The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill


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High School is a Rollercoaster

Let Your Hair Down and Savor the Ride

I already have a unit test next Wednesday. College apps are due in three months. It’s September, but it feels like it’s been years. What student hasn’t felt the anxiety of back-to-school season? For freshmen, it’s a time of newness and uncertainty. Navigating new buildings, extracurriculars, and academics all at once—it’s a task. As for those in the middle, the sophomores and juniors, maybe it’s starting to feel a little like high school will never end. For seniors, the four-year tenure at AHS is almost over…but there’s plenty of work to still be done, college-related or otherwise. As summer’s rosy haze slips away, and those Fourth of July fireworks become mere memories, it’s all too easy to fall into a pessimistic mindset. Who hasn’t bemoaned a late-night extracurricular, or homework that was assigned at just the wrong time? It’s cathartic to complain. It’s even better to commiserate with others. 

But in that seemingly miserable and never-ending fog we students fight our way through; it’s all too easy to overlook the positives. Yes, high school is a busy and challenging time in everyone’s life, but it’s also a prime part of life to grow and learn. Even in challenging classes, there’s always something essential to be learned. Physics is a lesson on the physical world around us; US History, a critical course for understanding the country.  And even if you never have to integrate another function in “real life,” pushing through adversity and persevering can lead to valuable tenacity that will benefit you in the long run. Remember to stay focused, ask for help when needed, and stay positive—you got this! 

For seniors, college applications can definitely be challenging. However, it’s important to remember that the hard work and effort you put into the process will ultimately lead you to amazing opportunities. Whether you’re applying to your dream school or exploring your options, every step you take is a step closer to achieving your goals. Think of all the experiences that wait just a year in the future: living independently, getting that dream internship, and waking up at noon instead of 6 AM.  

And as cliché as it sounds, the journey really is the important part. Don’t discount the value of those extracurriculars filling up your calendars and necessitating long nights studying. Commitments like sports teams, civics clubs, academic bowls, and planning committees aren’t just for the benefit of your resume; each activity is an opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. Moreover, Arcadia High School’s (AHS) wealth of student organizations is what bolsters our community’s appeal to each individual student. Specifically for new students, this valuable privilege is something that can be looked forward to in the transition to a new school. So freshmen, check out what’s out there for you to discover. With more than seventy clubs and a plethora of academic teams to try at AHS, there’s no question that your opportunity to thrive is just around the corner. If school’s getting you down, then find a form of connection—whether it’s in Chanteurs, Science Olympiad, Pep, or a niche of your own. 

In the end, high school can best be described as a rollercoaster. Everyone has their ups and downs. At one point or another, we all end up looking at ourselves, wondering how we ended up where we did. At times like these, it can help to keep a certain quote from Columbia University’s President Nicholas Butler in mind: “There are three kinds of people in this world: people who make it happen, people who watch what happens, and people who wonder what happened.” Of course, high school is formative—but in the end, it’s just high school, a quick four years of our lives before we move on to bigger and better things. Feeling overwhelmed is completely normal. But the world is what we make of it, so let’s go out and make things happen.

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