The Evolution of a High Schooler (Me)


Jayden Barnes, Reporter

When you were in elementary or even middle school, everyone you asked that were in high school told you that it either was the best place ever, or the definition of torture. Depending on what stories you got, you had a prejudgement on this next step in your life, which in most cases are usually bad. For me though? Those presumptions were broken within the first few months of freshman year.

During freshman year, there were a lot of issues in my personal life that I won’t dwell on now, but being in a changing home environment during this magnificent change in school environment didn’t help any. I was unhappy, constantly in fear of not being able to keep up with grades, and always having that little fear that high school would turn into the torture chamber my brother once told me it was. Of course, a little light always shines in bad situations, and this light was reconnecting with my childhood friends after not really conversing with them for two years.

Being able to act myself ,and sometimes childish, with people that I always felt comfortable with helped my high school life extremely. I was able to have a place to hang out during lunch and afterschool most times, allowing myself to truly figure myself out since I had no worries or people to tell me how to act. The end of freshman year and beginning of sophomore year were the best years of my life in all honesty, and I don’t think I could be definite in that without my friends being a part of it.

Since sophomore and early junior year were the majority of my high school social life before the pandemic, it gave me a lot of time to actually enjoy school and the teachers there. If you told freshman year me that the teacher who paused a lot in-between sentences and went off on tangents about stories of his past would be a part of my class schedule for FOUR years, I would think of you as crazy. The teachers here at Selma High are some of the best teachers I’ve met, and I wouldn’t think of going to any other high school, especially with how hard they’ve worked this past year. They allowed me to tap into parts of myself that would lead to my aspirations, such as a writer, artist, or psychologist. But now that we’ve talked about the golden age of high school, we must dive deep into the dark ages.

The pandemic! Quite the surprise on everyone in the world, and for me at first, an introvert, being able to stay home away from everyone was a godsend! I was able to quickly get done with all my school work for the day, then hop online with friends. Of course, however, this quickly got bland as I realized staying at home, away from any and all human contact had fried my brain. I did my best to talk to people, connect with old friends or even new ones, but I realized in this time of isolation the best thing I was able to do was connect with myself

This seemed to be a challenge, yet the more I tapped into my interests, the easier it became. Senior year, in all honesty, has been the best for my self confidence as I’ve gotten 1000x better at my own art, writing skills, and even mental health. I’ll say that I did want that on-campus experience as a senior, being able to chill in class with friends and watch movies at the end of the year, but seeing how things went, I’d say at least I have a good story to tell to my future kids.

And so, I leave you, dear reader, with this. No matter what grade you’re in, you should cherish the moments you get. High school won’t be what everyone tells you it is because they aren’t you; they don’t have your personality, they don’t have your charisma, they don’t have your talents. You create and build your own experiences here at Selma High, and it’s your choice if you want to make it good. You only have four years, for most of you less than that at this point, you should use the time you have to make memories that you WANT to remember. I’m sure you’ll all do great.