Lauren Tsuji

“Enjoy the little things in life,” someone once said, “For, one day, you may look back and realize they were the big things.
As high schoolers, we long for the days when we won’t need to write essays, study for tests, or do homework.  Our mind is set on just getting high school over with, completing our work, and moving onto the next exciting chapter of our lives--college.  Most of us continue to go through the motions of our everyday routine, and not focus on making an impact on others or making the most of times we never will get to relive.  
Although the saying is supposed to be, “High school will be the best and worst years of your life,” many of us are left confused as to why “Best” is included in this quote.  It seems like school so far has mostly been a struggle of getting up early, surviving through Outdoor Ed, writing a journal for Holloway, or praying at Monday morning meeting that my AP class isn’t scheduled for an X block that week.   Although success in high school does require a lot of hard work, we must consider a lot of other things too.

High school is a great time to make memories and make connections.  We should learn to take advantage of everything while we can in order to change our perspective. Go to our football games, play a sport, join a club, sing at coffeehouse, and do the things you want while you still have the chance to. Don’t just focus on your academics. You never know if something will turn out better than you expected. For me, one of the things that turned out better than I expected was ASL class.  When I discovered that I’m capable of speaking with my hands, my eyes were opened to the Deaf community.  I’m able to be engrossed in a culture that I never would have experienced without stepping into Ms. Hall’s class.
Even if something is not one of your passions, you might want to pursue it anyway and see what it could teach you.  In my case, I’ve been on the basketball team at RHP for four years.  I grew up playing basketball, but the game isn’t one of my passions. However, I’ve learned so many valuable things from the experience. Because of this sport, I understand hard work, leadership, perseverance, and selflessness. More importantly, I have formed strong bonds with my teammates. I’ve watched Macy get over 100 steals, and Aly sink tons of threes. I’ve watched Naya develop her defensive stance, or “third floor stance,” and Natalie constantly use her enthusiasm to boost our energy. Watching my teammates mature and grow on and off the court has been as rewarding as winning a championship.  Basketball has given me some of my best friends and if I hadn’t stuck with it, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. So, don’t hesitate to do new things, and when problems start to arise, don’t run away.  Instead, embrace the challenge and learn something.

A problem in today’s world is that we tend to think we will always have enough time. We put things off.  We put off pursuing our passions and interests, and sooner or later, we’ll reach a point when we’ve run out of time, and find ourselves filled with regret and curiosity, of what things could have been.  Everyone needs something in their life that allows them to demand more from themselves or makes them stronger. We can either feel sorry for ourselves when our team doesn’t win or we get a bad grade on a math test, or use it as a lesson to perform better the next time. Life is a meant to be a combination of happiness and sadness.  If all of our moments were happy, there’d be nothing special.  Our moments of sadness and grief amplify those moments when something great happens, and we can enjoy the moment so much more.  During your struggles, know that high school is the same way; it will be a mix between the good and bad, the best and worst years.

This 2018 work on becoming a good example for others.  Treat others with kindness even if they aren’t the nicest to you.  During this new year, do your best to fulfill your New Year’s resolutions and become the best version of yourself.

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Rolling Hills Preparatory School

One Rolling Hills Prep Way
1500 Palos Verdes Drive North
San Pedro, CA 90732

T: (310) 791-1101 | F: (323) 310-9973 
Rolling Hills Prep School prides itself on being a forward-looking, academically rigorous college-prep school with a soul. Every day we provide our diverse student body a high-powered traditional curriculum combined with stimulating and innovative teaching techniques both inside and outside the classroom because we believe that success in college and life is best attained by equipping our students with disciplined minds, sound character, healthy bodies and creative spirits. RHP is a private, coeducational day school for grades 6-12, located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, CA.

Renaissance, our sister school, believes that bright students who learn differently can rise to great heights when they become empowered and confident. Visit the Renaissance website.