Zsuzsanna Juhasz’s senior reflection

High school has a very bad reputation for most people. I think a lot of people see it as an exhausting period of time, and excitedly countdown the days until graduation. For the most part, I can relate to this. Waking up at 6:30 a.m., battling other students for a parking spot (hoping no one scratches my car), getting through seven different classes–most of which do not interest me–and somehow doing it all over again while hoping to find time for other activities that will entertain me or allow for some relief after a stressful day is a lot to ask of. Yet, I did it for two and a half years–which would’ve been four full years if not for Covid-19.

For four years, the only thing that has been on my mind is college; get good grades, go to class, join a bunch of clubs, take hard classes–only APs or honors–and take part in extracurricular activities that are unique and will stand out on an application. This mindset is very damaging to students because they often lose sight of what’s really important and just the idea of being happy for the four years. It shouldn’t just be a four year long hustle; no one should feel like they want to hit the skip button on high school to avoid all of the realities that come with it.

Whether it’s surprising or not, many seniors enter their final year not sure of what they want to do in college. The most popular major option amongst undergraduate students applying to college is “undecided/undeclared.” I personally don’t think it’s important for students to know what they want to do with their college years when they’re 17 years old. It’s a lot to ask of a student–one who’s been taking courses that don’t go farther than science, social studies/history, math or English. These are required courses for students–and even with four years of seven classes, students aren’t able to find their passions in these subjects.

If there’s anything I want to leave behind or really get across to juniors, sophomores and freshmen, it’s that it’s okay to be unsure of what you want to do. Your future–whether it’s college or not—will pave the way for you; all you have to do is stay motivated and interested. And if it’s not college, that’s also perfectly fine. Breaking out of the Bethesda Bubble will bring in special experiences that future colleges/careers will be very interested to hear about. Doing something good and effective for the world can be more valuable than any other form of education.