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The Point of High School (and Life)

High school can often feel like busy work or this odd state of limbo where you wait until your life truly begins. It's easy for it to feel pointless, but while the earlier descriptions of highschool do have some truth to them, I’m here to tell you that there truly is a point to highschool. 

So what is this point of highschool? Well, it’s to learn, but not just learning stuff for the sake of learning. There are two specific things that we need to learn in highschool: the first, and arguably most important, is to learn yourself — figure out what you enjoy, what you fear, and what motivates you, the second is to learn actual stuff — facts, skills both practical and just for fun, and social skills. Learning yourself will help you find your why’s — why you interact with others, why you get out of bed in the morning, even why you choose to keep living in a world where you could choose to die. Learning stuff will help you to engage with your why’s — social skills help you interact with people, personal finance skills can help you finance your passions, and facts can help inform your choices and ensure that they align with your why’s. 

It's certainly possible to go through highschool without learning either of these things. There have been times where I lost track of learning stuff in my classes and focused only on my grade — I honestly couldn’t tell you much about biology or visual basic. I also spent most of my highschool time not learning enough about myself. I didn’t really consider or think about what I wanted from life before I became an upperclassman, and let me tell you something, it’s a lot harder to get work done when you don’t know why you should do it. 

Life isn’t some test where you need to get the right answers.

I want to make something abundantly clear, this learning of stuff and of yourself doesn’t need to be exact. You don’t need to know exact details of every subject you’re learning as long as you get the gist of it, you don’t need to have perfect form for the skills you learn, and most importantly, you don’t need to have exact why’s, all that matters is that you are trying to figure it out. Life isn’t some test where you need to get the right answers — instead, life is more like a game where we’re given challenges that we can learn from and maybe even have a little bit of fun with. 

Finally, I want to leave you with the top five things I regret about my time in highschool — not to bring you down or for your pity, but in the hopes that maybe you can get a better idea of how you should spend your time in highschool. 

The top five regrets of a graduating senior

  • Waiting for something or someone to change my life 

  • Defining my life by my conditions and mistakes instead of who I was

  • Not entertaining enough of my crazy and stupid ideas and fantasies 

  • Prioritizing school over everything else

  • Avoiding trying things out of fear

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