High school in a nutshell: Getting involved

Written by: Hannah Forsythe

For the 2020-21 school year, I’ll be going into my senior year of high school. I can easily say that I’m both excited and terrified. It’ll be my last year of “mandatory”- well all know that college is basically mandatory now- schooling. But, during my isolation, I’ve reflected on who I am and what I’ve learned from the past years. Since 9th grade, I’ve kept detailed accounts of my time in high school. I’ve written down almost every experience I’ve gone through and I want to share my high school experience with all of you. So, for my next however many articles on CCM, I’ll be posting my new series: High School in a Nutshell. For this week's article, we’ll focus on getting involved in school activities.

When I was in 8th grade and deciding what type of classes I wanted to take in high school, I definitely knew that I wanted to do JROTC. For those of you who don’t know, JROTC is the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. It is in high schools across the country and different schools will be run by different branches of the military. The purpose isn’t to force high school kids to join the military, their purpose is to motivate young people to become better citizens. When I started at my high school, I had just moved from Virginia to Alabama. I knew literally no one. I saw JROTC as a way to find people like me and to get involved in school. Within our program, we had three teams: rifle, drill, and raider. We also have the academic team- which I'm quite proud to say that I run- but that wasn’t made into an official team till this past year. I’ve participated on the academic team, raider, and drill. Also, apart from JROTC, I ran cross country for a year at my school.

I’m not listing off all these things I did to brag. Having a jam-packed schedule isn’t for everyone. It can honestly be very overwhelming. But, my advice would be to try out tons of stuff you’re interested in during freshman year and then narrow it down over the next few years. I did tons of clubs during freshman and sophomore year, but now I don’t do any of them because they don’t interest me. It isn’t a bad thing to drop clubs. You aren’t required to return the next year, so don’t if you aren’t interested.

There are tons of ways to get involved outside of clubs, sports, and programs as well. Going to football games with friends, participating in homecoming week, and even volunteering to help set up for events. Try asking your teachers if they need help doing anything. I definitely DO NOT recommend not getting involved in school. High school occurs during some of the most vital years of your life, don’t just sit at home and do nothing. I know it can be terrifying. I’m not a crazy outgoing and extroverted person; new people scare me. Sure, I can get in front of fifty cadets and yell at them in JROTC, but saying hi to some random kid at my school? That’s a whole different story. So, I know first hand about the fear that some of you could have about getting involved and meeting new people. But you have to. These four years are supposed to be fun, so have fun!

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