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Editorials and Opinions

Why you’re here

By Denebola
Published: November 2007
By Ben Seifer
You’re not in high school to find your calling in life. You’re not in high school to achieve a high GPA. And you’re definitely not here just to get into a good college.
When you’re sitting in your least favorite class, or for that matter, any of your classes, do you ever ask yourself: “Why do I need to know this? Why am I even here?”
It is true, if you don’t like biology or world history now, it’s very unlikely that you ever will. It is even more unlikely that you will remember even the smallest portion of it after graduating from Newton South.
The same is true for the classes you do enjoy. I will use English, the only mandatory four-year course at South, as an example. Let’s say a student loves English to its core. Analyzing literary text, finding a deeper meaning, creative writing, even grammar; this kid loves all of it.
Ten years down the road, this kid becomes an accountant. What is the use of all that knowledge? True, writing skills, correct grammar, and maybe even a good vocabulary, will stick with that person, but the hours of flipping through pages of The Scarlet Letter and A Tale of Two Cities do absolutely nothing for the young accountant.
So what do we take away from this place that will matter in the end? The workload and competing priorities force us to learn how to juggle. We learn to manage our time efficiently so that our days have balance. The massive workloads help us figure out how to fit in working out in the gym, pursuing our hobbies, seeing our friends, all in addition to doing our homework.
It is essential that we figure out how to put the puzzle pieces together to make a life that is interesting and fulfilling but not overwhelming. This skill will benefit us greatly later on.
Ultimately, it is not the individual classes but the actual high school experience that really prepares us for life.
High school is also a place to make mistakes; we’re young and mistakes come hand in hand with growing up. What is important is how we act after we screw up.
Do we dump our problems upon friends and family to solve for us and look for some outward blame or excuse? Or do we owe up to our mistakes and take responsibility and then move forward?
At the end of the day the mistake is your doing and yours alone; it is your job to deal with it not others. When you do mess up don’t get too down on yourself and get over it as quickly and smoothly as possible. It’s good to make mistakes now so you can learn how to deal with them later.
If we’re lucky, South will help us develop an understanding of how to relate to our peers and what to look for in a good friend. A-block math will eventually end, and the C- you received on that in-class essay will finally fade from your memory.
Your ability to connect with others, however, will always influence all parts of your life.
These are the things that will prove most essential. It is the way in which we manage our lives and our relationships that define us, not our transcripts.

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