By Teja Reddy '19
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your months or years of high school? The most valuable lessons I have learned are the importance of making your own traditions, to cherish the memories we make, appreciate the people around you, and to be responsible for your actions.
Being a second semester senior is so difficult. There are many different thoughts running through my mind. Part of my brain is counting down the days until graduation, when I am finally in college, and the other part is thinking about how much we have grown.
When I look at pictures all the way back from 1st grade, where Elizabeth Evans has bows on that are the size of her head, or at the pictures where we are all wearing silly bands up to our elbows, it makes me so sad thinking that in a few short months, all of this will be over. But I believe that high school is a transitioning period between childhood and the real world, and these are the lessons I have learned that I plan to carry with me.
It is a time where we laugh and stop stressing out about our looming math or history tests.
Creating traditions are important. One of my favorite traditions of high school is going to Maki Fresh on Mondays with my closest friends. Maki Monday (or Maki Night, as we call it) is a time when we all sit down and talk about our weekends and plans for the upcoming week. It is a time where we laugh and stop stressing out about our looming math or history tests. Maki started with just a few friends tagging along to go to dinner with Lauren and Julia’s family, but it soon became a highlight of so many people’s weeks. Now there can be as many as 20 of us that take part in this weekly tradition. I have made so many new friendships through Maki Nights and will never forget the times we all have shared there.
High school has taught me to venture out and talk to people I wouldn't normally spend time with. I have learned to not just stick with one friend group, but to talk to everyone. I have also learned that it’s okay to be friends with underclassmen. Honestly, the friendships I have made with some of the underclassmen might turn out to be the relationships I maintain throughout my life. Through these friendships I have learned to stop worrying about what other people think of me, and to be myself.
I find myself thinking more and more about responsibility.
As I approach the last few months of my time at Randolph, I find myself thinking more and more about responsibility. We have all heard the saying, “Life’s what you make it," most of us from Hannah Montana. High school has taught me that teachers and parents are not going to be there to hold your hand every step of the way, which is both terrifying and liberating to think about. In high school, your mom doesn’t set time for you to eat your snack when you get home from school or give you a set time to do your homework. As I have moved through Randolph each year, I had to take on more of the responsibility of making sure I did what I needed to do when I needed to do it. In life, you are going to have to face problems and tasks on your own.
Finally, another important lesson I have learned is to work toward something. If you set a goal in life, you have to push yourself and work for it. One of the best memories I have of high school was created on December 14, 2018, while I was on the bus to go cheer for a basketball game. I was sitting next to Isabel Folgmann when an email popped up on my phone. It was an email from the University of Miami in my mailbox. I immediately turned to Isabel and said, “Oh my gosh, what if I didn’t get in?” She responded by saying, “Teja, but if you did get in, you’ll be living in Miami!” I quickly facetimed my parents so they could see my reaction when I opened my decision letter, and sure enough, I got in! This acceptance meant so much to me, because it proved that dreams can come true if you set a goal and work for it.
If you set a goal in life, you have to push yourself and work for it.
Attending the University of Miami has been something I have been working toward for a while now. I worked on improving my ACT score, signed up for challenging classes, and then worked hard to make sure my grades were the best they could be while still focusing time and energy on my extracurricular activities. It now feels so good to have gotten into my dream school.
I encourage all of my fellow students to make your own traditions, learn to cherish your memories and the friendships you make here at Randolph, and to set goals and push yourself to achieve them. High school is a place to learn not just from textbooks, but from the people around you. It is a place that will teach you how to live and flourish in the real world.