I’ve had a few conversations with my brother, Jack, about the college process recently. He’s now a junior in high school (which still absolutely blows my mind) and ever since he was little, his dream school has been Notre Dame. Since I started applying to Notre Dame, he’s asked me about how to get in.
I’ve watched him spend time consumed by the perceived need to get perfect grades or to pick the perfect extracurriculars to enhance his application. Starting as early as his freshman year, I had to help console him when he didn’t get the grade he wanted on an exam. I remember thinking to myself, he does not need to be this stressed!
Looking back on my own high school experience, and now looking at Jack’s, it makes me sad to see how much of it has been consumed by the desire to apply and get accepted to colleges.
Yes, college is a blast. But, high school was also a really special time that needs to be appreciated for just that. I admittedly spent a lot of my high school time thinking about the next steps, and would often stress myself out about college. I wish that I could go back in time and tell myself that high school is fun!
High school is a time that is so unique and special for what it is. You are independent enough to get to make your own decisions, and yet you still have the comforts and familiarity of home. College is great, too, but living in the moment of high school is so valuable and something that I wish I had done better myself.
If I could offer any advice to applicants and current high school students, it would be: "don't take the time you have now for granted."
Don’t spend all of your time consumed with worry and dread for the future. If you’ve already submitted your applications, let yourself enjoy the time you have and your amazing, unique, and wonderful high school experience. If you are still working on your applications, or haven’t applied yet, take time for yourself and to enjoy the moment.
My brother has gotten a lot better at this recently, becoming much more involved in his school football team and making time to spend with his friends, going fishing, biking, even just hanging out and playing video games. Whatever your high school experience looks like, try to make sure it isn’t consumed by the worry for the future and allow yourself to take in the once-in-a-lifetime experience that is high school