Colors of Adolescence: Issue 6


Graphic by Christine Jeong (12)

As I approach a mere two weeks until graduation, my initial thrill of leaving the school has begun to flicker away, instead replaced by a heart-tingling, squeamish sort of melancholy. The reality that my four-year long journey will come to an end has finally started to settle in, and every aspect of high school that I considered awful—to say the least—now seem like results of my own immature thought processes.

Attending three high schools, which I detested by the time I came to SIS, for it required me to readjust both socially and academically to an entirely new setting and system, now turned out to be the greatest exploration I been on in my life; the teachers who my underclassman-self used to blame for ‘sabotaging’ my self-identified ‘flawless’ essays were, in reality, the driving forces of my education- many of whom have shaped my world views, introducing me to the concept of sacrifice for others, and endless improvement that I could achieve, if only I acknowledged that I was not—and never will be—the absolute best at every(or any)thing.

Unluckily for me, I have learned how shortsighted I was a bit too late into my high school career. Therefore, as a graduating senior, I’d like to focus on sharing my opinion on one aspect of high school that SIS students seem to prioritize over everything: college acceptance.

In the culture that we live in, it is oftentimes difficult to take a break from the pressure of academic achievement and college preparation. However, I would like to advise you to not make college acceptance the principal force for the decisions you make in high school—rather, consider college as a by-product of your passions.

Once you graduate, it is most likely that you will not have such extensive periods dedicated to experimentation and self-exploration. Use these four years to delve into different pursuits, begin to gain an understanding of who you are, what your aspirations are and which tenets you hold most dear. Immerse yourself in your passion, and involve yourself to limits that go beyond the simple ordinary—fully commit yourself to a pursuit, and achieve extraordinary feats: whether it be helping others, debating, or even writing short creative writing pieces.

By the time you have spent your four years fruitfully, completely absorbed in what you love doing most, you will have in hand an accomplishment to share with colleges on your application. Activities that do not resonate the generic passions of others, but that rather illuminate your individuality and radiate of pure enthusiasm. Four years is too precious—and short—a time to mold yourself into the “perfect applicant,” pretending to enjoy activities in which you hold no genuine interest. Truly liberate yourself into your passion, and let college applications come rolling as a subsidiary when time comes.

Most of all, I wish you would understand that your high school career will be one of the most defining four years of your life—one in which you will begin to form your adult identity. Don’t waste it on trying to be someone you are not.

Thank you to everybody who has been a part of my mind-bogglingly amazing four years that have flit by, and thank you, the reader, for embarking on my Colors of Adolescence for the past three months.