Amin’s survival guide of embracing the finite, fleeting moments of high school


Ava Gillis

High school can be intimidating due to its newness. The Sidekick staff writer Sapna Amin has a high school survival guide on what she wishes someone would have told her during her high school experience.

Sapna Amin, Staff Writer

The journey to adulthood can be a handshake, sometimes a kick and a scream, crawls for some, sprints for others, stings a fifth and consumes the remaining. 

High school is the bridge between the sweetness of adolescence and the bitter reality that is being grown up. It’s the time and place where an individual begins to form their own opinions, ones that diverge from the narrow road that you were forcefully nudged towards or the ideas you were fed. You grow more in those four years than the preceding 14 or 15. 

You will most likely go through a phase where you don’t recognize yourself. Sometimes finding who you are not takes you one step closer to who you are. If you don’t cringe or experience an inward shudder of pure embarrassment, there’s a fair chance you might be flawless (hint: no one is) or you’re simply not human. So, how does one survive high school? Or better yet, how does one make it out with more than the skin of their teeth?

Beyond the rudimental advice of getting a durable backpack, asking questions in class and being yourself, it’s important to find your equilibrium between your academic and social life. Take it from someone who did a 360 and went from constantly spending time with friends to studying nonstop for the SAT and ACT: balancing the two is no easy task. Balancing education and friends is something I continue to struggle with. 

I lived in fear of missing out or not being a part of an experience. However, in not having the self-control to take time for myself, I began to lose who I was in other people. In not setting more time aside to truly learn the material for my classes beyond what I needed for good grades, my love for learning got swept away and I took an extreme route to get back. 

My phone began to cause as much interference in my life as it does on an airplane. Once I omitted all the distractions from my life and distanced myself from the outside world, the fog lifted and my priorities became more clear. I dove headfirst into the precarious sea of SAT and ACT prep books when I barely knew how to swim. However, when I tried catching up with what I knew I could do instead of how well others were performing, I began to peacefully float with the current.

I realized how extra studying can pay off in the long run. Better late than never. Understanding the privilege of education led to a shift in my intrinsic motivation. I wanted to make the most of the education I was provided. You have to be the one to find your drive and align your priorities because when other people tell you to do so, it will most likely send you running in the other direction. 

Education should be a top priority, but never at the detriment of your mental health. Every emotion you have is valid so don’t react the way you think you should or let others tell you what you know. Don’t conform for the sake of conforming. Friends can be there along for the ride as you find yourself, but don’t look for yourself in someone else’s eyes or let anyone tell you who you are. People will always have something to say about how you carry yourself or the actions you take, but don’t let them get in the way of you doing everything to the best of your ability.

High school gives you the opportunity to explore who you are and who you aspire to be. That being said, be a part of clubs that grab your interest or befriend those who have a different perspective on the world. Don’t let fear stand in the way of trying something new, because regret is oftentimes more consuming than the feeling of failure. Find your niche in not just something you excel in, but something that you find riveting and pulls on your heartstrings. The hard part is finding your passion, but once you find it you will want to dedicate time and energy to it.

Most importantly, try not to fixate on things that are beyond your control. High school is like the ocean; don’t be the one who lets the waves wipe them out or the one who gets washed up on the shore. Ride the wave and feel the sea breeze in that moment. For an 18-year-old, four years accounts for 22% of our life. That’s a substantial chunk. At the moment, Coppell High School’s halls may feel like an eternity, but once it’s over and you walk off the stage with your diploma, you will think back to how all the experiences, good and bad, have produced the person in the mirror; the person who made it to that graduation stage.

High school: series of finite moments that feel endless at the moment, but once they meet their expiration, one is reminded how fleeting it all was. I will remember walking to my best friend’s house, driving in the car blasting The Beatles, making senior overalls and hearing “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” at the end of a football game.

Farewell, Coppell High School. To those who are currently in or approaching high school, good luck with finding yourself within the hallowed halls of high school. You’ll survive whether you realize it or not.

Follow Sapna (@sapnaamin7) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.