A Letter To Those Who Made My High School Years Worth It
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A Letter To Those Who Made My High School Years Worth It

High school was the perfect mix of everything I wanted and more.

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A Letter To Those Who Made My High School Years Worth It
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For a while, high school was something that every cell within me was dreading. I thought it was going to be just like middle school, except a place that was bigger, more boring, and had more peer pressure. I had seen the nightmare of high school portrayed on TV shows and was both fearful and angry that high school was even a requirement at all. What I didn’t realize at the time was that while high school was required, I wasn’t forced to go to my zoned school.

The day I received my acceptance letter from Advanced Technologies Academy was one of the best. My memory of sitting beside my mother, tearing open the envelope with trembling hands, and screaming after reading the first line holds a special place in my heart. On that day, I started looking forward to high school a bit. I started looking forward to being in a school full of extremely intelligent nerds and I started looking forward to being a Maverick, though I had no idea of what a Maverick was at that point.

As I write this, now in my third year out of high school, I see that high school was somehow the perfect mixture of everything I wanted and more. At times, it challenged me more than I thought I could often handle, it extensively prepared me for what was to come in college, it gifted me with some of my strongest friendships, and at the end of each day, it left me smiling and excited to come back tomorrow.

While I am thankful that my high school experience was as such, it wouldn’t have been possible without the people I was surrounded by- the ones that guided, pushed, encouraged, supported, and inspired me.

To my high school friends, thank you. Most of you have probably motivated and inspired me more than you know. You’re all incredibly smart and talented in unique, treasured ways. Whether we may have had zero classes together or ten, know that you all contributed to making my high school days as splendid as they were, and for that, I can’t thank you enough. I’ll cherish the memories we made in those hallways for years to follow. I still think about all of you often and hope that you’re venturing down a road that’ll allow you to chase your dreams and one that’ll let you listen to the guidance of your heart.

To my high school teachers, an even bigger thank you. Your lessons often had a way of teaching me far beyond the book and forced me to learn lessons that may have been tough, but nonetheless, were ones that I needed to pick up on. Thank you for greeting us at the door with a welcoming smile, pushing me to take courses that I thought would be too difficult, only for me to end up loving them, encouraging me to break out of my shell and talk more, and perhaps above all, for teaching me what’s truly important in an education. I’m sure there were some times where I was your biggest hot mess and I probably caused you all a few too many gray hairs, but you never gave up on me and you never let me give up on myself. Instead, you worked with me to figure out where the confusion was and helped me pave a new path that led to better results and a better understanding of the material. I know I didn’t always think with “APness”, but rather than getting mad or not caring, both of which would’ve been easier, you taught the same lesson five different ways until I showed you that I was able to do it on my own. I sometimes struggled with reading between the lines of a text and grasping what the author was truly trying to say, but you were always patient and consistently gave me more texts to read until I started to develop an analytical eye. When trying to learn a second language, I had some mistakes, but you never wanted to focus on these. Instead, you wanted to highlight the progress that I was making and always had a way of encouraging me to speak in the target language, regardless of how fearful I may have been of doing so. When I think back to my high school years, I’m overwhelmed with memories of the kindness, patience, encouragement, and inspiration that my high school teachers gifted me with, the way you each consistently took the extra mile to ensure my success, and perhaps above all, the life lessons you managed to weave into the curriculum- the ones that showed me the importance and power of generosity, the ones that enriched my high school, and college, years tenfold, and the ones that encouraged me to trust myself more than I normally would.

I realize that I was overly spoiled by attending a magnet school. I was surrounded by classmates who constantly pushed me to work harder and strive higher, I made friends who cared about school just as much, if not more, than I did and who admired my determination, and I had teachers who believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself, and who guided me to unleash potential that I didn’t know I had.

My high school years were everything I wanted and more- they included some of my greatest memories, encompassed some of my hardest challenges, allowed me to find my love for writing, caused me to doubt my abilities in some moments, and shaped me into a better student and person. During those four years, I smiled, cried, questioned, and laughed more than I ever expected to, I worked harder than I thought was humanly possible, and I learned about myself in ways I’d never imagined to do.

To all of those that made my high school years as memorable, enjoyable, and worthwhile as they were, thank you. You each helped mold me into the Maverick I became and played a part in making my high school experience entirely different from how I saw the "villain" of high school portrayed on television.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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