How High School Ruined My Life… And Then Made it Better

By: Lilly Combs
Before arriving at Farmington High School I was a happy-go-lucky, carefree girl. You would never see me without a smile on my face, and I always found joy in whatever I was doing. However, after a few short months in high school, I wasn’t me anymore. There was a huge culture shock as soon as I walked in the front door; I had moved from a safe, private school with a class size of 13 to a free for all with a class size of 300+. The high school was a completely different environment. I realized that all the things I thought were myths were real. There were drugs, sex, and hateful people everywhere I turned. How could that not change a person?
High school is a scary place for everyone. There are so many new opportunities, both good and bad, for students to take advantage of. Additionally, there are so many people that you’re surrounded by, and the pressure is on you to make friends. Every student has a choice when they walk through those doors for the first time. They can choose to do good things and be friends with people who lift them up, or they can make bad choices and surround themselves with people who only bring them down. Luckily, I made the choice to surround myself with good people. Nevertheless, the pressures of high school got to me. I was constantly worried about seeming cool enough and fitting in. I wanted everyone to like to me, but I quickly learned that that wouldn’t be the case.
In high school, it can feel like you’re stuck in a cloud of negativity. Teenage angst fills the air anywhere you go. Students can be so rude and hateful, and everyone is tired and wants to go home. This atmosphere took control of me. After already feeling out of place, I was susceptible to the depressing air. I was always sad, and I never smiled. I found myself saying hateful things, something I would have never done before. I became a whole different person. At first I did not realize what was happening to me; I sunk even deeper into the hole. However, I eventually knew things had to change. I wanted to find the old me and be someone people enjoyed being around. I had to find my place.
My sophomore year I got elected to Student Council and everything changed for me. I was around positive people who made me laugh and feel like myself again. I had the chance to give back to my community and lead others, and I loved every second of it. I realized that my true passion in life was helping people. I felt so at home in that environment, and I am so grateful for every opportunity it has given me. It made me want to become more involved in my school and try to make it an even better place. I finally felt like I found my place.
So, my advice to anyone reading this is to find your place. Right now it may seem like it does not exist, but it’s there. The most perfect thing in your life will not be obtained with ease; you must work for it even if it seems impossible. You must make the choice to find it. High school will open up so many doors if you choose to let it. Do not let the negative things in your life take control of you; you must save yourself.