Lisette Lopez, staff writer, smiles for the camera after receiving her bronze medal at the cross country district meet.

Looking back at my high school career, all I see is pain, sweat, and tears. If I could go back in time and change a lot of my mistakes that I had in all four years of high school, I would. Sadly enough, high school is not a time machine to change and fix the problems. You will just have to push through and fight through the end each year.

Freshman year, I would strongly suggest to stay focus throughout the whole year. Looking back at my own freshman year, I made so many mistakes that hurt me in the long run, including my grades. When I first entered high school, I wanted to act like a tough kid, and not worry about my grades as much as I do now. I tried to impress so many people, but the next year it did not matter not one bit. I realized that summer after, that everything that I did was a mistake and that I simply needed to start fresh for my sophomore year. When you start your freshman year in high school, you will be hazed and called the names like the “fishes”, but just remember your priorities and why you’re in school in the first place, which would be an education.

Sophomore year, in my opinion, was the easiest year for me. I took AP and Pre-Ap classes to help with my time. It was a breeze, until I met the one person that changed my whole high school career. It was the first relationship that I had been a part of, and it was also my first love and heartbreak in the long run. Being in a relationship is all a part of the high school experience; it’s the one thing that makes us human. It will have its ups and downs, but it should never change who you are as a person. I hope that you take my advice for relationships now, because I never did when I was endured in my own. It was like a fantasy, everything seemed so perfect and it seemed to fall into place. I never wanted to wake up from my fantasy; I was the happiest girl in the world. Until it all came tumbling down, and the princess who seemed to have her prince charming, went away. It was my first heartbreak, and the pain was too much to handle for a sixteen-year-old girl at the time. This heartbreak went all the way through my sophomore and into my junior year of high school. And because of that one person, everything, even my personality from people started to change for the worse.

Now, this may seem like a typical love story gone wrong, and a girl who just couldn’t handle herself. Now that I look back at it, I would definitely agree with you, because that one person should not have been the reason my junior year ended up being so horrible. I hope that you don’t change who you are for a significant other, because it’ll never be worth it.

When you begin your junior year, that is the hardest year that you will ever have to face in your high school career. Junior year is the make it or break it year for colleges and grades to get into college. Like I told you before, my freshman year my priorities were not in order and my grades failed to meet my criteria. Because of that, it was harder for me to get the grades I needed to make my junior year for that spot in top 10%. While getting the grades, and being torn apart from the homework that was given each night from my advanced classes. I was still on and off with the one that got away last year. Even with having so much class work that needed to be done, my focus was still on him and it wouldn’t go away, no matter how hard I tried to push him away. The best advice I can give you for your junior year of high school is to try as much as possible to stay away from so much drama that can come your way for anything, because the drama will always be there. It is just up to you to either ignore it, or get sucked in and to lose your focus even more.

So far, what can you get from me? That a girl who tried so hard to fit in her freshman year, finally picked herself back up, but met prince charming, and it went downhill from there. As I’ve said before, I am not condoning you not to date in high school. By all means, do it! It is a great experience for high schoolers; we all need to find some kind of love in high school. Just remember your priorities and focus in school, because after all, you’re there to get an education. Not to play around and worry about your friends and associates.

This year, senior year, has been the best year for me. I got accepted into my college, I am getting great grades, and I finally got away from the “prince charming” I thought was “the one”. Being a senior gets you so much freedom, and it feels so great because you’ve worked so hard to get where you are, and you’re just counting down the days for graduation! I even met a great guy who puts the “prince charming,” in the trenches. Your senior year will be a great one, as long as you make it one. Go to all the events that they have for seniors. Go to the football games, even if they may be having a rough season. You still get to be around the people that make you happy and put you in a great place. That’s exactly what I did this year, and life is great for my senior year. I got back on my priorities and made everything that I wished for, happen.

I hope that my life lessons that I have written to you are something that you’ll consider for your next four years in high school. After all of the grades, and first love talks that I have told you today. None of that will matter after I am done giving you one final word of advice. The biggest goal that you can accomplish is only in yourself. Overcoming your weaknesses and making them great, that will be the biggest goal that you can overcome and live by in high school. It is to just be yourself, and not try and impress the cool kids. You’re cool and great just the way you are. Stick with that, and high school will be the greatest experience of your life.

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