Finding yourself in high school


Kelly Song

Every step of high school leads to one finding their identity, such as picking future classes.

‘I sat alone on the quad steps at freshman orientation.’

‘It seemed everyone had gone to school together before and already had a group of friends’

‘Who was I? Did anyone care?’

‘How would I find my identity in a place where it seemed everyone else had already found theirs?’

But had everyone else really found themselves?

At 14 years old, the average freshman goes from being at the top of the middle school food chain to the very bottom in high school.

We’ve all heard it — “high school is where you are supposed to find yourself,” people often say.

According to stage of, 63 percent of teens say they “know who they are” while 37 percent do not fully know their identity yet.

Senior Sydney Carlier said, “The first semester of freshman year was definitely a lot tougher than any other time in high school. I was definitely more unsure of myself and more dependent on other people than any other time of my life.”

Students will hardly ever come across someone who has stayed the exact same throughout their entire high school experience.

Whether it is friends, hobbies, or personality, the fact is that from the time students first walk through the doors of high school to the time when they finally walk across the stage to accept your diploma, things have changed.

Think back to your very first day of high school — whether it was a few months ago or four years ago.

Who were you sitting with? What were you talking about? Even what you were wearing has probably changed.

Sixty three percent of teenagers say that their appearance is an important factor in their identity.

Even in a short amount of time, students may change very drastically.

While beginning high school, many students may find a group of friends through shared hobbies and interests that bring them all together.

Senior Erica Aldenese said, “My group of friends is made up of students from many different middle schools and backgrounds, but we all seemed to have mutual friends from freshman year and classes together that led us to create one big group.”

Your group of friends in high school often stands for something, whether you know it or not.

People may see your group as the “Choir kids,” or the “party group.”

These group labels often say nothing about the individuals of each group.

Sixty six percent of teenagers say that they feel most people do not see them for who they really are, according to

In high school, students are often inaccurately labeled which makes it even harder to find oneself as teenagers can be often falsely labeled.

Finding a group of friends or even just one friend can help students to feel that they belong and can help to feel confident throughout high school.

Sophomore Drew Lehr said, “When I was a freshman I didn’t know many people at Carlmont, but I made one close friend right away and then we ended up making friends together and forming a bigger group of friends.”

High school is also where many people develop their passions.

Passions are important to anyones life and that’s why it is important to stick with your passions once you figure them out and not to let others discourage them.

Discouragement is ultimately a huge part of high school. Being told you aren’t good enough in comparison to others is hard, no matter the age nor scenario.

That is why no matter what the topic is, it is important to stick to your beliefs. Finding what you like and sticking to it is a key factor in finding yourself.

There will always be someone to express their negative view point, and you only give yourself more power by not allowing it to get to you.

What students enjoy doing and their interests help define what they want and aid in better understanding individuals’ goals.

Define your goals, and set yourself up on a path to what you want.

For example, often high school students have an expectation in the back of their head that they must go to a four year college, but when the time comes around, they may come to figure out that they did not set a path for themselves to make that goal possible.

If teens are able to define goals early, they are more likely to be successful in whatever they may wish to do in life.

Lastly, be confident. It is tough for teens to hold their heads high throughout all of high school, but confidence is key in any tough situation.