I can’t believe my time in ICS is coming to an end. Weirdly enough, I knew this was my last year here before it began. I still vividly remember all my firsts: my first day in ICS, first day of high school, first O-week, and first play. Of course, I remember my lasts as well, though it did not feel like that at all. I remember wanting to be in high school so badly because it was “cool”. As cliche as it sounds, time really does fly, but I wish I could go back and savor the days when my biggest problem was losing in a Beyblade fight and forgetting my Gogos at home because high school honestly did not live up to the hype. I mean that it wasn’t like High School Musical at all. You don’t get a big, pink locker, and there are no guys that look like Zac Efron in our school. Let’s be real; it gets even harder and harder every year. Well, as an oldie who is graduating in six days, let me share with you some lessons and realizations I learned in high school that I hope we can all carry with us as the school year ends and a new one soon begins.
Step out of your comfort zone. High school is the best place to try new things, so go ahead and try everything. It is comforting to play safe and only do the things you think you’re good at. However, trying something new whether it be a new sport, playing a new game, or even making a new friend will teach you a lesson and help you grow as a person. Take advantage of the wonderful opportunities ICS has to offer, and don’t take them for granted.
Failure is inevitable, but it is a gift. We may be hard on ourselves when we make a mistake. However, when you lose or fail, it is not the end but only the beginning of a great learning process. Failure is in fact the best teacher. Embrace failure and take the lessons it teaches you to heart so you can do better the next time.
Jesus is your friend. Oftentimes, I thought of God as this perfect being who is so far from an imperfect person like me that I forget He is my friend too. He knows you better than you know yourself even with all your faults and mistakes whether it be past, present, or future, yet He still loves you the same. So, talk to him and get to know Him like a friend. But just like any friendship, you need to spend time with God so you can become closer to Him, be more like Him each and every day, and help others get to know who God is as well.
Stay true to yourself. Don’t change yourself to fit in with others or make your peers like you because honestly if you’re like everyone else, you’re not cool.
Be nice. Everyone from the most popular person in school to the teachers and staff (coaches, janitors, ates and kuyas in the canteen, and etc.) to even the meanest person you know is fighting their own battles. A simple thank you, compliment, or smile can make someone’s day because I know it’s made mine. Always lend a helping hand when you can.
It’s alright to not know the right answer. Don’t be embarrassed when you just don’t know whether it be the answer to your teacher’s question, an answer to a test, or even what you want to do with your life. You have a lot of time to know and learn. You’ll figure it out!
Welcome problems. The trials that get bigger and bigger as you make your way through high school are what make it so worthwhile because of the lessons and growth you will acquire from them. Every problem, trial, or hurdle you encountered only made you stronger. The lessons, skills, and values you learned throughout high school and of course God’s grace and strength will carry you through and enable you to overcome. I mean, we didn’t study this long and go through all that for nothing, right?
Have fun! Throughout your six years of high school, you’ll probably think, “Ugh, I just wanna get this over with,” as you wait for classes to be over or maybe even, “I hate it here!” Despite it all going by so slow, it goes by so quickly. It will be over before you know it. Believe me. Yes, it can be stressful, boring, and even difficult sometimes, but you can’t go back in time so appreciate the simple things like that hilarious joke your classmate said in the middle of the class, the food in the canteen, the time you studied for a test but had no idea what the answer to a question was, or even when your teacher gets mad at you. Enjoy every moment and don’t take it for granted.
I’d like all of you to look back and remember what you were like when you began high school in Grade 7, look at where you are today, and be proud of the person you’ve become because we’ve all come a long way. Congratulations for finishing a school year, everyone. We made it!!
Aleea Sharlene Fedillaga, signing off.