If I had warned my sixth grade self about my least favorite Harvard-Westlake experiences, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this column. If I knew about the lack of sleep, the competitiveness and the stress, I would have opted out of the experience entirely. However, despite how difficult some aspects of life as a Harvard-Westlake student have been, I’m grateful for it all, and eventually you will be too.
You will make friends, and lose some too. The “social jump” from the Middle School to the Upper School is difficult, but it comes at a perfect time. You are standing at a crossroads and should consider who is holding you back from your goals and dreams, who is supporting you as you go forward and who you are becoming.
You will never regret procrastination more than when you have to make the trek from Upper Saint Michael’s to Chalmers after less than four hours of sleep. I wouldn’t recommend procrastination to any Harvard-Westlake student, but I know from experience that it takes a few all-nighters for people to try better time management.
You will eventually figure out where you need to go. If the college process taught me anything, it is that the most important part is finding a school that is a good fit for you. Keep in mind that your happiness for four years of your future is incredibly important.
As we make the journey from middle schooler to high schooler to adult in the college world, what unifies us is the Harvard-Westlake experience. We have all been through the highs and lows together. So if you ever find yourself wondering, “Was Harvard-Westlake worth all of the trouble?” think about how those struggles have shaped who you are, and how you wouldn’t be the person you are today without them, and maybe you will see just how much this school has taught you.