Professor Carrie Hall
High School Journey
I’d like to start by saying that I don’t have a lot of memorable moments in my life. But if I could name one, it would definitely have to be my high school graduation. Not only was it one of the most significant moments of my life, but it was one of the major stepping stones of my life. This was the turning point in my road to being an adult and choosing. my career. Despite it being a conjunction of emotions, it is still a day that is hard to forget. Many students have endured those difficult four years of high school, whether it was getting grades for your classes, passing the regents, or trying to receive honors for academic accomplishments. In my case, it a little bit of everything. My main focus was perfect attendance, above satisfactory grades, and passing the mandatory regents and then some to receive an Advanced Regents Diploma. After enduring those four long years, I was able to accomplish each one of these goals, as well as a few of my classmates. The feeling of accomplishment was definitely unforgettable and I think everyone who had the same goals in mind would agree. Of course, there were some students that simple settled for a regular high school diploma, but I couldn’t blame them. If I didn’t have the encouragement of my parents, teachers, friends, tutors, etc., I would have the same mindset as them. Fortunately, my goals were set on being an overachiever and showing all my loved ones and friends that I’m different.
I remember my high school journey as if it was yesterday. I hardly believe there’s anyone who could forget this so-called “journey”. Freshman year was the start of it all. I was your typical student on his first day. I struggled to find classes, had trouble making friends, was dog-piled by assignments and homework. Those days eventually turned for the better. Even though I technically had a head start due to taking certain courses and regents early in middle school, everything was still so much to take in. After the first week, I finally started getting some stability. I basically become everyone’s friends, to my surprise, and the classwork started to seem less of a headache. After the first few months, freshman year was basically smooth-sailing. I kept my grades reasonably high, stayed away from the bad crowd, and was always on time. I eventually got used to this cycle and became fully adjusted too high school life. Then sophomore year came around the corner.
Sophomore year is by far the most headache-inducing, stress-giving, and agonizing year of high school by far. The reason I say this is for one reason only: regents. Basically, regents are New York’s variation of standardized testing, and they are much more stress-inducing and difficult than other forms of testing in the United States. Most of the classes I took were hellbent on making sure each student passed each regent with an 80 or higher, and that’s only an understatement. Even an 80 would be considered disappointing in their eyes and that reflected in our class work. We received assignments and practice exams nonstop and my classmates didn’t stop coming until everyone did well. Thinking back to it now, it did work, but only to an extent. To be precise, about 90% of the students benefited from this, and that’s me being generous. I’m more than positive there were more students that couldn’t take it anymore and gave up halfway or just burned themselves out. I was eligible to take some of my regents early (Geometry and Living Environment), in which I passed with exceptional grades. Some of my friends followed right behind, some surpassed me. And of course, there were some who could care less, would rather take it next year, and just flat out bombed it.
During junior year, everything seemed to be more relaxed. We had fewer classes meaning that we got to go home early, which everyone was excited for. We had the same regimen for regents prep but was definitely a weight of your shoulders compared to sophomore year. The same people that I’ve been friends with since day one has matured so much, it was like they were completely different people. Those who could care less about their education did a full 180-degree turn and started to treat their school with more seriousness. One of those students even ended up on the school council. We continued our year like any other. The classes were more difficult but our teachers managed made our lives easier. By this time, we also took the time to start looking for colleges and deciding what career we were interested in. Finally, regents week came and had everyone on edge, since the time to make up for their mistakes is winding down. I managed to graze by with just an above average grade on my Trigonometry regents, above satisfactory on U.S. History regents and passed with flying colors on my Spanish regents. I was just able to survive this storm of regents but I pulled through, and so did a majority of my classmates. For some, time for improvement is dwindling and senior year is their last chance.
And last but not least, senior year, my best year of high school. Not only was our school schedule was even shorter, but our classes were even laxer. On top of all that, most of us have regents out the way so we can all focus on getting our credits now. We were taking college-level classes, so we had our fair share of difficulties. We also had a lot of free time on our hands, so a handful of us took that time to relax and unwind, while others took that time to study or start looking at colleges. For those who are behind, they received special attention to ensure their success and eligibility to graduate. After all, is said and done, we could finally move on to the fun part of the year: senior activities. First came prom, in which in all honestly would be the third best day. Then a field trip to D.C., which was definitely a highlight of senior year. Third came a visit to a fancy restaurant in New Jersey.
Finally, the day has come, June 23. Everything was about to change. This would be the day I become not only be a college student, but a step closer into adulthood. The silly things I used to do during high school days would be memories now. I used to enjoy the conversations I used to have with our friends, the parties, the classes, teases each other, and much more. Those things are no more in our lives. It took place at Adelphi University The day started as a normal one and ended a memorable day in my life. It was a mixture of emotions. The happiness of seeing friends after longtime and sadness of realizing the fact that there are no more high school days in our life. Others cried for other reasons, such as being unable to see my friends and classmates again. But who could blame them? I’d be heartbroken too if I was unable to see the people I spent the past four years with laughing and learning. I sat there with my friends, probably for the final time, and watched as their names were called and as they receive their diploma. Others like me received awards for other accomplishments such as attendance and honor for other subjects like history and science. Finally, my name was called. I heard my parents, sisters, loved ones, and my soon-to-be-former classmates cheer for me. All my dedication and accomplishments have lead to this moment. I walked on stage, shook my principal’s hand as she gives my Advanced Regents Diploma. This diploma that was given to me is not just a paper, it’s the reward for the continuous hard work and dedication. It definitely wouldn’t possible without the support of parents, teachers, and friends. Thanks to my parents, teachers, and friends for being a backbone throughout the phase of my education.