High school is a box; Moving on to college


High school is a box. Let me explain.

     I’m taking eight classes this year–practically unheard of for the class of 2023. Only two of these classes are unweighted, and it’s my double block of journalism.

     Would I have liked to take guitar lab? Maybe. Would I have liked to take Drama II? Maybe. But I felt the need to prioritize weighted classes. You’re discouraged from trying new things. You’re discouraged from taking courses you may find interesting in lieu of classes that will improve your GPA.

     On the other hand, you’re encouraged to pay for SATs, AP tests, and more. Almost 100 years ago, Harvard used the SAT to identify talented individuals in less academic high schools. Now it’s an abused system where privileged students can spend thousands of dollars to retake the test until they get it right. It has come to accomplish the exact opposite job it was created for in the first place. Despite this, many schools still value SAT scores.

     So the SAT sucks. What does that have to do with high school being a box? The short answer is that the SAT is just another cog in the messed-up machine of high school. It’s another broken piece to the puzzle of education.

     You may be thinking, wow, you must hate education, but you’re going to college so that makes you a hypocrite.

     Believe it or not, I am a proponent of college. It’s how students are forced to get into college that I am against. I chose a college that doesn’t require a declared major until the end of my sophomore year. They encourage you to try new things and advocate for diverse thinking. It is a much different place than high school.

     High school is a box that beats you down and punishes you for not overloading yourself. It’s a box you can’t get out of until graduation. It’s a box filled with others feeling the same way as you–as though they must conform. It’s a box that would be pitch black if it weren’t for the teachers who help you, the friends who laugh with you, or the moments like Mr. North Harford to add light to it.

     Starting in ninth grade, every subsequent day got a little brighter. Now, with less than a month until I graduate, the shining sun can be seen from inside the box. It is almost time I break free and go out into the college world where I can meet new people, try new things, and find what I really want to do with my life.

     As I’m ready to leave, my friends and teachers are ready to let me go–let me leave the box.