Saying goodbye to high school


Photos courtesy Jenna Lind

Senior Jenna Lind compares her experiences and lessons learned through every year of high school.

When you tell people you are starting high school, the first thing they say is how fast the four years go by. Every time I heard this I always thought they were lying because how could four years go by that quick? If only I knew how quick it would go and how much I would miss high school once I left. 

When I walked into the school for freshman year, I was terrified. Petrified to say the least. I set the lockscreen of my phone to my class schedule and refused to change it for the whole semester because I was scared I would get lost. I refused to go any other way to class because I finally had my route down. By the time I got comfortable in the school, it was a new semester with new classes and I had to reset my lock screen and find a new route. I was the student that would freak out if I got a point off on a test (little did I know how little that one point mattered in the long run). Eventually, I started making new friends and finding my place. Little did I know those people would become my ride or die in life. 

As I walked into school for sophomore year, I was more calm than the year before because I found my friend group and all I had to do was survive school now. The study sessions for AP tests and late night calls with friends are memories that I will cherish forever. I will never forget walking around the school during lunch to visit my friends who sat in different hallways and cramming for tests I had the next period. Over time I learned to let loose more and have fun in the process of high school. I became more comfortable and gained confidence.

Junior year. Everyone says it is the worst year ever and realistically it is only as bad as you make it. I knew that I could not take a million AP classes while trying to sustain a social life, study for the SAT, and maintain a job. Balance is key. This is the year that I laughed the most in my classes and also cried the most because I could not meet my own expectations. I had no idea how much life would change when the pandemic hit.

Senior year started and so did the stress of applying to college. After committing to University of Pittsburgh, I did keep working hard in school and tried not to let senioritis get the best of me. I still set unrealistic goals for myself and was my own harshest critic when it came to school. Fourth quarter this year is when it started hitting me that a grade on a test doesn’t define me as a person and grades are not everything. When this finally set in, I was able to enjoy times with my friends more without having school in the back of my mind. 

After four years of high school, I learned that challenging yourself is important, but so is setting realistic goals and expectations. I also learned that the drama does not matter. There will be drama with friends, but you find who is a real friend and will stick by you when things get hard. Remembering that you are more than a grade and a score is important and they are not everything. Live high school to the fullest because you don’t want to live with regrets. As I say goodbye to the high school chapter of my life and start a new chapter in Pittsburgh becoming a nurse I want to thank Wootton for pushing me to be the best I can be and for teaching me everything I know.