High School 101

High school. The four years that seem to be the most important ones of your life. The drama, the pressure, the memories. The experience that we all share. So, how do you get through it? In this article, you’ll hear tips from JCS students who are going through the same things as you- tips not just on how to survive, but how to thrive in these four years that sometimes seem like they will determine the rest of our lives.

When you think of high school, what immediately comes to mind are grades. As a junior said, “Staying organized helps me a lot, [as well as] working together with friends. Making a study routine and creating a schedule is also really helpful.” Doing so can help you balance grades, extracurriculars, and most importantly, your health and wellbeing.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “High school is hard to prepare you for college.” We often have a lot of uncertainty surrounding choosing the right major, picking the perfect college, and hoping to get in. Here’s some advice from senior Beto Valenzuela – “Go to the universities you are interested in. They provide a good perspective that you can’t necessarily find on the website.”  And remember- the perfect college for one person might not work out for someone else. Everyone has their own path, and sometimes it might be different from what you are thinking of!

While academics are the priority, branching out and exploring your interests can’t be neglected. Lucky for you, JCS has a ton of clubs. Freshman Laila Taylor is in many clubs such as SDC, JSA, Ethics Bowl, Quiz Bowl, and La Comunidad. “Extracurriculars help me learn about things that school doesn’t teach me,” said Taylor. Often, you can choose how much or how little time you want to put into a club. Eventually, you might even become a leader of a club you enjoy! This can help you gain valuable skills, such as public speaking, organization, and planning. It’s also okay if you don’t want to do that- sometimes, you might even join a club just to hang out and make friends.

One of the most nerve-racking and exciting parts of high school is finding friends that you fit in with. Saami Baig, a sophomore, said, “Don’t be too self-conscious, and don’t be scared of people. If someone judges you, it’s not worth it.” Our school is small and has a tight-knit community, so it’s easy to meet and get to know many different people. Try joining a club, sitting with someone new at lunch, or just saying hi to the person sitting next to you in class- it’s often not hard to find something you have in common with another person that can start a conversation. Many of the people you meet in high school will be with you for the rest of your life. Even if it takes a while, you can find people who you can relate to. It’s more important to find a few friends whom you can be yourself around, rather than to be friends with a lot of people who don’t really know you.

To wrap up, some advice from me: While you might be stressed or worried about upcoming grades, events, and the future in general, sometimes it’s best to just enjoy the moment. While high school might not be everything you expect it to be, these four years can be an amazing experience that shapes who you are and stays with you for the rest of your life!