The value of high school
November is an eventful time for many people. For the majority of high school seniors, it means for the start of college applications. As my fellow classmates and I begin to write our personal statements, calculate our GPAs and question what we want to do with ourselves after high school, some might ask themselves: What have I accomplished in high school that merits me any type of future?
At Yuba City High School, the classes that freshmen and sophomores take are usually pre-determined. However, as juniors and seniors, the work load and responsibilities begin to increase.
Many of us start to drive; SAT and ACT testing begins; and for some students, myself included, the number of advanced placement classes one takes also increases — but for what?
For senior Shelby Martinez, the classes she has chosen to take — such as her AP classes — and her choice to participate in cheerleading have all been to help her reach her goal of being accepted into a university. "All the work that I've done in high school only takes me one step closer to getting into college," she said.
Maddie Collins, also a senior at YCHS, shares the same sentiments. For her, high school has prepared her for a four-year university. "I take challenging courses in order to have the best opportunity to get into the schools that I want," she said.
By playing volleyball for four years, Maddie said she has learned that "being part of a team helps me step up as a leader and gain the skills needed for the future."
However, to some students, high school is not just a stepping stone and a preparatory place for a four-year university. "High school gives you a small step into the real world," said senior varsity cheerleader Anisha Gill. "It helps you break out of your shell and helps show who you are as a person and what kind of friends you prefer to hang around with."
As seniors begin either to fully take advantage of all that they have accomplished in high school or begin to regret some the choices that they have made, for juniors, sophomores and freshmen, there is still time to challenge and push themselves in areas where they want to succeed.
Sophie Poukish, a junior, said, "High school helps shape who you are and what you want to be in the future. If you work hard and develop strong habits, it will benefit you in the future — helping you become an Apple genius. If you slack off, you better learn how to heat up chicken nuggets."
I have pushed and challenged myself with AP courses and extra-curricular activities to stand out amongst my peers when applying to universities. I view high school as simply that — a stepping stone.
Yuba City High School's seniors are preparing themselves to leave and separate from the classmates they have come accustomed to being with for the past four years. Yet all class levels continue to work hard and trudge forward with our studies, tests, sports and clubs.
We continue with it all so that when we eventually graduate, we may utilize what we've learned to achieve our aspirations and goals.
Julia Lancaster is a senior at Yuba City High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.