Don’t take these four years for granted

Halle Meslow, Feature Editor

I’ve always read these forums of each senior reflecting on their past four years at Tualatin and have been so intrigued by their hindsight perspective of the ‘high school experience.’ They always touch on the bittersweetness of leaving the place where they have made their best memories, met their closest friends and shown the most growth, but I feel as if this reflection always comes a little too late for everyone, myself included. 

If I have learned anything while reading those past senior forums, it’s that this time in high school is a lot more precious than it seems in the moment. I can honestly say that when getting caught up in the monotony of homework, stress and waking up every morning at 7:30, it’s too easy to fall into a routine that shifts away from the real impact high school is having on you. The everyday life of a high schooler distracts from how amazing these four years can be, and even more importantly, how fast they can go.

People always advise, “It’ll be over before you know it!” but those words never really resonated with me until my time at TuHS was cut short. The phrase goes “hindsight is 20/20,” but let me tell you, for me and many of the seniors this year, hindsight really was 2020 — the year. Our last day of the ‘high school experience’ came way earlier than expected, and as a result, the traditional, bittersweet reflections came sooner as well. It showed me why it is important to spend this time in the moment, because you will truly never know when you will be looking back on it. 

Don’t wait until you are gone to appreciate the growth you’ve shown. TuHS offers so much to be thankful for during your four years, and in retrospect, the quality experiences outweigh the surface-level, everyday stressors. Be grateful for the wonderful teachers you’ve met along the way, the lunches you’ve spent with your friends, the communities you’ve found yourself in, the laughs you’ve shared in the halls and, most importantly, the memories that will last you a lifetime. Your high school experience is truly up to you, so why not live it in the moment? 

So, as a final, cliché word of advice from one senior to the next, don’t take this time for granted. Know and appreciate what you have, when you have it — not when it’s gone.