TISD 2024 Senior Perspective

Starting high school, everyone wants the same thing—to belong. It may sound cliché, like the start of a Disney movie, but it's a truth that stands the test of time. This desire for belonging extends beyond high school; it's a central theme of the teenage years. Whether as an athlete, artist, leader, photographer, or scholar, everyone wants to find their place. I, like many of my peers, have struggled to discover my role not just in school but as a person. This internal conflict doesn't fade after the first few months of freshman year; it evolves throughout high school, making these some of the most defining years of our lives.

This crisis of belonging stems from the first major stride we, as students, must take. Us "big fish" are made to wade into a much bigger pond. We were lectured about having more freedom and a bigger stage to take. However, a key detail was missing from these speeches: the social differences and the imbalance that occurred between the two periods were greater than any of us could have imagined. The class of 2024 began our first of four years, not only emotionally stunted from months of quarantine but academically stunted as well due to many vital parts of our eighth-grade education being completely online and there being no actual system to keep us accountable for completing it. Starting from day one, getting out of the car line and being reminded to keep masks over your nose and stay a safe distance from one another then entering the school to see some teachers have physical plastic walls built around their desks can easily make someone question whether they belong here or not. Many vital social events and chances to make friends didn't happen, and many people still online were lost to the abyss of black screens and muted calls.

Freshman year, I made one of the best decisions of my high school career and decided to go to a student council meeting. I then became more included and involved than ever before. I saw many of my peers feeling the same, each learning how to navigate our new challenges, friends, and subjects we have never faced, met, or seen before.

My sophomore year was a lot of the same. We attempted to return to how things were before the pandemic, but things weren't the same. Many of us still felt isolated and confused about where we belong. Not only that but with this new phase of crisis came a set of keys to our own cars. Now that we could drive alone anywhere we wanted, we began to realize that we also had a lot more alone time than we used to have. Some people use it to relax or zone out after a long day, but I used mine to think about what I wanted and who I wanted to be (and be around).

With junior and senior year becoming a reality and as we became the big fish we were warned about two years prior, we all started to fall into more permanent cliques. I decided to be as socially involved in Texas High as I could. For the first time in my life, I was feeling involved and truly enjoying school; however, my grades also began to suffer. I now had to try harder in my classes and was slowly losing the identity I had held close to since kindergarten. The identity that had gotten me through 10 years of school. The only thing that had been constant was that I was "smart" or a "Morriss kid." The farther into junior year I got, the more distant that idea became. I had to work harder than ever before. When it came to math, especially learning to ask for help was hard. This seemingly small step was incredibly difficult because I had the clouded belief that asking for help made me seem weak or less self-sufficient. The newfound information gained through this time of dropping grades and subsequently begging for help did help me with my classes, but it also helped with my social journey. I got the courage to run for senior class president and actually won the race. I was a part of raising millions of dollars in money and time for cancer research. My life got easier, and my number of friends grew. I had finally learned how to balance school and fun and had finally found my place.

Despite the struggles and triumphs, high school was a great experience. Senior year was one of the best years of my life. The 'lasts' I shared with my friends and peers, from senior sunrise to graduation, will stay with me for years. As I move on to college, I'll carry many lessons with me: always be yourself, get involved, and never hesitate to ask for help. After thirteen years of hard work and building relationships, once you walk the stage on that Saturday in May, the poorly graded essay won't matter as much. What truly matters is who you are and who you've become.


< Previous Story Next Story >



© 2024 All Rights Reserved.
Design By: WebProJoe.com Web Design