Sydney Paige McCutcheon

School Time

Sydney Paige McCutcheon

Sydney Paige McCutcheon

School Time Again

School bell rings and it’s time again! Even though I’ve been out for the past three years, I still recall the feeling of first-day-of-school days. It was always exciting, the buzz that went around the hallways and among the other students, everyone searching for their classes but trying not to look at the map like some newbie. You wondered what your teachers would be like, would they give a lot of homework, who would you make friends with, where would you sit at lunch, who you would have a crush on (well, maybe I’m recalling high school haha). Elementary was ultimately the best: recess! Field trips!

As you got older you really counted down the days for holiday breaks and half-days. I don’t miss riding the bus and I definitely detest homework – blah! But the first day and the last day of school always held more; that this year would be different.

I remember thinking every time that I would take every note said in class, do all my homework when I got home, actually use my planner for more than bathroom trips, and study really hard for test. Needless to say, that didn’t happen either. Still, there was a hope, desire, and dream to achieve higher.

The other day I spoke with someone and we were talking about school, she now having younger children of her own, and she said that she wished she had applied herself more. In high school she easily got B’s without having to study or take notes, she did her homework the day of in another class and so on – but she never really tried. She said if she had actually applied herself, she could have gotten straight A’s. She just didn’t want to do the work.

I was never very good in school with certain classes: Math and Science. English and History were my best subjects; I loved to learn certain facts about the past and still do. I needed a tutor every year for Math except my Senior year (and that was only because I didn’t take a Math class). My problem was that if I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t do it, unless forced heavily. Homework, like I foreshadowed earlier, was something I hated. When I got home I didn’t want to bring school along with me.

However, I did try out for every sports team in school (middle-school to high) and never made the cut except one year, Freshman, where everyone made the team (literallywe made up the team). But senior year I was good friends with the lacrosse captain of the girl’s team and she even tried to nudge me to join but I wouldn’t try out (though a spot was said to be guaranteed for me). Why? I don’t know. Maybe just one too many hits.

There are things we reflect on from our school days, and things we regret. I don’t know if I regret not joining the lacrosse team – I like the idea of how it would have went, what part I could have played – but it isn’t something I sulk on. And, this may not be popular, I don’t wish I could go back and work harder for better grades, or join clubs. I had a focus in school from age fourteen and on, and I stuck with it. It’s still my focus. And with focus comes sacrifice. And for someone else, their focus is getting good grades to get into a good college – and that too comes with sacrifices. You can’t stay up late watching your favorite tv show, or go to friends’ houses on certain weekends when a big test is on Monday. You have to take notes in class. You have to pay attention. That’s good. That’s how it has to be.

I wasn’t going to college. I didn’t even care about graduating – back then if I had the choice, I would have dropped out. But my dad told me that God wanted me to graduate. So I did (not that I had a choice anyhow.)

Why am I saying all this? I don’t know. I just know that we shouldn’t regret school or things that we didn’t do. Or things we did do.

I’m sorry you didn’t apply yourself in school. Neither did I. I’m sorry you didn’t make the sports team, I know how that feels. A lot. (You always wait for the cut list, every single time, truly believing that your name has to be on it.) I’m sorry you lost a best friend. I lost a few too. I’m sorry no one was your friend. I’ve felt that too. Teachers are mean. Principals can be clueless. Detention is ridiculous (especially when you’re innocent). Crushes don’t always notice us. People can be fickle. Sometimes we are the bully. Everyone’s been a victim. Really, we’re just a bunch of people trying to figure it out – and that doesn’t change when you’re out of school. Everyone is searching for something. If that wasn’t true then America would have never been discovered, the moon wouldn’t have footprints, people would still think the earth was flat, and your internet wouldn’t be working. (oh my).

I thank God I’ve found what I’ve been searching for. I pray you find it too.

But school is over and we cannot cling to those things any longer. (If you are still in school, remember that school isn’t forever and it doesn’t define you. So don’t let it define you.)

If/when you have children, encourage them to do things you didn’t do or you did that helped you. Sign them up for the clubs and sports, let them try it out at least and decide after if they want to pursue further. Ask about their day as you have dinner together. If what they want to do requires college, encourage them and remind them that there is a sacrifice – for anything you truly want in life.


Look Forward! Not back!