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The Joys and Hardships of High School - Facing adversity

Posted: Friday, Feb 10th, 2017

Shelby Pennock is a senior at Pinedale High School who is helping at the Pinedale Roundup through the end of the school year.
Nearly every day at school, I am faced with conflict in one way or another. High school is a time of finding who you are and this causes a lot of controversy between students. Everyone is different and has varying opinions about life. Sometimes the struggles arenít between students, but rather situations or understanding your place. No matter the root of adversity, finding a way to cope and learn from dissension is key to being successful in high school.

The most common disputes Iíve dealt with at Pinedale High School are between myself and another student. On multiple occasions, I have disagreed with someone on a topic of discussion given by a teacher. These arguments are usually easily resolved because disagreeing is OK, and as long as both people accept their differences, there poses no issue.

A more serious and frequent problem Iíve had has been when I and another person are arguing about something that isnít opinion based. For example, fighting with someone over words that were said behind each otherís backs. It is high school, so thereís bound to be drama and cattiness; but when you are someone involved, it is not ideal.

Sadly, I have been on both sides of this situation. I say ďsadlyĒ because being talked down on and having bad things said about you hurts, but having said and spread bad things about others is something I strongly regret. I had no personal gain from putting others down. It didnít make anyone like me more, and it actually did the opposite and made me look immature.

The main thing Iíve learned from being in ďfightsĒ with other students is that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Judging others will never get you where you want to be. Focus on improving yourself, instead of tearing others down.

Sometimes situations cause adversity and stress for me as a student. Being involved in extracurricular activities and striving to maintain a high GPA is not always easy. There have been times where Iíve felt like I would never succeed at everything I was trying to do. Realistically, that isnít true and I have overcome many obstacles I thought were impossible at the time. This doesnít take away from the less-than-picture-perfect moments.

For example, I have had opportunities to participate in academic-related competitions, such as History Day. Although I would love to take part in all of these amazing school-based activities, I have had to turn down multiple because I participate in athletics. Donít get me wrong in saying this, because athletics have played the largest role in shaping who I am today.

This example of situations not being optimal is just a part of life. As much as I want to be a part of every opportunity that presents itself, that is not realistic. In high school, as in life, choosing your priorities is essential. Not taking on too much at one time is a life lesson I have learned while being in high school.

Understanding your place is something that all high schoolers struggle to discover. In the four years that I have been in high school, I have experienced a lot of change and have grown up extensively. That is to be expected in that when I started high school I was 14 and in a few months I will be 18. These changes in personality and age contribute to the issue of knowing your place. There have been numerous occasions where Iíve felt like I should be able to do something, but have been told otherwise by someone above me.

Last year when I was a junior, I thought that I should be able to eat off campus lunch. I felt that because I could drive I should be able to leave as long as I was back to school before the next class period. The administrators informed me otherwise and said that seniors were the only students that had the privilege of off-campus lunch. I had to accept this and know that they had the authority over me to make me attend on-campus lunch. This may seem like a small and unimportant issue, but it did teach me that respecting the people that are placed over me is an essential part of life.

Adversity comes in all shapes and sizes. Conflicts between students, tough situations and knowing your place are just three examples. High school is a time to grow and learn from mistakes and hard times. I am thankful to have people in my life that have supported me and helped me understand and overcome the struggles that I have been faced with. n

Shelby Pennock is a senior at Pinedale High School who is helping at the Pinedale Roundup through the end of the school year.

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