Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Exploration: changing throughout high school


IMG_3169 (Medium)           Some high school students enter the main doors their first day of freshman year not much different than they exit graduation their senior year. Other students, like senior Briana Harris, completely transform into another person, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

Harris believes high school has changed her into a better person. As an incoming freshman, she was unsure of herself and her surroundings and soon realized she was a follower instead of a leader.

“I was very unsure of myself freshman year because I had just moved [to Lake Zurich] from Schaumburg, where I went to a small private school,” Harris said.  “I wasn’t sure what public school was going to be like and if it would be hard to get involved and make friends since so many people here had known each other all throughout elementary and middle school. Because of this, I was very quick to conform to what people did rather than to stay true to myself. I was quick to do anything the people around me were doing, and I would say I was more of a follower freshman year than a leader.”

Harris soon learned she did not want to be associated with people who brought her into a bad crowd. She began to explore new friend groups and slowly saw herself changing into a better person than she was before.

“Now if people are trying to get me to do something stupid, I won’t, whereas freshman year I probably would have,” Harris said. “I know myself and I know what I should and shouldn’t do. I know what people will make good decisions and be a good friend rather than those who only care about themselves. I try to not to hang out with people that do things that I wouldn’t want to be associated with. I’m a lot more careful.”

Although Harris believed her experiences throughout high school have shaped her into being a better person, she thinks others are not as lucky.

“In general, I would say high school changes people for worse. If they’re not careful, they fall into bad patterns without realizing it,” Harris said. “If they’ve been best friends with someone forever and they start to take a downfall and do bad things, then it doesn’t seem as bad to do it, too, since they’ve been friends for a long time and they trust that person. I think it was beneficial for me to come in new because I didn’t have a group I felt the need to stick with. I had the freedom to step away without feeling like I had abandoned someone I had been friends with for my entire life; some people feel like they are stuck.”

The biggest change Harris believes she has endured is with her attitude. Her freshman year, she says she was a lot more selfish, whereas now she tries to focus more on others and be as selfless as possible. Most importantly, she says, she knows who she is and stays true to herself.

“High school has taught me that, when I’m going into college, I can’t make the same mistakes I did going into high school,” Harris said. “I have to stay true to who I am and not conform to what the others around me are doing, even if it’s my roommate. I can’t associate with people who don’t want what is best for me and who don’t respect me for me.”

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Lexi Miranda, Web Editor-in-Chief

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