Things I wish I knew before high school


(Left to right) My sister, Sydney Europa, and I before our first day of high school in 2019.

Senior year. The one thing most teenagers look forward to. As I prepare to embark on my next journey in life, I want to take some time to share the top four things I wish I knew as an underclassman.

High school is hard, and it’s okay.
Growing up, I always had this idea in my head of what high school was like. I would fantasize about it for days while watching movies and TV shows to fuel my imagination. I imagined I would have the time of my life and spend my days brazing through schoolwork and hanging out with friends all day, every day. While these four years have had their glory moments, it wasn’t just all unicorns and rainbows.

High school is hard, emotionally. Everything is happening all at once. Classes are more difficult, friend groups are changing, interests are evolving, and everyone cares what others think. You will feel motivated one minute and then unmotivated for the next three days. There will be moments of wanting to cry and scream out of frustration. There will also be moments of laughter and smiles. All of these emotions are okay, and it’s what makes high school…high school.

(Left to right) My big sister, Kara Oandasan ‘21, and I posed for a photo after my Freshman Initiation. This is a rite of passage for all Sacred Hearts Academy students entering high school.

Your family is the best support system.
With the emotions of this season, a good support system is essential. This is where family comes in. Family will be your biggest support system. Family doesn’t have to just be biological either, friends can be family. While they may not have experienced high school as we know it, they did have to go through this phase of life. So listen to what they have to say. What they share may be helpful.

Do what you love, no matter what people tell you.
This one seems the most obvious but is the hardest of all. Friends can have different interests from you, and that’s okay. However, don’t let that stop you from doing what you want to do. Join the club you want to be a part of, take that class that no one wants to take, or try out for a sport you’re interested in. You only get four years of high school. Spend those years doing what you want to so you don’t look back and regret it.

Have fun.
No seriously, have fun. Go see that movie with your friends on the weekend. Dance like no one’s watching at prom and winter ball. Play volleyball and football in the courtyard. Participate in the games at pep rallies. Do every fun thing high school has to offer. Some of my best memories are from playing games with my division or dancing with my friends at prom. If you don’t try to have fun, you will regret it.

High school is the toughest and most fun time of your young life. I have made lifelong connections, had opportunities I would never have imagined, and found confidence in myself and my abilities. I hope my four pieces of advice can help you make the most of your high school career.