Emily Semlow, Staff Writer

Emily Semlow, Staff Writer

High school sucks.

Not because of the learning or the work or the people. High school sucks because we all start out sure of what the next four years are going to look like, and then it’s nothing like you think.

The directions we go and the people you talk to surprise you.

Things that were never apart of your picture before, suddenly become your whole picture.

When I started my freshman year, I was all about sports, holding the idea that I was going to be the best athlete I could be. Sure, I had my passion for writing in my back pocket, but I never would have thought that sports would disappear from my life.

I had been a diverse child, with reading, writing, pretend acting, singing, designing, even creating my own budget and business. I was everywhere; I still am. I learned martial arts, and played basketball, and softball, and even a little baseball in my backyard. I had this weird desire to learn how to skateboard, and I imagined my bike was a motorcycle, making myself fly across ramps in my neighborhood, that in hindsight, I really should have never tried. I even woke up at 7 a.m. and created my own boot camp, and then went to play in the rain and collect worms later that evening. Once again, I was everywhere, and eventually became to be known as “emazing” to myself in the eighth grade, because I was so amazing that I couldn’t be categorized in any other word but my own.

Going all the way back to that time period, I also had no friends in school for a couple years, and surprisingly, I originally struggled with my writing. But I moved, and now I’m here. I continued sports, I created “emazing”. Being weird, waving my freak flag was in my blood — always has been, always will be. I had all of this confidence in who I was. I stood tall, yet clumsy, when I walked the halls. I was loud and opinionated and I was going to be heard. I didn’t care about others in the slightest.

Today, anyone from middle school, and even freshman and sophomore year doesn’t even recognize me anymore. They wouldn’t be able to.

I continued with my passions and went after a title in wrestling, while playing softball outside of school. Then, I broke a girl’s arm and got sick from overworking myself.

I ran to softball. There, they hardly let me play, and what I found out a couple years later, I was so bad at hitting because I couldn’t see the ball.

Sophomore year, I gave up my sports, and the hard times began to hit. I questioned who I was and the thoughts of who I wanted to be created the person who’s so unrecognizable today. 

High school tore away my confidence and who I thought I was.

And I couldn’t be happier that it did.

I ended up going through a lot of hard times, and watched as those closest to me went through their own difficulties.

High school sucks.

But I’m so glad that I’ve been put through these trial and errors, mentally, and physically. I can, once again, confidently say that I’m proud of who I am. Even though the middle was rough, the beginning and end and all of the life lessons and experiences in between were worth it.

After moving here in the seventh grade, I can now say that I have a family outside of my family. People who have stuck with me through, not only these four years, but six, and I hope they stay around for the rest of my life. My friends are the loves of my life, and I could never survive without them. And through the thicks and thins, there have been teachers who taught me so much about life, and importantly, myself.

Four years is a long time, but it goes by fast.

To those freshmen, to my younger brother,

Don’t ever give up in high school. You may want to, and you may struggle, not with the work, but yourself. Just know, everything turns out just fine, and the best thing you can do is stay true to yourself and who YOU want to be, not necessarily what society points to. You’ll find your family, and you’ll find your lifelong passions. I beg to you, don’t tune out high school. It’s a small blip in your life but it can be so vital and enlightening if you give it a chance and don’t stop when times get tough. College is only going to be another crazy adventure where we, hopefully, take who we’ve built so far and grow even further. Our minds getting stronger and our relationships with others becoming everlasting.

To my future and past self,

Don’t ever stop being you, and don’t let others make you lose your path. Everything happens for a reason. And be excited for the future, but also remember — enjoy right now. For, every moment that passes is just another passing memory that we can only look back on the second it ends.

High school may suck, but life can be amazing.