I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about high school, and what being in high school means to me and my peers.

But here’s the problem: high school, as a rule, is indefinable.

With summer vacation fast on the approach, I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about high school, and what being in high school means to me and my peers.
But here’s the problem: high school, as a rule, is indefinable.

High school is at once a state of being, a place, and a community. It is incredibly dull on some days, and on others, it’s difficult to imagine life without it. It is the first time we are offered the choice between continuing our education and taking a different path. For four years, it is the focal point of our experiences.

But for all the frequent frustrations and dramatic entanglements, when you break it down to its most basic elements, high school is simply people, making an attempt at finding a niche to inhabit, and maybe learning a thing or two along the way. It isn’t the academics that hold a high school community together, but the people who inhabit the less-than-sterile hallways.

 High school isn’t forever. For most of us, this is a relief. I can honestly say that for the most part, I enjoy, or at least appreciate being in high school. But everyone experiences days of premature “senior-itis,” when nothing sounds more appealing than to abandon the endless drone of routine and strike out on your own. The idea of perpetual high school is beyond mind-numbing. 

 Every ounce of high school is oriented toward the future. There is constant pressure to succeed, to continue on to the next step, and then the next, until graduation day finally arrives. And even then we are being pushed toward the next steps of our lives, to a future that the world promises, with solid conviction, will be brighter.

And I know I’m not alone in thinking that there are times when every high school student needs to take a step back and really grasp what it is to be in this place, with these people, for these four years. There is such enormous stress on choosing a future that we easily forget what it means to live for the present moment.

I think if I had to choose a word, I would call high school a paradox. It is ceaseless chaos and unbending routine; it is complex, and yet beautifully simple. It is at once the defining factor of our adolescent lives, and only a very small portion of broader world of experiences.