Ruby Topalian’s senior reflection

When I walked through the big green doors of Walter Johnson High School four years ago, I sincerely thought that high school boiled down to grades. My personal philosophy was that if I did not maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout all four years of high school, I had failed. In fact, I was repeatedly told by many of my peers that I “cared too much”, that I was a “suck up” and that I “asked too many questions.” I have to admit that I probably did ask too many questions and that’s okay. But what was not okay was having that mindset of I must always be perfect. In putting so much emphasis on staying above water academically, I lost sight of what really mattered. But thank god I found it in the end.

As I write this reflection with only 15 days until graduation, knowing that I am going to my dream college(s), I can say with certainty that grades make up a very small part of high school. High school is about learning to love yourself, it’s about making mistakes and owning up to them; high school is about putting yourself out there and trying things that you may be terrified of. High school is about joining the track team only to realize that you can’t run to save your life or admitting to yourself as a second semester senior that you just hate math. High school is about attempting to continue your singing career only to realize that you’re kind of over that side of yourself. High school is about change.

Creating my club, joining The Pitch, taking up weightlifting and making friends that I’ll stay connected with for life. These are the beautiful, meaningful memories that I now have because of so much experimentation, because of all the “mistakes”. So, to anyone who feels like maybe you’re not fit for this environment, maybe you feel like you’re doing everything wrong, or that you just can’t find your “thing,” KEEP GOING. Trust me, it gets better.

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