12+ Years a Student: A Review of School the Past Decade
Graduating high school is a milestone that many of America’s entitled youth go through. Though a lot of fun interactions and immature tom-foolery has happened over the years, was it worth having to go through years of required reading, pacer tests, and state examinations?
The Salem-Keizer Public School District’s vision statement is that “All students graduate and are prepared for a successful life.” That’s a joke. Or is it? Were we really prepared for success? At South, the graduation rate for the class of 2015 was eighty-four percent; a whole twelve percent higher than the Oregon average. But whether or not a statistic defines this may be up to personal opinion. It certainly helps, however, that the district has a long list of successful extra-curricular programs.
The Salem-Keizer school district is known for it’s successful music programs. This year, the choir programs at South, West, and Sprague sweeped the first three places at the OSAA state championship. It’s hard not to recognize that many of us were a part of the music programs at some point in our academic career. With music being deeply ingrained into us as students, it serves as a great parallel to our overall life going through school. We’ve started off as dainty kids learning to play our scales, but by the end, we’re playing Rachmaninoff and Ravel.
Elementary, was honestly kind of a blur. But I remember that going from elementary to middle school was a frightening transition for some. The overall consensus on middle school is that it’s full of regretful decisions. Do you remember wearing all black and expressing your poorly thought-out existentialist outlook on life? Did you shop at Hot Topic? We’re you laughing at really bad bathroom humor? Well then, I’m—hold on, that might not have been you? Then you’re one of the lucky ones. But we all had something we look back on to cringe at.
High school is where things get serious, particularly at South where many of us had to deal with the IB program. IB is a soul-crushing and PTSD-inducing program straight out of a horror movie. Many of us can agree with that. Admittedly, IB did prepare me for doing college-level writing and work [the night before]. While college credit is helpful, the lack of sleep may not have been the healthiest life choice for us to make.
The social aspect of high school kind of defeats whatever amount of “IB-depression” we might have gone through. Many of us are part of athletic programs, musical ensembles, clubs, and other organizations. Even if we weren’t in one, we’ve all met at least one person we can identify with. While school is primarily about educating the youth, it is also where we get introduced to our best friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, or maybe just Zari.
So has this decade long journey been worth it? HONEST-TO-GOD NO! But growing up with you guys has been a lot of fun. As Plankton from Spongebob once said, “Goodbye, everyone. I’ll remember you all in therapy.”