Pep rallies, sports games and school dances. What movies have most children believe is that these are the primary aspects of the high school experience. Though pom-poms and prom certainly make appearances throughout one’s four years at CCHS, the true high school experience is much more complex and individual.
A bustling high school campus can make any freshman initially feel like they are getting lost in the shuffle. In the transition from middle school to high school, self-identity becomes crucial. But with the freedom that high school offers come the important decisions that mold each day. One of the most pivotal choices a student can make is that of the people they surround themselves with.
One of the most pivotal choices a student can make is that of the people they surround themselves with.
“High school is one of the toughest experiences to live through, and having friends to go through it all with made the whole thing bearable,” senior Hannah Cohen said. “Especially now, as we all plan on leaving home and going to different colleges throughout the state and even the country, I realize how much I could not have done it without them.”
Although common interests can begin a friendship in elementary or middle school, acceptance of differences is what will make those relationships stand the test of time. Since high school is a transformative time for anyone that goes through it, ties to peers will inevitably shift and evolve as the individuals themselves do. But with a student body as dynamic as the one at CCHS, friend groups often thrive because of their diversity.
With a student body as dynamic as the one at CCHS, friend groups often thrive because of their diversity.
“What made my high school experience would be the many valuable life lessons I learned as well as the friendships I’ve made that will hopefully last a lifetime,” senior Bruce Glasserman said. “I learned the value of hard work, dedication and also how to tell your real friends apart from the others.”
One of the principal life lessons that high school can impart on students is where their passions lie. The individuality of high schoolers is being encouraged now more than ever. With dozens of clubs at CCHS alone, students have the opportunity to shape their high school years into a time that reflects their interests, hobbies and aspirations.
“[The] Thespians definitely made my [high school] experience,” senior Odette Barcelo said. “I [was] emerged into such a big, loving family. I got to do what I love with people I love.”
Becoming involved is often key to making the most out of the four years of high school. Many school clubs, such as DECA and Best Buddies, are a part of international organizations which can benefit students by introducing them to a literal world of opportunities and connections.
Many school clubs, such as DECA and Best Buddies, are a part of international organizations which can benefit students by introducing them to a literal world of opportunities and connections.
“I’ve really grown [in high school] thanks to the clubs I’m a part of,” senior Isy Tocci said. “I started off as a Thespian and then branched into CTV and SGA. I don’t think I would be anywhere near where I am today without these programs.”
Once the high school experience is coming to a close and graduation readily approaches, many seniors find that their school spirit is stronger than ever. Cheering in the bleachers while wearing CCHS colors or partaking in a grade-bonding activity creates a sense of unity that is everlasting.
“The best place you can be is at a Cowboy football game, homecoming week activity, or just a school event,” Tocci said. “These are the times that stick out to me the most, from Lip Sync Battle to Crazy Feats and Friday Night Lights.”
No matter what high school students choose to do during their years at CCHS, the outcome will always be a stronger sense of self and a collection of memories that will not be quick to fade. Despite what misconceptions teen movies may create, high school is truly what you make it.
Photo by Benjamin Milgram