By Jethro Swain
Thursday June 8, my last day of high school.
OES has brought it on the last couple of months. There were so few three day weekends because of the snow days that getting through all of the rain and the five day weeks was rough. But now we’re at the end, and when the sun came, the days of throwing frisbees outside and playing basketball flew by.
In my six years at OES I’ve learned a decent amount, but there’s one main takeaway that I’ve concluded during this final year that I want to share with everyone as my final parting words.
OES isn’t about getting better grades, better test scores, or even into better colleges than you would at your local public high school. If you work hard at any school you can get into a great school just fine. In fact if you come from a worse school and perform just as well as someone from OES, a lot of colleges would be willing to pick you over the OES student, because you had more against yourself.
Personally, I see OES as a safety net. OES will keep you upright if you slack off, and make sure you’re always learning, you’re keeping your grades up, and you’ll get into college no matter what. If you slack off at another high school you could very easily fall through the cracks and the consequences would be much more drastic than they would be at OES.
So take advantage of the safety net you have. OES provides so many different things for you to try like clubs, student leadership, a no cut sports program, plays, affinity groups, outdoor trips, winterims, and much more. All of these are available for anyone and some are even required. You’re not going to get so overwhelmed that your grades will drop to a point of no return or that you’ll flunk out of OES. Don’t be afraid to spend time trying new activities, and especially don’t be afraid to be interested in things
I’ve noticed a culture in some parts of OES, that’s probably reflected in other high schools in general, where it isn’t cool to do things, to express interest in activities. In the eyes of a lot of groups of students, if you act too into something then you’re making yourself stand out which isn’t good to them. I would even blame a lot of it on my grade, the class of 2017, for being an apathetic grade, especially compared to the class of 2016.
The biggest benefits that I found from OES were that I could have great facilities, small classroom sizes, and that I could play three sports, year round, at every level from freshman to senior year. Truthfully I could have gotten the same grades, test scores, and into the same college at any other high school if I worked hard. But I’m glad I went to OES because I was able to try a lot of different things, and never feel too worried. My message as I leave high school is don’t be afraid to take advantage of everything OES has to offer, because you’re not getting your money’s worth if all you do here is your schoolwork and the things you’re really good at.