Reflection on the Memories and Change for the Better


Adya Mohapatra

SOON-TO-BE GRADUATE Senior Tyler Palmgren is very glad he joined Robotics at IHS as it greatly influenced his life. Palmgren says, “IHS gave me the opportunity to push myself and challenge myself and figure out what to do in college. The teachers were supportive.”

Adya Mohapatra, Staff Writer

People walk away from high school with a variety of experiences. Some now look forward to the new chapter in their lives while others cannot help but look back upon the difficult journey and reminisce. Despite the varying amounts of influence high school has had on individuals, it all comes down to this; was it worth it? This is a question asked by many and answered by few. Considering how hyped up and talked about high school is, one would one figure that it really never stops having an effect on our lives. But is that actually the case? After all, it does often determine what we go on to do career-wise in life, but are not our personalities and overall growth as people far more important? Through the experiences and reflections of our fellow seniors as well as some deep introspection, let us venture further into the topic. Perhaps we will be able to discover what kind of mark we will leave here at IHS, and how it leads to what kind of mark we will leave on the world.

Let us begin by discussing classes. Many people say that the courses you choose in high school are the ones that determine your future. However, there are many individuals out there who prefer to take less rigorous classes, resulting in less homework and less required effort in comparison to those taking more difficult courses. And this, of course, can be due to a variety of reasons such as academic disinterest, interests in other areas, or a packed schedule. No matter the reason, it cannot be denied that classes do tend to affect the possible major you might want to pursue in college. Like senior Tyler Palmgren says, “It completely put me on what direction I wanted to go; STEM focused subjects. I learned strong STEM skills from my teachers and got decent job offers in STEM.” Classes give you some background information on what exactly you would be getting into, and they give you the opportunity to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. If you struggle in one subject but do really well in another subject, then you would be more oriented towards the subject you are better at. And, if you take classes that challenge you, you can see what your potential is and how much you can push yourself if you try.

However, that cannot be all there is to it. For the people that would rather focus on other things at this point in their lives, should not they be able to push themselves later in life, such as taking advanced classes in college or taking up difficult internships? Well, the answer to that is yes. As is the case with most things in life, it is never too late. High school, generally speaking, allows one to understand themselves and what they want to achieve in life better. It provides the time and opportunity for students to expand their horizons and see how they can apply themselves. The only drawback would be the sudden change. Individuals who started taking challenging classes as early on as middle school do have a slight advantage in the fact that they are already used to being in a rigorous academic environment. As the years go on and the work becomes tougher and tougher, those people will have entirely developed a mindset and work ethic that allows them to deal with difficult classes tactically. Meanwhile, those trying out harder classes for the first time do not have as much experience to fall back on. But, as the common saying goes, “If there is a will, there is a way.” The experience will make it easier, but you can do without it, too. If you have a goal in mind and want to achieve it, whether or not you adopt this goal in high school or even at age 50, you can very well do it by putting in the effort and dedication necessary. So, overall, high school classes do not have to predict your future. They only will if you want them to.  As senior Tiffany Auffray says, “The work ethic you build in high school affect the rest of your life. It’s the stepping stone to college, but doesn’t define you, it just helps.”

Then there is the more personal side of things; our growth as human beings on our so-called journey through high school. Lots of books and movies portray high school as the time to figure out exactly who you are, find the clique perfect for you and stay like that throughout the entirety of high school as well as life. Well, real life just does not work like that. As senior Emily Ko states, “High School Musical was a myth.” The people that surround us, the environment we are placed in and our own personalities are constantly changing and adapting according to new situations, often as a result of one another. Though most high school friendships and relationships do not tend to last, the effects they have on us provide us with memories of who we were, and what aspects of ourselves we would like to change or maintain in the future. Senior Tye McCorkle says, “You kind of establish [your personality], but people can change. But, core values are secured in high school.” As humans, we constantly grow and change, and high school is just another point in time for us to do so.

Overall, the decisions you made in high school do not have to affect you and the kind of person you are for the rest of your life; it is completely in your power to change. As TIME summarizes effectively, “High school is a lasting influence, but one that is hardly determinative [of who we become].”