Seniors Share What They Really Learned in High School


Seniors enjoy Senior Sunrise in August of 2019.

Senior year is about moving on. It’s about looking back on everything that has happened, everything one has accomplished, everything we have learned and using it to move on to the next stage in our lives, whatever that stage may be.

We learned a lot in high school. When we look back on the past four years, the most important things, the most memorable lessons, may not actually be related to school. Through all the trials and tribulations that we faced, we all came out with a new understanding of life and who we are as people.

Now–for the benefit of underclassmen, and possibly as reminders to ourselves, later on–seniors are sharing the most valuable lessons they learned in high school.

(Spoiler alert: almost none of them are actually school-related.)

“I learned, only in these past few months, that I have to find a way to not need to be attached to someone,” said Sam Ferrara.

“High school has taught me the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people,” said Ellie Kuhn. “When I was with people I didn’t fit with, I felt lost. So, I left and found a group of friends that made me genuinely happy all the time. Having good friends has allowed me to feel ‘free’ because I know they won’t judge me and they have my back.”

“The most important thing I learned from high school is that you can’t rely on yourself entirely, you need people there to support you,” said Jaxon Mawhiney.

“Something pretty valuable I learned is to always humble yourself,” said Maya Mital. “Meeting all the talented and intelligent people I have in high school has helped me realize that in order to succeed, you must be willing to put aside your own pride and learn to cooperate with others as a team.”

“The best thing I got from high school is all the people I got to meet,” said Eli Andrew. “I’ve gotten to know people and talk to people that I wouldn’t normally have talked to because we happened to be in the same class and it turned out to be a cool friendship. High school was definitely made great by the people.”

“One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in high school is to accept and love myself,” said Jesse Higley. “There are so many amazing friends and teachers that have helped me with all my issues that I am so grateful for. I will never forget them and the things they have taught me and helped me through.”

“You’re never guaranteed anything,” said Gabrielle Young. “You can look forward to things like senior prom and walking across the stage to grab your diploma, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. We have to live right here, right now, and learn to make the best of things at all points in time. We’re not guaranteed another day, week, or year, even though it’s something we’ve come to expect. So just appreciate what you have while you’re living it and know that everything will pass and you’ll probably come to miss it at some point.”

“The most valuable thing I learned is to not be afraid to advocate for what I need,” said Julia Gentry.

“Stop waiting for instructions when they’re not required,” said Sydney McKenzie. “There isn’t a guide book to life and a lot of things can only be understood through experience. Waiting for someone to tell you how to do something isn’t always an option and shouldn’t always be the first step.”

“I learned that people are always going to have an opinion on you, no matter what,” said Garett Thies. “Being a people pleaser is draining. Don’t be afraid to do you and let them judge from the background. Also, don’t be afraid to have fun.”

“Don’t stress about the little things,” said Jeremy Mare.  “Life is a whole lot easier if you don’t lose view of the big picture.”

“Don’t get too excited about things because it’ll all get RUINED,” said Hannah Quinn.

Everyone’s high school experience is different and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. In the last four years, each of us learned how to play to our strengths and how to work with our weaknesses. Even though our senior year was cut short, the class of 2020 is still rocking and rolling.

As for me, the greatest lesson I learned is not to worry so much.

I would stress myself out over one thing or another to the point that I couldn’t function and what I realized is that in a week, a month, even a year, that thing I was freaking out about stopped mattering.

Those stressful things aren’t the things that stick out in my mind; the good things are what I remember.

I remember good times with all the friends I made over the course of high school.

I remember things like Prom and Homecoming and doing shows like Montage and Mama Mia.

High school sucks sometimes, but we’ll never forget it.

Here’s to the class of 2020: even though we lost the end of senior year, we’re going to do amazing things.