“High school will be the best years of your life”


Emmeline Roney

World traveler Emmeline Roney ’19 gives her monthly insight into both the joys and frustrations of life at East Grand Rapids High School.

Emmeline Roney, Opinion Editor / Multimedia Manager

My days of spending seven hours a day in school are coming alarmingly close to an end. I remember being 14 and so incredibly excited to start my freshman year. All of the adults in my life — my parents, my parents friends, and random adults I barely knew — had told me that high school would be the best four years of my life.

But as I near the end, I have realized this: people who say they peaked in grade school never really left their K-12 alma mater. Their best friends are still their best friends, they still attend every homecoming game and dance, and often times are living vicariously through their children. And while there is nothing wrong with that, there is so much more to life than high school.  

Instead of holding fast to what is “comfortable,” we should seek out the uncomfortable because that’s where we’ll experience growth. Sure, we must remember our high school years and treasure them, but we shouldn’t spend the rest of our lives trying to recreate them. We need to put an end to the stigma that life after grade school should be feared. I used to be a culprit of this thinking; part of me could not be more ecstatic about moving forward, but the other, and much more dominant part of me, is terrified. So, to all of my fellow anxious high school seniors, let me assure you that you have not yet hit your “peak.”

Assuming you live to be about 80 years old, the 4 years you spend in high school make up only 5% of your entire life – – hardly enough time to make it the best or most noteworthy phase. We do not yet possess the freedom of being out from under our parents’ belt and most of us can barely scrounge up enough money for a kids meal at Qdoba. Take comfort in knowing that all your friends are in the same boat: broke, awkward, and both terrified and excited for what the future will hold.

After reflecting on my own high school career thus far, my advice to the underclassman is to try and enjoy it and make the most of it. Step outside of the bubble of high school and live boldly. Out of all the things to stress about in high school, don’t add your high school experience to that list; it is simply an uncomfortable 5% sliver of your overall life journey.