I know what you’re thinking. COVID-19 has made it difficult to have a good high school year. As a high school student myself, I agree. There are many things that will not be happening within my school which I am very upset about. But, I am also very confident that it is possible to have a good year no matter the circumstances. Although there are many setbacks for this year, there are ways you can still make the best of it.
To begin with, get involved. I know you hear this all of the time. Coming from a senior high school student I cannot stress this enough. Although, the majority of sports teams will not be happening this year, that’s just one minor setback. I challenge you to find a way to get involved within your school; there are so many clubs you can join. For example: ECO clubs, Athletic Council, DECA, etc. I have participated in many clubs throughout my school and it’s a decision I definitely do not regret. I have met so many people and formed many friendships just by doing one thing: joining a club. I want to give you some advice as well. If you are nervous to put your name on the sign up sheet because you fear the unknown, fear you won’t meet anyone, fear you may not like it...take the challenge. There is nothing to fear, except fear itself. I guarantee you that joining a club or getting involved in your school will be a decision that will make you feel a part of a community and form friendships. Learn about clubs that your school offers and get involved!
Secondly, focus on academics. High school can be a fun experience as long as you can maintain a great balance of having fun, but also working hard in the academic component. I encourage you to study for that test, complete that assignment on time, participate in class, etc. Also, find which subjects you excel in and see if there are any competitions or contests you can sign up for. For example, in grade nine I wrote the Pascal Math Contest. This was a great way to challenge myself to better my math skills. Find your favourite subject, and find out ways that you can compete in contests and better your skills. For example, if you like English, usually there are essay writing competitions or poetry competitions. These are all great ways to improve in a certain subject, and even win cool prizes! Ask your teachers to see if your school is participating in any contests.
Lastly, be a self-advocate. You know yourself better than anyone else does. Don’t be afraid to answer that question, ask for help if you don’t understand something, engage in conversation, etc. If you’re afraid that you may get that question wrong, raise your hand. If you think you are going to get that question right, raise your hand. Like Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Don’t be afraid to do things that will make you become a stronger student. If you don’t understand that math equation, ask your teacher. The truth is, in high school, you have to be your own advocate. High school is a period of time where you have to learn how to be independent, and by doing that you must learn how to speak up and advocate for yourself.
All in all, no matter the circumstances that we may be in, I truly believe if you follow these steps, you can make the best out of this school year. Although things may be rocky, the comeback is always greater than the setback and as students we must learn to rise above the many challenges that we may face throughout the year. I can guarantee that these challenges will only make us stronger as students and as people. I encourage you to always get outside of your comfort zone. You never know what it may bring you; you’ll never know, if you never try.
-- Alexa Weber