Make the most of your time as a Patriot

Belle Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Freshman year of high school was overwhelming for all the obvious reasons. Specifically for my own experience, it was the first time I dealt with anxiety and pressure from classes to be academically better.

This affected not just me as a student but who I felt I was as a person.
Grades were how I measured my self-worth, and everything I did was for the sake of my academic success.
In response, it was easy to shelter myself from the abundance of people and opportunities JC provided rather than face the pressure to succeed at every task I started.
I quickly learned that this outlook on high school made me like I was wishing away my high school experience.
Although high school can be intimidating, it’s one of the most vital times of development. As I reflected, I thought, “How can people truly mold themselves into who they are without going out of their comfort zone?”
The answer is they can’t.
If I wanted to see the change I desired, I needed to look within and take the initiative to seek opportunities out of the classroom.
After the Club Fair during sophomore year, my calendar was filled with new activities. Teachers began to form connections with me, and my peers saw me as the girl always at JC.
The debate team pushed me to think critically and look at different perspectives on various controversial issues.
Mock trial allowed me to research and discover my true passion for law.
SGA let me form bonds with not just the student body but with school administrators.
The newspaper, The Patriot, showed me the true meaning of leadership and how mentors can impact a person’s success.
Although managing the workload was tough, I gained a massive support system who was willing to help me achieve my goals just as much as I wanted to. Without the guidance of the people I’ve met through JC, I truly don’t think I would have had as positive of a high school experience.
So, get involved in your community — not just to fill a resume or a college application. Do things because connections are what unites people together.
They give us a shoulder to lean on and a purpose to wake up every day and see a familiar smile.
High school goes by quickly.
This statement was always such a cliché until as a senior, I saw it was true. Although high school felt like four days more than four years, every student goes in as an early teen and leaves as a young adult.
JC has been there to watch and develop each student into a grown and better version of themselves. At times, this process of growth seemed impossible — like when our JC community and whole world stood in a stand-still through a global pandemic.
However, even through obstacles, the connections at JC remained stronger than any virus. There were Teams calls, e-mail chains, YouTube videos, and, eventually, small gatherings.
In the loneliness and isolation, every person I met through the JC community was there for me and to guide me, even when there was so much unknown.
As a senior and this being my last issue serving as a staff member on The Patriot, I can proudly say I have had the most fulfilling high school experience that I could’ve had.
My connections with the Patriot family won’t end as I walk across the stage. JC will always be a part of who I am becoming.
When you prioritize your school involvement and expand on your passions, there’s no doubt that any Patriot won’t graduate with this same feeling of fulfillment.