About two years back Sasha and Court wrote this. Now they are super old and super wise and they bring you advice from the other side. I love them so much it hurts. 🙂
Sasha and I had talked a little bit about writing a second guest post, but it spent a lot of time just being an idea. A few weekends ago, I ran my second, and last, high school Ragnar, while Sasha qualified for her final high school crew nationals, and by Sunday night, we asked if we could, in fact, write the second guest post. It feels sentimental as I’m typing this, but it’s more like a check in for us. There are all of these ways to compartmentalize time in our lives- high school, summer, college, first jobs, races we’ve attended- but how we’ve grown up has little to do with the time, and so much more to do with the pieces of ourselves that cannot be contained in categories. Here is what we learned in high school that is less to do with high school and more to do with the rest of our lives.
1) The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.
If you didn’t learn this in high school, did you learn anything? This could be construed as important, you know, if you’re into biology, or unimportant if you think about the fact that it’s this weird, massive inside joke on Tumblr. Aside from this, whenever you’re asked a question, this is the perfect answer. Yes, even the perfect answer to life. Every one of your cells has one of these. Every piece of you has a powerhouse. Your body is fighting for you, every second of every day. And you know, also, biology is cool and super intelligent.
2) There is always another gear.
Even if you think you’re studying hard, there is always someone studying harder or rowing harder. So I think you just have to choose what you care about and go for it. Someone who is most likely famous said, “Whatever you do, always give it 100%, unless you’re donating blood.” I totally agree with all of that, except maybe pick one or two things and save some time for Netflix?
3) Take risks.
I just went out for Chinese food with my family for mother’s day, and my fortune was “avoid unnecessary risks.” I am not sure whether the fortune cookie company meant social risks, financial risks, or jumping-off-a-cliff risks, but I feel like risks are good. If you want to text a person and don’t think you should because you are embarrassed, TEXT THE PERSON. You can always apologize later, and most of the time you typed that shit for a reason.
4) College Admissions teams don’t really give the “mistakes are okay” aura, but they don’t know what transcripts don’t tell them.
You submit yourself in fragments to a college admissions board. Your application has a transcript, a perfectly molded essay, a list of extracurriculars, recommendations from teachers that you appreciate dearly. But these are slices of your life. This is not a “there’s so much more to you than that” but more a “seriously, your high school self is not who you’re going to end up being, and thank god.” Other people don’t have to know about the time you skipped three days of class straight to lie upside down on your bed or scale a mountain. But you do, and that’s more important anyway.
5) There is plenty of time. Don’t rush.
You’re only allowed to wear footy pajamas in public for so long before it gets weird. If I were to do it over again I would:
a) Own footy pajamas
b) Wear them all day every day with frequent washing
c) Don’t do something because everyone else is doing it. Go at your own pace. *
6) It will end.
Sasha wrote this, and I loved it. It holds true in our friendship- when junior year fell apart and we did too- and in life- my legs are not always so sore that they feel like pancake batter. The bad things will dissipate over time, in scheduled cry time and therapy and baking batches and batches of cupcakes. The good things will too, in watching the seconds move at the end of a class and driving home or away from places that you’ve loved. It is, maybe, the only truth I can understand. The things we are doing with the time, the ways we are filing them away, the stories we are pulling out years later for new people in our lives to hear, cease to exist in the future. It will end. This is okay. Something else will start again.
Sasha will be going to college in Pennsylvania, rowing and studying we’re not sure what. Courtney will finally be on the coast in Boston, running and changing the world, and hopefully herself. These are just plans, categories, pieces of our lives. Emma was that, too. We love you all for reading, listening, teaching Courtney how to use Desmos, and being a place for Anne, and thus, a place for us. See you on the flip side.
*editor’s note: I don’t know where the footie pajamas come in but please do your best not to wear jammies to class in college. Actually, what the fuck do I care, you do you.