The journey may not be smooth, but it can still be fulfilling

If you asked me as a freshman what I thought my high school experience would be like, I would have said that it was going to be hard work but that it would overall go smoothly.

I didn’t expect any bumps in the road and I really thought I was going to leave New Trier the same person I was when I started high school.

Boy, was I wrong.

So many things have changed, and for the better, may I add. People told me that the friends you enter high school with will be completely different than the ones you leave with.

I didn’t believe this for a second. My friends and I are so close, how could that ever change?

I wouldn’t say that my friends have completely changed over the years, but I have gained so many new relationships.

I don’t like admitting that I had somewhat of a closed-mind freshman year, but I definitely did. I stayed close to the people I knew, and veered from the people I didn’t.

In a way, this was the only way I knew how to get through freshman year. Sticking to the people I knew was the most comfortable for me.

High school is supposed to be a time to branch out of your junior high group, but I really didn’t put this into action until sophomore year.

As a freshman, I thought that choosing the right classes and levels for me would be the hardest decisions I would have to make throughout high school. How inaccurate was my thinking process, right?

I played on the field hockey team freshman and sophomore year, but I really believed that I would continue with it for my full four years at this school. I loved it. I felt so content when I would run onto the grass fields behind New Trier with my fiber stick in hand. I’ll admit, I wasn’t the best on the team, but I did have a passion for the game. I never thought that this sport would play a role in one of the biggest decisions I’ve had to make while here at New Trier.

This decision was a little bigger than just class scheduling. After playing for junior varsity my sophomore year, I knew that I did not have a good chance of making the varsity team.

There were only six open spots and I definitely was not the strongest of the pool of players trying out. I had to decide whether I should spend my summer training and focusing solely on field hockey or giving it up and try new things.

I ended up deciding that I wanted to see if there was anything else at this school that I would enjoy as much as field hockey, but maybe this time I could excel at it.

To this day, I still regret my decision. What could have been if I tried out my junior year?

That’s another part of high school: regret. Regret is not something anybody enjoys feeling, but it plays a role in helping us grow. I’m not saying that as a freshman I thought my high school experience would have been completely perfect, but I really didn’t expect to have strong feelings of regret. I am glad I did though, because I’ve learned how to deal with tougher situations.

High school was way different than I expected freshman year, but I’d say it’s been a great four years.