By Jenna Hanington
High school doesn’t have to be scary. Even though it can bring a world of insecurity and drama, there is one thing that is important to remember: you are always in control. At one point or another, everyone will feel the pressure to fit in and be accepted. So much growth happens within those four years, and much of it will determine the kind of person that you will be. Don’t lose sight of your goals, and most importantly, never lose sight of yourself.
That advice may sound like a cliché, but it’s the best advice that I’ve ever received. High school seemed like a jungle. Everyone wanted to be the most popular kid in school, the freshmen were small, the seniors were huge, and the teachers had it in for the students. I was a year younger than almost everyone else when I started my freshman year, and no one ever let me forget it. Starting out, I had a strong group of about four or five friends who I could depend on for anything. It was amazing how quickly things started to change.
Before I knew it, three of the friends in my group had started hanging out with the popular crowd, a group that I secretly longed to be a part of. After about a year of watching my friends make choices that I would never have made, I started to reevaluate my opinions of them. I started to make new friends and tried to avoid getting caught up in being part of a group. I realized that I was much happier getting along with everybody. I avoided a lot of trouble, and learned what I really valued. Most importantly, I felt proud for staying true to myself. I made high school into the experience that I wanted it to be, and I learned that although there will be many people that will come and go in your life, the person that will always stay with you is yourself.
Jenna Hanington is a student at Georgia Tech studying Communications and Literature. She loves being physically active and spending time outdoors.