Senior goodbye: Playing past high school


Senior and resident video game reviewer Cameron Stapleton had to play her way through the game of high school without the benefit of cheat codes.

Editor’s Note: Senior goodbyes are student pieces that reflect on their past years in high school. These pieces take very different perspectives and the prompt was meant to be vague to inspire creativity. 

High school is a lot more like a video game than people realize. When you walk in on the first day, it’s a lot like starting up a new game you know nothing about. You are unsure and anxious, and many decide to take the easy way out and try to avoid confrontation, sticking to the shadows to get through the day without much hardship.   

I’m here to say that you shouldn’t do that.  

High school is just a minuscule quest in the story of life, and it is everything you make of it. I didn’t enjoy high school, but I enjoyed the people I met and the memories I made with them, largely because I decided freshman year that hiding in the shadows wasn’t the way I wanted to “play” high school.

Be brave, be bold, and be yourself. It sounds cliche, but you’ll be proud you did in the end.

When you find a video game you like, you tend to play it a lot, and sometimes a game you didn’t think you’d like is your new favorite. I went out on a limb in eighth grade and signed up for newspaper. As I continued with it, newspaper turned out to be a wonderful experience for me because I was able to write about what I enjoy while also improving my social skills. Orchestra was also an amazing experience because I had wonderful teachers who taught me a lot about more than just music. You must find something you love and stick with it. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone, as that’s usually when something is the most rewarding.  

As I embark on the quest of college, I can’t help but look back on my high school experience with some regret, so I implore you to always think twice about unnecessarily stressing yourself to death with AP classes. For example, my worst subject is math. Taking AP physics was the biggest mistake I made during my high school career, and I can guarantee that having an awful grade in physics on my transcript hindered my college chances. Take classes you can handle and do your best in them, and things will fall in line. Don’t be afraid to drop an AP class, and don’t let a teacher pressure you into staying in their class if it is not worth your while. Like in “Borderlands,” when the enemies have warning signs if they are too high-leveled for you to defeat, you should heed the warning of hard AP classes, or taking too many of them.

Secondly, if things go haywire, always have a reasonable backup plan to keep things on track. You don’t ever want to be fighting a particularly nasty boss battle and run out of ammo halfway through, right? Well, you’d think that after all the video games I had played and mastered, that I would know to have a backup plan. But after being denied admission to my top choice college over Christmas, I was at a loss.

Don’t be like me. Have a backup plan, and be very comfortable with the idea of living through said plan. It does no good to have a backup plan, but not acknowledge the idea of eventually having to use it, as I did.

In closing, high school sucks for many people, but you can still make the most of it by finding a good friend group and making memories with them. Enjoy the time you have with your friends, because things can change on a dime, and high school goes by faster than people think.

So with this, I say farewell, Lovejoy High School. Through the good and the bad, I received a top-notch education, and it helped in the long run. And when I turn in my four-year-long quest and receive my diploma in return, I will know I played high school like I would any other video game: I charged right in after realizing that stealth was a useless option.