Peaking in High School

Many say that high school is supposed to be the best time of a person’s life, but that is a scary thought for many students like myself.

Nobody wants the highlight of their life to be based upon the confinement of classroom walls for hours on end, late nights packed with homework, and attempting to stay awake during your morning math class.

Teens barely know who they are or who they want to be in high school, yet that might be what makes it “whimsical.” There is little less pressure to be a fully developed person. Society does not really expect us to have everything together. Nevertheless, can we truly have fun in school while also feeling the weight of life shifting and pressure slowly building?

Besides the few fortunate students who can somehow find a balance between an exciting social life and grades good enough to get into their top school, many of us feel like we cannot have both. There is a clear divide between the students who spend their weekends going to parties and the students who spend their weekends in bed burnt out from the previous days of school work. Some could say that tension or hostility can be found between both types of students. These students from each respective side will tell their friends how the group of students on the other side is doing high school completely wrong… and so this is when the comment “Oh! They are definitely peaking in high school” arises.

The phrase “peaking in high school” is normally awarded to school athletes or the “popular” kids. These are the kids that appear to be having the best time of their lives. It is a declaration that these students will amount to nothing more than their ability to be on the top of the high school social hierarchy. Peaking in high school is also occasionally presented to those who got straight A’s and spent more time studying than going to basketball games. This straight-A student can be at their academic best in life, but then leave high school and realize that they are not Albert Einstein. Although, I think that neither of these are accurate examples of peaking in high school.

There is a physics term known as “potential energy,” which in non-scientific language means “right before a ball rolls down a hill.” This term can easily be translated into the idea of peaking in high school. A person’s peak is their potential energy. It is the point before everything goes downhill. It is not fair to assume that somebody peaked just because they did something you did not. That the grades they got or the parties they went to will be the best achievement they will get in life. Peaking is not something you can see in others but something only the individuals will feel in themselves.

We all know those almost-adults who still show up to every single football game and reminiscence about their time in the student section; however, is this a case of peaking in high school or them trying to continue the fantasy? The fantasy that perpetuates that high school is supposed to be the best part of their life. The answer is both. The sad truth is that if you feel or felt like high school was the best time of your life, then there is a strong chance that you did peak. One will know that they peaked when they feel like life is not going to get any better. That all their worth and self-fulfillment came to an end once they moved the tassel on their cap to the other side.

There is a problem with how we as an American society say high school should be the best time of a person’s life, while also proclaiming that peaking in high school is the worst thing a person could do. Nobody wants to peak in high school, but everybody wants to make the most of it. Everybody wants their high school experience to be like an award-winning movie, but the truth is that high school will only be what you make of it. Instead of attempting to make it the best time, make high school the stepping stone to your life, so then you can only go up.