“The Best” Gets Better

Dianna Albanese, Viewpoints Editor

As a teenager, there’s one phrase that never seems to leave you alone: “High school is the best years of your life.” Walking the same halls, in the same building, with the same students – half of whom haven’t grasped the concept of maturity and kindness – for four years. Four years of stressing over classes you aren’t interested in and eating less-than-appetizing school lunches. As a senior who has done her time in a high school environment, it’s hard to believe that, as my relatives repeatedly tell me, these were “the best years of my life.”
Here’s a quick summary of “the glory days.” Freshman year was painfully awkward. Besides the occasional sweet sixteen, sophomore year was what I considered the most uneventful year of high school. In my junior year, I was overwhelmed with SATs and ACTs, along with my weekly prep class with the legendary SAT expert Jake Berman. Finally, I can describe the first half of my senior year in four words: death by college application. I think we all understand why so many seniors are itching to escape.
Looking past the tedious application process, there’s a certain fascination and curiosity that settles in a high school student’s mind when college is brought up in conversation. With college comes independence and responsibility. If you choose to dorm, you’re leaving the comfort of your home and living on your own. For some, it is a time of rebirth. The “popular” girl is stripped of her title, and becomes just another girl. Your typical nobody can make themselves known for talents they were too afraid to flaunt in high school. You have escaped the food chain and entered a place where everyone is equal. You are challenged with the responsibility of balancing your studies and your social life. You have the option to study abroad and travel to countries you never thought you’d see in your lifetime. Most colleges offer internship programs, where a student can get a taste of reality and see what it’s like to have a job in their field of study. College is an entirely different world.
In the end, I’m going to miss the daily high-fives from Mr. Ruane and life talks with Ms. Fugazzi. Wantagh High School is where I grew up; along with finding a great group of friends and a passion for writing, I found myself. However, if I told you I didn’t have a terrible case of senioritis, I would be lying. WHS has treated me well; I’ve had my fair share of memories with the class of 2013. Nonetheless, I’m extremely excited for the college experience.
If by “the best years of your life,” you mean, “the last years that one has little responsibility,” or “the last years that you’ll be offered a home-cooked meal,” then yes, high school may very well be the best years of your life. I can’t say that I vehemently disagree with the phrase; high school was fun while it lasted. However, as many members of the Class of ’13 who are impatiently waiting to toss their caps might say, bring on college. The best is yet to come.