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A Reflection on the Past Four Years

Written by Jaiden Arada, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Cherokee Bluff High School

As my time in high school comes to a close, I have been left these past few weeks to reflect over the time I have spent throughout my high school career. Going into high school, I never could have expected the interesting journey I have had. I know that sounds cliche, but it is a cliche for that very reason. It was a great experience overall. I would not have changed it for anything. 

When I entered high school, I was just a scared little freshman that had to carry around a map to find my classes. I was unaware of the journey I was about to embark on. I joined a theater class because it was something that I had done in middle school. That was the start and continuation of many friendships that I still have today. Freshman year was a lot of learning because I had to become accustomed to the culture of high school. 

Sophomore year was the shift of when people decided to become more serious about the future. People had to begin to choose classes that would impress colleges and take the challenges that these classes provided. This shift was scary to me but nonetheless, I had to try more difficult classes. Although I was preparing for my future by taking these classes, nothing could have prepared me for what the future held. Little did I know, the future held a global pandemic for me. 

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted everything for our high schools. All of our classes were remote and everything was dependent on what the government was allowing us to do. We could not return to school for our own safety and it was hard to be away from people because that was what we were accustomed to. The uncertainty of the pandemic made learning and forming friendships much harder than it should have been. Upon returning to high school, everything was different and adjusting for the pandemic. It was scary and new but helped us stay safe throughout the process. 

When senior year started, the pandemic was still bad, but we knew a little bit more on how to handle it. This year, I took college classes, high school classes, had an internship with Gwinnett Magazine and had a job. Needless to say, it was a very busy year, but it was the year I felt most accomplished. I achieved so much and I am proud of the person I have grown into this year. Applying to colleges and planning my future is filled with uncertainty but I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life. I will be starting my college career at the University of North Georgia Dahlonega. 

A word of advice I would give to new people beginning their high school career is do not be afraid to try new things. Everything that will happen is going to happen for a reason and your experiences will only make you a better and stronger person. I was once scared to and that is normal but do not let that fear stop you from doing things that you want to do in high school. It is your experience, so make it the best chapter of your life yet.