By Karla Davis
The nation’s high school graduation rate hit its record high in the years 2012-13 at approximately 81%. That is an almost 10% increase in comparison to the graduation rates in years 2005-06. With these two facts at hand, I could not help but question, “why?” and “how?”
For all I knew, 1. high school sucked and 2. high school sucked. But go figure. Kids nowadays are staying in high school and obtaining their diplomas (and I’m one of those kids),for all the right reasons; making me think: “hey, maybe high school doesn’t really suck that much.”
Therefore, below are 7 reasons why being in high school is the best place to be right now:
1. You don’t just get textbook lessons in class, you get lessons about life too.
Although many may say that high school doesn’t teach you anything about the real world, on the contrary it does! For example, you gain critical skills such as how to listen to your professors when they are giving lectures.
I know that I personally needed to have acute hearing when it came to certain teachers in high school because they would only say things once and usually those things would appear on a test or even as homework. This example can be taken into the real world such as when you get a job. Your job is a place where you have a boss who tells you how to do things, and a place where you need to be attentive to whatever task you are given to do. Another practical skill that you can gain in school is how to interact with the people around you.
One example is how you (sometimes unconsciously) find clever ways to work on a group project without being the only one putting in the effort to finish it up. Finally, you learn how to cut in front of the “love couples” in hectic hallways. Alright, perhaps the this one is not a lesson about life, but you get the point.
2. You get the opportunity to find your “niche.”
Now, by this I am by no means saying that home-schooled students do not have an opportunity to find their niche. On the contrary, they have an abundance of opportunities to find their niche. This is because they are not forced to be in closed classrooms socializing with people that they may not even really like (excepting their friends).
Rather, since they do not have to deal with the traditional classroom dilemmas, they get the chance to delve into extracurricular programs where they find people with similar interests.
On the other hand, there is something about being in a closed place surrounded by hundreds of other people that just makes the process a notch easier, because chances are that someone in that building will have similar interests as you).
3. Free Knowledge.
This is something often overshadowed by many teens going to public high schools. Free education is really hard to come by once you leave high school. You’ll see.
4. Free forced exercise, as a stress-reliever.
Yup, you saw right– free forced exercise! Forced! Now, on paper it sounds horrible, but hear me out. I, personally, am not a big sports or gym fanatic. So when it comes to gym class, I often slack off and try my best to avoid anything that involves moving at a fast pace (such as high-knees running, walking to gym class in the first place, etc). But, I came across one “healthy lifestyle” type article and saw this: “Princeton University researchers found in an experiment on mice in 2013 that those who exercised were better equipped to deal with things causing stress–in this case cold water–than those who didn’t.” (Read more: http://tinyurl.com/jb95q3z).
That’s a win win! You exercise, and as a result of that you may even reduce the stress of having to finish that big project you have due tomorrow; or the tension of studying for midterm exams. Yay!
5. Teachers guide you to an answer.
Teachers, I feel, get a lot of hate for obvious reasons; they give homework, they tell you what to do, they tell you how to write, how to read. They are essentially half of your brain in high school believe it or not. Many people will argue with me and say that it is not true, and that the whole purpose of high school is so that you can “create your own brain.” But I respectfully counter that argument by asking: how can we create our own brains without the aid of others? It’s like telling a construction worker to build a house without any tools.
What I am getting at is that teachers aren’t as bad as you think. For the most part, their goal is to share their knowledge, to help guide you to a right answer, and to make sure that you are understanding the material for a standardized test. This is opposed to real life or college, where professors will share their knowledge with you and it’s up to you what you would like to do with that knowledge!
6. You Still Can’t Vote!
What?! That cannot be right. How can that be a good thing? I thought that not having your voice heard in the government was a bad thing! Well, I am here to tell you my friend that right now is the greatest time to be in high school, and not voting.
I need you to hear me out once more. I am by no means saying that you should not vote. On the contrary, VOTE! Vote whenever you have the chance! What I am saying is that right now (while you are out of the grips of paying actual taxes, and not having to pay off your students loans), is one of the best times to really analyze and observe how the world works. How politics works. How money works. How life works….
So, just because you cannot vote yet, don’t just put a veil over your eyes and pretend that nothing is happening. On the contrary, things are happening, and the world needs people like you to not only act, but think critically on the issues and decisions we face today.
7. You don’t know what’s coming next
I personally have no clue what the future holds for me. I have no clue about what I want to study in college. Heck! I don’t even know what I am going to eat for lunch today. But this is the thrill of being in high school.
And we high school students can anticipate many more thrills. You will get the thrill of acing that really hard AP-physics test. The thrill of getting accepted into college. The thrill of having a thrill. Contrary to the common bad connotation that “not knowing your future” has on many people, this is not so bad. Not knowing what our Grand Future holds actually opens up more doors and possibilities. It enables you to explore far beyond the horizon.