Advice to a high school student from an outgoing senior

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Paxton DeVault

Lori Kopera ’88, Barb Carlin ’88 Nikki Moreland ’88 and Emily Eikenberry ’20, Chrisha Doss ’22, and Paxton DeVault ’21.

Paxton DeVault, Reporter

One thing that every student dreads is the transition from middle school to high school. You see in all these movies that high school is made out to be a big and scary place filled with mean and gruesome students, and there are constant worries. In reality, high school can be some of the best and easiest years of your life, whether you realize it or not. 

My freshman year of high school, I had a list of worries piled up inside my head. I was afraid I was going to get lost in such a big school, I was going to fail all my classes, and all the upperclassmen were going to bully me. And that is exactly what you see in the movies, right? And yes, I can admit I did get lost a few times, but I had nothing to worry about. I was needlessly overthinking.

Then that got me thinking… What advice would I have given to myself as a freshman? And what advice would current and alumni students give to us?

“I was scared I was gonna get lost since it was such a bigger building, but I wasn’t really scared of the people,” says Sydney Doughman, class of 2021. “I was more afraid of going into middle school having to change classes for the first time. Now that I’m a senior at TJ, I think it’s silly that I was scared of getting lost. High school goes by so fast and it feels like yesterday I was scared of it. Now I’m feeling the same way towards college and it’ll soon be the same, I’ll think it was silly.” 

1990 TJHS graduate Scott Anderson, said, “Don’t forget that it’s okay to be driven to succeed, and it’s also okay to slow down a bit and observe what’s going on around you before you miss it.”

“Make memories!” said 1988 TJHS grad Chris Brown-Bennett. “And don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t be someone you’re not just to fit in with the crowd. They won’t matter in five years anyway!”

1989 TJHS alum DeVella Graybill Butler said, “Be more outgoing! Be kind to everyone. Don’t get into the cliques and drama. Life is too short. Aim High. You can do it!”

“There is more to life than who and what is inside the walls of your high school,” said 1988 TJHS gradBarb Gill. “Don’t let anyone else define who you are. Take risks, challenge yourself, and have fun along the way!”