What I Didn’t Know Then

To the Class of 2026


Blessing Atobatele, Staff Writer

Whew Chile… freshmen me would’ve never thought this is how my high school experience would’ve gone: experiencing the first pandemic of my lifetime, mental breakdowns, and managing a job. 

With everything I’ve experienced I feel like I have a lot of advice to give to whomever is reading this.

When people say your high school years will fly, BELIEVE THEM, I surely didn’t. 

“How fast can 4 years go?” I thought, now here I am as a senior graduating in 7 days. I still remember my first day of high school in 2018 like it was yesterday, and now it’s 2022.

In 2020, during whole month of January there was talk about a seriously contagious virus going around, called COVID-19. We would make jokes about it. When someone would cough, we would all duck and laugh it off. We didn’t know it would be something that’s so deadly, killing over 1 million Americans. For the next three months, we still continued to talk about COVID never knowing what could happen next since there was always talk of school closing, which honestly excited all of us. 

Who wouldn’t want school to close? Right? Well, we didn’t expect it to close for the next year and half, now that was a shocker! It was life changing. The world went into a frenzy, so much false information and propaganda was put out; no one could tell what was real and what wasn’t. Most stores were shutting down, local stores literally ran out of basic essentials, the economy was struggling, and crimes skyrocketed. We had to wear face masks, which were so uncomfortable and new to us.

 School then went online, which was something I’ve never had to do, so the transition was rough. School became mentally draining, taking a toll on my mental health.


Needless to say I did bounce back, and got my academic career together which wasn’t easy at all. Believing in yourself is the realest thing you can do. Never let your lowest become your best, especially when you know your potential.

Yes, getting your first job is exciting and for most it happens in high school. Having control of your own money is amazing and thrilling, but losing sight of the bigger picture isn’t. Keeping up with school and work will be the most tiring, frustrating, stressful thing ever, especially as a teen. So to prevent burn-outs, keep your work schedule to a minimum. Money and a job will always be there but your high school career…you only get one go.

Most importantly, to conclude everything, I’ve learned while in high school, don’t take your education for granted.

Take every single opportunity that’s given.

Take advantage of free resources, college field trips, and build relationships with teachers, counselors and tutors.

What you make of your high school career is what it will be, whether that’s negative or positive.