Embracing our faults and using them to make us better is the true value behind those bumps in the road.


Liya Patel, Staff Writer

I think we’ve all heard the saying “high school is just another chapter in the book of our lives.” 

We’ve heard that it’s just four years that gets us to the next part. It’s four years where we make friends that we are probably going to lose as the years go on. It’s the four years that fly by faster than anything in the world which give us temporary memories that won’t last us as long as we would like. But, I think high school has been anything but that. 

When I was writing this, I found it really difficult to pick a memory to talk about. I couldn’t come up with something to base a column that is intended to wrap up such an important time in my life. But then it hit me — I can’t pick one moment because my entire high school experience has been filled with many tiny, extraordinary, amazing moments that have happened at the most unexpected times. Moments that taught me lessons and helped me grow into the person I am today. Moments that made me realize where I want to go and the kind of impression I want to leave in this world.

As you read this, I hope you all can think of those little moments you’ve had that have made you who you are. That have taught you lessons. That have given you the idea of the type of impression you wish to leave in this world.

Through my time in high school, I have been fortunate enough to learn four big lessons, each one specific to each year of school.

Freshman year, I learned that the world will not wait for you. As a freshman, I was very unsure about who I was going to be and how I was going to survive the next four years. I never put myself out there and waited for those around me to lead so that I could follow. 

While that might have been the easy route in the moment, I later realized holding myself back prevented me from grasping the opportunities that would’ve built me up to be better. As you proceed with your individual lives, be sure to take every opportunity you are given and don’t second-guess your gut feeling.

The world will not wait for you to make up your mind. Opportunities, big and small, come and go, sometimes forever. So, grasp them with an open mind and an eager heart. Learn what you can from them, and build yourself up with the knowledge you gain.

Sophomore year, I learned it is OK to make mistakes. Some people say your upperclassmen years are the hardest of your life. I do not agree. For me, sophomore year hit like a truck. I was being pulled left and right, up and down and side to side to go in the direction that others around me wanted me to go. I didn’t have my own path, and I didn’t have my own direction. 

Constantly struggling to please those around me, I often caught myself criticizing myself for falling short and not living up to the standards that were so strictly set. Not realizing that making mistakes is normal, I tore myself down to a point that stopped me from building myself up for a long time. 

Looking back at it now, I realize life will always throw challenges your way. Easy or hard, big or small, they will always be there to test you. It is important to remember making mistakes while dealing with life’s challenges is what makes us human. Use those mistakes and allow them to open up a path for you to follow your own direction. Embracing our faults and using them to make us better is the true value behind those bumps in the road.

Junior year, I learned to enjoy the little things in life. Like I said earlier, sophomore year was my personal downfall. Well, junior year brought a long-awaited turn-around filled with lunches in the junior pod during Tiger Paws, getting ready for Homecoming, and late-night drives on the weekend after a long week of school. 

This was the year that I began to discover my own direction. I was figuring out my passions and taking those steps that would help me succeed later on in life. I was embracing my prior faults and using them to make me better. Things were finally going my way. Before COVID, all of these moments were just regular occurrences that I never had to worry about losing. Then, I lost it. 

The time ahead of us will hold many “little things” that we won’t realize are so important until they are gone. So embrace everything you can. Don’t take anything for granted. Live every moment like the world is going to shut down. Because, like we’ve learned, that is a very real possibility.

Now here we are, senior year. The last chapter. The last lesson. As I wrap up the final moments of my high school career, I know the biggest lesson I’ve learned has been to make the best out of a bad situation. Spending an entire year in the conditions brought on by the pandemic forced me to take what I have and make it as good as it can be. 

We are all aware that our time after we leave here is going to be filled with unfortunate situations that may seem to have no up-side to them. In those moments, as hard as it may be, I urge you all to find that silver lining and push yourself to make any situation the best situation. 

Don’t allow a disconnect to alter your perspective. Take on a new angle or as many new angles as you need to find the bright spot in a dark place.

If anything, I have learned high school is more than just a chapter. It is an ENTIRE book. All of the incredible, amazing, extraordinary moments that happen at the most random and unexpected times make up more than just a single part. They make up a story that shapes us into who we are and who we will continue to be. 

So, as I sit here, experiencing the final pages of this book, I encourage you to take the little moments that will continue to come and embrace them — because they are what matters. 

Little moments that you don’t see coming end up being the things that change your entire life. No matter what your high school experience has been like, good or bad, pretty or ugly, exciting or ordinary, we can all agree it has set the tone for the rest of the books in our series of life.