from it all. 

I’ve spent too much time feeling regret. Focusing on the negatives. Always wondering if I did enough. But I know now that my high school experience was incredible. It wasn’t perfect of course, no one’s was. But it was incredible. I’m going to miss it quite a lot, but at the same time, I’m extremely excited to be starting this new chapter of my life.

So if you’re reading this and you’re entering your freshman year, or any other year for that matter— be grateful for what you have. And make the most out of it.

This is James Steigerwald, signing off.