Senior Reflection: Change doesn’t stop in high school

Andrew Roberts, Online Sports Editor

Like many people say, high school has been a transformative experience. Before high school, I didn’t really expand beyond my small friend circle and was shy around others. Many assumed I didn’t care to have more friends, but really I was just afraid of taking social risks, fearing I would embarrass myself. Now, I leave high school with more confidence to talk to new people and friends that I wasn’t expecting to make. However, self-improvement doesn’t have to stop in high school, and my journey has only begun.

When I started this effort to change, I was misguided. I thought winning over my crush who had no interest was the definition of stepping out of my shell (if you’re reading this, please forgive my stupidity). While this was the wrong way to go about things, I learned from it. She said she wanted to focus on herself, and I realized I should too.

As a full-remote student during the pandemic, I had 15 months where I was able to develop friendships over text. When I opened up to people, they opened up to me, and I was a helpful, caring friend. However, these conversations weren’t happening in person. By the time senior year rolled around, I was a different person on my phone than I was in real life. I didn’t realize this until I returned to school in-person to find that many of these friendships I made virtually were awkward in reality. 

I made it my goal to gain my virtual confidence in real life. In the past, I never really cared about appearance, but now, I’ve found that putting in more effort helps me feel more comfortable in my own shoes. Since then, I have tried some different haircuts, worked to find my style and begun working out. I have been less afraid to take risks, as it’s hard to live a fulfilling life without them. 

Many have the perception that once you graduate high school, you have become an adult who’s done growing. I may be close to done growing physically (unless by some miracle I grow a couple more inches). However, I refuse to accept that this is the final, optimal version of myself. I’m happy with who I’ve become, but I hope to continue growing mentally and improving throughout my life. High school is just the beginning of a great journey for all of us.