The words “these are the best years of your life” are nagging. Family, friends and teachers all claim my high school years will have been the peak of my life. I go to school five days a week (until 5:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays) and I work after school and on the weekends, all while balancing homework and the various commitments made throughout the year. As much as I have fallen into the routine, these years have been far from perfect, far from “the best.” I know that these years are not the best of my life.
There is no one high school experience. My classes, my friends, the teachers whom I most rely on are all different from anybody else’s. Some students have jobs, while others are allowed the freedom of focusing solely on their academic careers. Some students are involved with a handful of clubs while others choose not to. There is no wrong way to be a high school student. For some students, their time here at Malden High School has been idyllic. These are students with classes they love, friends they treasure and experiences that will remain happy memories for years to come.
Instead of continuing to believe my high school experience has been “wrong,” I have chosen to look forward. I look forward to the future, seeing the “best years of my life” lying ahead of me. Perhaps college, maybe graduate school. Maybe the best years won’t present themselves until I am a mother, or a grandmother or twenty years into my fulfilling career.
Of course, I will look back on my high school years. We all will. I will remember the classes I had, the amazing teachers who have forever impacted my life. I will remember the plays I went to, the football games on days so cold my friends and I huddled together to watch a game none of us understood. I will remember the last Pep Rally, and the final Spirit Week.
With The Blue & Gold, each edition marks the events in our lives. It tells the story of the good. The bad aspects of high school are hardly highlighted in the newspaper, but that does not mean we should ignore them, forget them. It is important for those of us who have had the best years of our lives in high school, maybe the worst, maybe the “just okay,” to remember what was good with what was bad. To erase our high school years is to ignore where we have come from, to ignore how this will affect where we will go. When we are teachers and lawyers, mothers and fathers, we will remember the inescapable years of high school.
We will remember the tears, that first C sophomore year, that fight with our best friend where we thought our eternal friendship was over. We will remember the Holiday Parties, the musicals, the teachers who we will be forever grateful for. In every bad high school experience there are great memories lying beneath the surface. In every great high school experience there are tears and fights lying behind the facade of the “best.” To forget the good and the bad, their intertwining nature, is to forget our origins, where we have grown so much, with crying, with laughter, with the variety of emotions that have stuck themselves to teenagehood.
Some of us will look back on our high school years and wish ourselves back. We will wish to be sitting in the bleachers during a basketball game, a Pep Rally. We will remember the bad only after reminiscing about the good. Others will look back and be forever grateful that the years of high school are over, remembering first the tears, the bad grades, the fights and embarrassments. After remembering the bad, we will also remember the happy times in our high school lives, recognizing the abundance of growth.