The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Column: You’re not boring, you’re a high schooler

Don’t let double standards ruin your high school experience.
“Girl studying and dreaming about a party” / Alice Lan / DALL-E 2 / Originally Created with AI
Missing out on the stereotypical high school experience does not mean you are wasting your youth.

Maintain a good GPA above all costs, but don’t focus too much on grades. 

Attend all the football games and school dances, but don’t go alone. 

Dating isn’t worth it, but you should do it anyways for the experience. 

When I was a kid, society gave me a sensationalized view of the high school experience. Through books and films like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and “Mean Girls,” high school was always portrayed as a time for fun, exploration, and being unapologetically young. 

Real life isn’t like the movies though, and hyper-fixating on what high school “should” be like takes away from the experiences that really count.

Entering freshman year, I expected high school to be the best four years of my life. 

I would always picture the girl I’d become at the end of it all. She would be prettier, smarter, and more confident. She would know what she wanted to do with her life. She would be the type of person I looked up to as a kid: someone interesting enough to be loved by everyone, from classmates to her parents to the Ivy League admissions officers.

When I actually got to high school, the rose-colored lenses faded to dust. 

There were no reckless midnight shenanigans, no parties, and definitely no boyfriends. Instead, I quickly became familiar with the mundane cycle of school, homework, sports practice, and more studying. This has made up every weekday of my life for the past three years.

I would go out with friends sometimes just to take pictures for my socials in an attempt to make my life appear more interesting from the outside. Then, I’d go home and stay up past midnight finishing the schoolwork I had neglected. 

I went to a football game and school dance for fear of missing out on such staple high school events. Though I didn’t regret going, I was underwhelmed both times. I could have been doing my work or chilling at home, but here I was, watching a crowd of teenagers jump and scream for hours on end. 

Was this the high school experience? I didn’t want to waste away what was supposed to be the most carefree and exciting period of my life, but it felt like I was chasing something superficial and insubstantial.

Now, as my junior year comes to a close, I’ve realized that perhaps I had been looking at it all wrong. While I did miss out sometimes, that shouldn’t have taken away from the experiences I did go through. 

Caring about grades isn’t boring, it’s being responsible for your future. Having a study session with your friends instead of going to the mall isn’t boring, it’s just another form of bonding. Choosing not to date isn’t boring if you haven’t found the right person. 

There is no specific way high school is supposed to be. There will always be things you could have done, clubs you could’ve joined, hangouts you could’ve had, and people you could have been friends with. There will also be many people you do meet, things you do accomplish, and simple memories you make that you’ll cherish forever. 

Everyone says to make the most out of high school, but each person does so in their own way. 

At the end of the day, it’s your life and your high school experience.    

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About the Contributor
Alice Lan, Staff Writer
Alice "Lili" Lan is currently a senior at Carlmont High School. In her last year of the journalism program, she is excited to continue exploring and challenging herself. Besides Scot Scoop, she is the Scotlight editor for The Highlander, Carlmont's news magazine. Outside of journalism, she is an artist and competitive fencer. Twitter: @lil_ilan

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Column: You’re not boring, you’re a high schooler