My High School Experience

by Brian Costa

We're now into mid-fall of the school year, and things seem a little different now than they did in September. Everyone is settled in and firmly on task in their course of study. I now know my role as an upper classman and also realize why people say junior year is the hardest year of high school. However, one thing I have realized after two years is that in order to have a truly successful high school experience, it is important to participate in three categories: academics, extra-curricular activities, and spirituality. I believe that these three areas make for an extremely well-rounded individual, which helps first with college admissions, but will ultimately make the difference after college in the real world.

Ultimately, as a student it is important to be able to juggle these three aspects of school. Academics, as most would say, always come first. This is the first thing anyone will look at for an understanding of your performance, whether it is a college admissions board or a prospective employer. I personally put lots of effort into academics and keep them as my number one priority. However, I don't think one should allow studies to take over all aspects of your student life. The key is to stay well-rounded and to be passionate about things other than schoolwork. I'm not saying to blow off work and go have fun, but keep everything proportionate.

Extra-curricular activities are very important because they are what set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Sports are obviously the dominant feature here, and if you are athletically inclined they can be a fun and rewarding way to expand upon school. If athletics are not of interest to you, schools have multitudes of clubs, in which you can be involved in as well. The trick is to do your best to excel while maintaining your academics.

Another aspect of student life is spirituality. This is where God comes into the whole equation. Since I have been attending Fairfield Prep, this is an aspect of student life which has always been present for me. I have learned to maintain a relationship with God throughout my high school days, and have deepened that relationship with school related activities.

The most recent of those experiences was the Urban Plunge. This was a service project in which we spent the weekend at the St. Ambrose Parochial school in the east side of Bridgeport, Connecticut, helping in the schools during the day and reflecting on our experience in small groups at night. It was an eye opening experience because I not only learned about other people who have different ways of life, but I also learned more about myself in the process. I find that the spiritual aspect of being a student compliments the other aspects greatly, because you learn about other people as well as yourself. I would encourage everyone to get involved with any activities like this that they may have at their school because it is a very worthwhile experience. Academics, extracurricular, and spirituality are all very important aspects of student life.

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