Senior Reflection: Was high school really that bad?

Jared Lipkin, Staff Writer

Looking back on the last four years, I’m struck by how much of it I spent unhappy. In all honesty, much of my day to day experience has sucked. We spent almost an entire year completely remote, shut off from social interactions and the activities that typically brought joy to our lives. Classes weren’t easy, and trying to find the motivation to finish a pass/fail discussion post while trying to pretend I wasn’t worried that my mom might not survive her breast cancer was a monumental task. When I think about high school like this, it’s understandable that I would have a negative picture. Classes were hard, and frequently boring. COVID made my life objectively miserable for almost a year and a half, and I’m still suffering from the impact it had on my mental health.

But was high school really that bad? I’m struck by this nagging feeling that I actually enjoyed high school. By and large, even if the workload annoyed me, I liked my classes (Crazy, I know). My conversations in between classes and in the lunchroom with my teachers and friends were hilarious and engaging. And beyond the academics, I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to make a real impact at this school: seven school theater productions, dozens of tutoring appointments, and two semesters as a Teaching Assistant in wonderful AP classes. I consider myself beyond lucky to have had these opportunities.

The people have made my time at Algonquin so gratifying. The casual conversations in between classes. The most interesting lectures. The tutors in the Writing Center. The people in the theatre department. And even as I struggled to find the motivation to complete my assignments, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have some truly fantastic teachers carrying me through these four years. From Mr. Barry to Mrs. Steele, from Mr. Kellett to Ms. Philbin, my teachers have made some of the hardest subjects more manageable–even enjoyable.

High school has been filled with bad moments. But it’s also been filled with a lot of good. I encourage everyone to strive to remember the best moments, because much of our time together really has been enjoyable.

Here’s to us.