Create yourself in high school

John Ostermann, Online Editor-in-Chief

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As I enter my final four days of high school, I have started on reflecting about what I have learned from high school and how I have changed over the past four years. Of course I have had my physical changes, for which I am in no doubt grateful, yet I was looking for something deeper. On this journey of personal reflection I discovered something that has changed who I have become.

Throughout my years of highschool I have only had one relationship and I am very grateful for that experience, it has taught me many things, especially that I was not ready for a serious relationship. Being a high school student in and of itself takes most of my effort, add in being a fulltime basketball player and I found out that I did not have the excess time or effort to put in the necessary amount of work for a relationship. I ended things quicker than I would have liked, but I realized that if I wanted to be committed to a relationship, I could not go half way.

Having an experience like this made me realize how immature I truly am. Sure, I can hold an important conversation or avoid drama, but I wasn’t ready to be fully committed to another person, especially when I couldn’t be fully committed to myself. I was forced to realize how important it is to work on making yourself the best person possible, especially in high school.

I’m not saying having a relationship is a bad thing at all, I definitely am looking forward to all the relationships that are to come in my life. I just think for me,having one during high school was not the best option, I needed to understand myself more fully and I think, after four years, I have come close to figuring myself out. A play writer in the early 1900s named George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

I think creating yourself is more than just understanding what you like and what you don’t like, it’s about figuring out what you want to spend your time doing, what you want to believe in, and then developing individual ideas. It is much like creating a world on Minecraft, before you go out fighting monsters you have to make sure you have a solid home — a place where you can be safe if a skeleton archer starts to shoot arrows at you. Similarly in life, before you go seeking out all the excitement and danger your body can handle, you need to make sure you have a solid foundation of beliefs. I once heard a speaker at a Catholic youth convention say, “If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.” We need to find what we stand for.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

High school is just the environment Emerson is talking about. All the different groups and cliques are asking you to be something else. What we need to do is listen to that voice inside of us and do what we want to do. Be the person that we want to be. I think that is the most important thing I have learned from my high school experience.


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Create yourself in high school