• Giuliana Ferrari

Growing pains: for those still figuring out high school

Giuliana offers stories and meaningful advice on how to navigate high school and the rollercoaster that it is.


For those of you who don’t have the time or energy to read this entire article, let me make your lives easier. If you're asking yourselves “What’s the point?”, the point is that growing up can be really hard and sometimes you’ll feel as if you’re sick of waiting for everything to fall into place. And what if it never does? Frankly, things won’t always fall into place unless you push them yourself. Start pushing.


High school can be hard and I guarantee that I‘m not the first person who’s said this to you. Some people say, "right after you graduate, none of it is going to matter." What a concept, right? Although, I dare to say that I might be the first person who’s finally admitted to you that this sentiment is disgustingly trite and unhelpful. Especially when you’re still at least another year away from graduation and until then, you find yourself crying on the bathroom floor because you can’t even fathom how you’ll handle even another day of this.


A lot of people will tell say ‘you’ll hardly remember this in ten years.’ Well, maybe it’s because I’ve only been out of high school for three years, but I still remember. Being in a new building, getting lost in the unfamiliar halls on my way to new classes, trying to impress my new teachers, feeling intimidated by all these new faces, especially all these girls who looked prettier than I felt. Making new friends wasn’t alway easy. Neither was learning that losing friends wasn’t always hard. I remember that constantly looming anxiety. Even if that anxiety sat tucked away in your subconscious, it was always there.

Some people say, "right after you graduate, none of it is going to matter." What a concept, right? Although, I dare to say that I might be the first person who’s finally admitted to you that this sentiment is disgustingly trite and unhelpful."

I need to be honest. Sometimes the world does fall apart. Take a look at the last year and a half.


Tragedies happen and they hurt. Badly.


However, the last year has proven the world can survive a lot. You can survive a lot, too.


I mean, think of it this way. You survived middle school, right? That time when you were going through physical changes, emotional changes, and social changes all at the same time, dancing on that line between being a little kid and being a teenager. You’re starting to think as if you finally know how the world works. You can think for yourself, practice being independent. You’re also encountering new ideas, ideas that roam outside the realm of what your parents have taught you.


Oh, speaking of your parents, I should say this. Sometimes adults forget how hard it is to be a teenager. Remember that failed science test, or that fight with your best friend, or that massive zit that didn’t go away for an entire week? Think about how hard you tried to forget that those things ever happened. Now think about how adults have had way longer to let themselves forget about those moments. It’s okay to be mad at your parents for that, but it’s also important to forgive them.


Anyway, back to what I was saying. You’ve already made it past a really challenging point in your life—middle school. A point where you finally thought that you were close to figuring everything out, only to realize that you do indeed still have a long way to go.

Middle school and high school aren’t just about learning math and history, they’re also about learning who you are, what’s important to you. You learn how to trust people, how to protect yourself from the ones you can’t trust. You’ll learn that being kind to others, and especially to yourself, is not always easy to do. But it’s still better to be kind than to be indifferent. Sometimes you’ll make mistakes, but you’ll learn how to forgive yourself.


The you that stumbled through middle school is the same you that walked into high school on your first day, and you will still be the same throughout everything. Take care of yourself.