Saturday, May 28, 2016

Class of 2016 ~ A Reflection on My High School Years

Yep, you read that right. I graduated! And I learned so much from high school. Why isn't that one word?! ^.^


~Grades Matter~

I'm a straight-laced, firstborn girl, so grades have always mattered to me. Like, don't tell me I got a 99% on that pre-K Math test. It should have been a 100%. But, still. Even without college in my future, I learned the importance of making good grades.

The largest and most influential part of my high school education were the World View classes I took at a co-op with my pastor as teacher. They were college-level, multi-credit classes that covered everything from history to philosophy and required a great deal of reading. Everything was filtered and examined through a Christian world view and required a 3-5 page essay. I totally soaked it up. ;)

All of that's to say, good grades were sometimes a little hard to get in that class, but if I really put myself to it, every week, I could be an A student. And I was. The grades mattered to me, my parents, my teacher, and my self-esteem. It made me feel good to get just as much positive feedback as critique. You can only do high school once. Doing it well counts, especially if your future career depends upon you having made good marks.

~Sleep Matters More~

Being a pretty driven personality, I had to learn to draw the line. I would stay up through the night finishing a book that I procrastinated on, just so I could finish my syllabus pages and get a 9 instead of an 8. It took me two years (half of my classes) to learn that it's not always worth it. Sometimes, you need the sleep and the energy to just start over again the next morning instead of one grade higher and circles under your eyes.

Trust me, all-nighters are not all their cracked up to be. Especially when you have a speech you have to give the next day after a full day of classes. (I do not know from personal experience.) Don't do that to yourself. Sleep for a few hours and get up early. And start on it earlier next time. ;)

~Classes Are Awesome~

They're not everybody's thing, but I adored being able to go to co-op for those four years, one day a week. I abused my freedom somewhat the first year, but that taught me a lot. I became more comfortable with who I was and loved having the competitive atmosphere that I wasn't getting at home, with siblings only in grades below me. At the same time, they made me really thankful that every weekday was not spent zipping from one class to another with deadlines and teachers and annoying or really hilarious classmates. It was great to be able to come home, eat a ton of food, watch movies, and sleep in.

~Friends Are the Best~

I made the mistake of never spending very much time with people at school. I carpooled with my teacher's family, so I always hung with their daughter (my best friend). But I do wish that some weeks I would have set aside the textbook and said hello to my classmates. Because, looking back, it's the conversations and fellowship I had with people that stands out to me. Thankfully, in spite of my reclusive habits, I still have friends I took away from those years :)

~Pray When You're Stressed~

Stress is just part of growing up. It doesn't go away after high school. (Trust me.) And no matter what I did to try and de-stress myself so I could go right back to stressing, only one thing ever worked: stepping back and praying. Sleep was great and all, but sometimes I couldn't even sleep, I had so much I needed to be doing. Prayer was literally the only thing that could calm my mind enough to keep going and try to enjoy what I was doing. God knows what He's doing people. Don't forget to cast your cares upon Him. He really does like to listen, but unlike parents, He can renew your strength, too.

~Netflix Is Therapy~

Again, stress is gonna happen. Know how to cope. There is nothing wrong with watching an episode of your favorite show even when your to-do list is full. I repeat. Netflix is therapy. It can also be a trap, so maybe don't binge watch with a full to-do list, but a break is deserved. Sometimes the only way I could get back to the grind was to step away. 45 minutes of your life is not the end of the world. And, let's face it, it's much less of a trap than social media ;) But dude, I kept up with Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, and multiple detective shows through those four years, so I was watching plenty of TV.

~I'd Do It Again~

If it came down to it, I'd do it again. I would. And I know this is probably unique to me, but I'm that kind of person ;) Even though it was largely a sleepless, stressful time, getting up at 5 am and reading people who wrote hundreds of years ago was incredible. Falling asleep while reading was marked off my bucket list. I actually saw sunrises back then. I had hours more in each day and I was using my time well. It was one of the most formative and reading-filled times of my life. It was, in a word, awesome. Oh, yes, I'd do it again.

~~~~~

How close are you guys to finishing high school? If you're done, HOORAY! What have you learned? Are you a driven personality like me? I have to say, no matter how much I loved school, I am very glad I don't have four more years ahead. I'm done. Experience is the route for me (so thank you, awesome friends)! :D

And I am typing this from my shiny, new laptop!! (He doesn't have a name yet.) Graduation presents are awesome, y'all. Take advantage of them. It was totally worth 100 invitations, to get 50 cards back with money. *nods*

38 comments:

  1. Uhhhhh, I have forever!! (three years) I just want to be duuuuuuuun!

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    1. I know how you feel, but you WILL get there!! :)

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  2. Congratulations on your graduation!
    I finished this year as well, and I would agree with a lot of what you said- particularly under the "Grades Matter" and "Sleep Matters More" headings. Like you, I can be a perfectionist when it comes to grades . . . but certain classes the past two or three years have taught me that sometimes you just have to say "I did my best; I can't do any more; whatever grade I get, I'll just be content with that." (And I'm glad I learned that lesson in high school, rather than when I go to college . . .)

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    1. Thanks! Congratulations to you, too! Yes, I definitely had to learn where to draw the line. And it is always better to come to terms with realities like that sooner rather than later ;) What are your college plans shaping up to be?

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    2. You're welcome, and thank you!
      I'll probably do an actual post on college plans at some point, but I'm planning to attend a private Christian college (which I've done some dual-enrollment at already), majoring in technical writing/communications. (That's a single major at this school, for the record, not a double or a major and a minor.)

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  3. OH, CONGRATS ON GRADUATING!! I'm graduating in August. :) I still have quite a bit of math that needs finished, but other than that I'm DONE! (Well, still have some civics and economics, but they're extra credits, not core subjects. ;))
    I agree with the 'Grades matter' thing, but I know that it still is possible to get a lower grade, even if you've done your best. (Or, at least that's been my experience. ;P)But yes, working hard to get good grades is so worth it!!
    I can be driven if I have a goal in mind. My sophomore and junior year I did next to no school because of some health issues that came up in our family with my dad, and made it very difficult for me to get schoolwork done, so I've had fun catching up this year. *insert sarcasm* 3 credits in math, 1 credit in English, 2 in history and 2 in Science is super hard to cram into 18 months. But I'm so happy to finally be at the end of it all!! :D
    A new laptop sounds awesome!!! I'm curious to see what you'll name it! ;)

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    1. Thanks! Early congratulations to you as well!! :D Ah, math. Not my favorite. I crammed to get Math and Government done before my graduation ceremony. But I had Spanish class and Physics to finish up at home after that. Now it's all finished!!!

      It's true; hard work doesn't always guarantee a fantastic grade, but in general if you work harder (especially to understand the material) your grade will be better than it could have been :P

      Compacting high school does not sound like fun, but I'm so proud of you for getting it done! At least graduating in August, maybe people will pay more attention to you since you're not part of the May/June hoard ;)

      Haha! No name ideas yet, really. I don't usually name inanimate objects, but I figured it's probably gonna need one if it's going to be my sidekick. I'm taking suggestions!! (It's silver)

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    2. Is it a boy computer or a girl computer? :D

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  4. Ah! SO exciting Abi!!!! You must be so happy right now although you loved school. :) I enjoy most of my school as well except math. That is well...not the greatest. :D I have about 3 more years of school before I duol-enroll at our local college. I'm looking forward to being done, but definitely will have enjoyed the journey. I'll try and put your tips into practice so I have no regrets! =)

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    1. Thanks! I /am/ very happy!! Dual-credit stuff is definitely the way to go! What are you going to be pursuing at college? I'm glad they're helpful, but high school is always a learning process for everyone. ;)

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  5. YAY. CONGRATS ON FINSIHING HIGH SCHOOL! I, on the other hand, have only just finished middle school :/
    So yeah, looking forward (not really) to high school.

    Good luck on whatever career you're pursuing! :D (I recall you saying you aren't going to college yet, but I forget what you said you're going to do until meantime?)

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    1. Thanks!! High school will be great, I promise!

      Thank you. Haha, yeah becoming an author and a freelance editor is what I intend to do as far as a career. On the side, I've been earning money by doing legal work for my dad, bookkeeping (accounting), and babysitting :)

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    2. I hope!

      Ah, okay. I aspire to be an author, too. And I babysit :)

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  6. Congratulations on your grad! Freedom is yours. :D I had mine last year in September with my boyfriend and best friend/fellow homeschooler as my fellow graduates and it was really fun having everyone come together and celebrate that. Also, yes, grad helps you rake in a lot of money. XD
    Have I told you before that I think it's awesome you're boycotting college and figuring things out for yourself? Cause it is.

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    1. Ah, right? Freedom is the best :P That's awesome, Emily! Yes, I was shocked at how much people gave me. I have such sweet friends ^.^

      Oh my goodness, thanks so much! My parents are of the opinion that you don't do college just for the sake of it, because that's a lot of time and money (and they have 7 kids). So they encouraged me to decide how necessary a degree was to what I wanted to pursue and how I would afford it. I think experience and self-education will be more useful in pursuing editing and becoming an author. I've loved getting plugged in! I might reconsider if they had a degree in Editing, but . . . they don't. :)

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    2. Yes, it definitely it. Like my freedom to sit here and type this while my siblings are all doing school. Mwahaha!

      I totally agree with all of that. I hate the lie that's perpetuated in North America that you need to have a college degree to amount to something. Especially in the world of writing and editing you can totally go it alone and figure it out for yourself.
      Haha, they don't have a degree, but there are misc. courses around that one can take too. Almost as good as college. :P

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  7. CONGRATULATIONS ON GRADUATING, ABI!! I'm so excited for you!!! I'm, uh ... not terribly driven when it comes to school XD. I have three-ish (four-ish?) years left until I graduate (actually it doesn't sound that long if I put it that way ... weird)

    Ooo, you've going to name your laptop? I can't wait to see what name you choose!

    *whispers* also, I tagged you for the Infinity Dream tag over on my blog :).

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    1. THANK YOU!! Everyone is driven toward different things, and school is definitely not on everyone's list and that's okay :) Neato, you can make it!

      I feel like I should name it since it's going to be my sidekick and be the primary recipient of all my blood, sweat, and tears. But I haven't come up with anything snazzy yet ;) (Suggestions?)

      OOH! I'll go check it out right now!! :D Thank you!

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  8. I am also of the Class of 2016! High five! I guess you can say I graduated High School, but it's called Secondary School over here in Ireland.

    Well, I'm glad it's over. I hated the last two years of it. Too many fake people with bad personalities, realising that I don't need some of the subjects I am studying and getting bad grades during the last two weeks really made me not regret leaving.

    I just can't wait for after June because I have exams next month. Exams that determine if you're going to college or not. *sighs*

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    1. That's awesome, Grace!! *high fives you back* Hey, Secondary School. I like that. :) YOU LIVE IN IRELAND?!?!?! Ahem. Sorry. But that is just so awesome!

      Aw, I'm sorry it didn't end as happily as it should have. But at least it's over!

      Ah, lovely exams. So you have to pass them to even be able to attend college? (I imagine you do things a little differently in Ireleand ;) Here you apply to the colleges you're interested in and get accepted or not based on your grades. What are you interested in pursuing?

      Thanks so much for commenting!

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    2. yeah, you need to do an exam to decide whether you get into college or not. If you don't do well you can apply for a college of further education for a year before going to college. And Um, I would like to do an Arts degree.

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  9. CONGRATS ON GRADUATING!!! *throws confetti* That's super awesome, Abi! Be pleased with your accomplishments. :) I still have two years and a hefty stack of textbooks before I'm through. ;P

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    1. Thanks, Faith!! *receives confetti shower* You'll make it, I promise! Those last two years will go much quicker than you think, if only because you'll be buried in the stack of textbooks every day ;) Take it day by day and try to enjoy! :D

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  10. Congratulations on graduating!!!!!!!

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  11. Whoot! Another 2016 graduate!! *high-five* I'm not graduating until a little later this month because of busy schedules and having to coordinate with a couple other homeschool graduates who are graduating the same time as me...but I'm so happy to be done!
    Which subject are you happiest to have behind you forever? (Well, until you get married, have kids if the Lord wills, and have to teach them... ;) For me its probably a tie between Physical Science and Geometry. Bleck. That stuff was AWEFUL.

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    1. Later this month meaning later in June. *face-palm*
      Obviously my mind is already into next month. ;)

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    2. Yay!! *high fives back* Yes, isn't being done the most awesome feeling? It didn't sink in for me until I had a full week without school. It was very strange feeling . . . but exciting!

      Haha. Um, while I was okay at Math, it was too time-consuming and brain-stretching for me to enjoy. Also, I always had a hard time getting through Sciences, even though I don't necessarily dislike them? There were no subjects I hated all the time. But I'm very glad that textbooks are a thing of the past . . . until having kids ;)

      Physical Science was not my strong suit, either ;) Geometry I actually preferred over all the Algebras. I guess it seemed more practical to me and less complicated. But I HATED proofs . . . almost as much as I hated graphing. Bleck, for sure. *shudder* The only thing I think I will really miss is reading lists and essays to write, haha!

      I feel like it's June already, too ;) How fun that you get to graduate with friends. June is a good time, because most people are phasing that out already and you get more attention, hehe :D

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  12. Congrats, Abi!!!!! Great job, girly!!!! I'm not graduating for several years yet. =)

    Are you planning on going to college? What would you major in? My mom has dual-enrollment, CLEP, and online classes all planned out for me...so I should graduate college with a BA a year or two after graduating high-school. Which is amazing. =)

    I love what you wrote about stress. It's hard to get rid of stress in you life!!! Prayer and Bible devotion helps a lot. =)

    ~Hosanna Emily

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    1. Thanks, Hosanna!!! You can make it!

      I am not planning on any college at this point. If they ever created a degree in Editing/Proofreading, that would be a different story. While I would love to study English, Communications, or Journalism, it's a lot of time and money and I didn't get a jump on dual credit and CLEP stuff. But that is definitely a smart way to go! I'm going to travel the path of experience and self-education instead and work toward being an author and freelance editor. What degree are you looking at getting so soon? :)

      Yes, stress is always going to be there. But it's so awesome to have a way to regain control. Or, rather, let GOD take control. :D

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    2. I am planning on getting a degree in English...I wouldn't want to teach an English class per se, but I would love to teach creative writing. I am taking classes through Landry Academy, which is an online school...I can take classes like American Sign Language, which my mom couldn't teach me herself. =) So I would love to teach online through there...but if that's not God's will, then having an English degree would just be helpful as a writer. =)

      I might quote you on this, Abi!!! "Stress is always going to be there. But it's so awesome to have a way to regain control. Or, rather, let GOD take control." It might appear as a quote of the day in a group blog that I'm in. ;) LOL (if you don't mind, of course!)

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  13. CONGRATULATIONS! *showers you in confetti*

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    1. THANK YOU! *receives confetti shower* :D

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  14. Congratulations! Passing that milestone is awesome! I graduated 3 years ago now, and am very thankful! :D

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    1. Thank you! Yes. I didn't ever think it was a very big deal, but it actually FELT like a big deal once I was finished. Ah, so you've had several years of liberty ;) Tell me, is it still just as refreshing to have no school after 3 years?

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    2. It really does feel like a big deal once finished, I agree!
      Haha yes, and again YES, it is still such a relief and refreshing thought to not have school :D I love it. ^.^

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