Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
This past weekend I attended my high school reunion and, as alumni typically do when they get together, I reminisced with my friends about the good old days. Invariably, someone poses the question of “if you could go back and do it again, would you?” or someone suggests how different high school would be if we knew then what we know now.
One of the realizations I had this weekend was that although high school was a great time in my life, there is no better time than right now. Being a principal, a husband, a father is fantastic and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I hope that River Hill students also feel that there is no better time than right now. If you understand the “carpe diem” theme of Herrick’s poem above, you know how important it is to make every moment count. You don’t want to graduate high school and look back at all the regrets that could fill your locker. Take my advice and follow these five suggestions for making the most of your high school years:
- If it’s happening, you should go. Homecoming, prom, the school play, a dance-a-thon fundraiser—so much going on and you should be a part of as much of it as you can.
- There are more than a thousand people at River Hill; get to know as many of them as you can. Your high school experience is enhanced by the people you share it with. Increase the odds that it will be awesome by hanging out with lots of different people. The variety will help shape your perspective.
- It’s okay to be an activist AND a musician, an artist AND a entrepreneur, an academic AND an athlete. Don’t feel like you need to be pigeonholed into just one of the things you do and definitely don’t just do one thing. You can be as complex and intriguing as you want to be.
- You won’t always realize it now, but the teachers, counselors, coaches, and administrators you work with are amazing people. Thank them for everything they do to help you during your high school career.
- If you discover that you have feelings for someone, act on those feelings. Twenty-five years later, you don’t want to hear about the huge crush someone had on you and wonder why you never asked him/her to homecoming. (But don’t be crushed if it doesn’t work out. The cliché is correct: There are lots of fish in the sea.
Think about my suggestions. Act on a few of them, maybe all of them, and you’ll have a pretty good high school career. For now, I’ll leave you with the words of my school’s alma mater. We don’t have one here at River Hill, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the words and sentiment could just as easily apply to River Hill.
On a hill in Maryland,
Stands our alma mater.
Grandest place in all the land
To every son and daughter.
Though our school days soon will pass
Classmates say goodbye.
We will never forget our class
And Oxon Hill High!