STAFF EDITORIAL: What was your biggest learning experience outside of the classroom (this year)?

Jessica Borla – The biggest learning experience I had outside of the classroom this year was time management. Throughout middle school and high school, I competed in dance at my dance studio. I was there six days a week rehearsing and taking technique classes. It wasn’t until this year that I quit because of money, and I also wanted to enjoy my senior year. Of course, I learned how to manage my time over the years with dance and school, but it wasn’t until this year that I had to use it the most. This year, I continued to take a few recreational classes at my dance studio to keep up with my technique, I joined the Lambert Dance Company, I took three AP classes, I got a job working at a law firm, and I babysit and nanny more than I ever have. Before, my schedule for the whole year was figured out from August: I had dance almost every day and my competitions were already scheduled for weekends in the spring. Now, I have to balance so much more. Although it can be difficult at times, it was such a good lesson to have right before college.

Elizabeth Findley – The most important thing I have learned this year is that a lot of bad things happen in life and as depressing as that sounds that is the truth. Problems and conflict in life are simply unavoidable no matter how hard a person tries to avoid them. However, despite this I really believe that things will always get better in time. Sometimes a person just has to simply wait it out or be proactive in what they do to help fix the problem. It is very important to never give up despite all of these negative things because there is still a lot of life left to live and things will always work themselves out, or if things are not working out, there will be ways to overcome the difficulties.

Quinn Forney – Outside of school I learned about integrity and determination. I made the terrible decision of lying about a few things (which really weren’t even all that bad), but suffered more consequences than if I hadn’t lied. Additionally, I learned that keeping secrets about serious things is immoral, especially when the things have serious issues. As for determination, I started skating in September and playing hockey in March, but I’m doing better than most would expect! Some things are hard for me but I try my best and I end up being able to do them! I take my stick out most afternoons and practicing shooting and stickhandling- sometimes for up to an hour, and I feel like that’s helped me a lot. Not to mention sliding around the house in socks to work on skating form, haha! I know now that if I put my mind to something, I can excel at it, even if it’s hard at first.

J’Nea Greer – The biggest lesson I learned this year was to enjoy life. This school year went by so fast and it’s amazing to see it all coming to an end, but it’s sad. To see one school year winding down so fast is hard because you know there’s only so much time left. We only have so much time in high school, we only had so much time in middle school and elementary school, we’ll only have so much time over the summer, we only get so much time in life, there’s only so much time. It’s vitally important that as people, but particularly as students in high school, that we enjoy the time that we’ve been given. Time is a precious thing, almost as precious as life itself, and wasting it is a thought that should never cross the mind of anyone, especially at this point in our lives. The world has so many adventures that as teenagers, we are at the perfect age to embark on. Life is waiting and time is ticking, eventually, one of them will give up; don’t get to that point and regret everything you haven’t done. Enjoy life and savor time, they don’t last forever.

Jordan Meaker – My biggest learning experience this year was applying to and choosing a college. The college admissions process taught me a lot about myself, as it forced me to review the four years I’d spent in high school and discern the person I’d become along the way. I had never done so much introspection, and also never written so many essays in such a short period of time. I learned not only about who I think I am as a person, but also about what I want for the future and what my passions are that I might want to pursue in college. I learned so much about college life and the pros and cons of each school, and eventually chose the University of Georgia. Before this year, I never knew how difficult applying for college is, but it was also my most gratifying and enlightening experience of my senior year.

SungMin Park – Mine was college applications because it showed me how unprepared I was for the world. Throughout high school I was able to function comfortably as a sheltered Christian boy who just did what I was told. I barely took any initiative that extended beyond my religious activities. But as I was finishing college applications, I realized two things: 1) that society wants more than just a nice church-goer. Society needs people who are productive and do things to benefit everybody. And 2) that I had always wanted to do stuff outside of the church, and those things were always creative: music, writing, and YouTube videos. So since then I have been constructing my own education based off of podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs. Some would include Philosopher’s Notes, I Will Teach You A Language, and anything from John and Hank Green. I hope to be creating some of my own content soon. Don’t misunderstand me though: I haven’t abandoned my faith. It’s only that my faith and life have become more than a carbon-copy of Christian sub-culture. My head is no longer under a brown paper bag, screaming that the dirty world doesn’t touch me. I am becoming a unique mix of ideas and personalities that I hope to use to generate something of value.

Olivia Pastore – As a senior, I feel like everything I’ve learned this year is a cliché. Everyone always says, “Enjoy the moment”, “take it all in”, “you are only a kid once”. I had spent so much time trying to get away that I reached a point that I felt afraid of the future. I’ve put my whole heart into the group I love. They are my friends, and my family – but it hit me at a point that life has to continue moving. Life will keep going, and those I know now, I might never see them again someday. When I spend time with my friends, more often now, I step back for a moment, because I try to take everything in, like they all say. Remember every detail: the wrinkles in your friends eyes from laughing, the stupid jokes you always tell, the feeling of letting your guard down because the people around you will always love what’s underneath. Remember the music you always loved, the words that saved you, the hugs that burned through your frozen demeanor, the tears you finally shed, the people you’ve loved, and the people who left. Love always. Seize the day. Carpe diem.


Kathryn Raynor – My biggest learning experience outside of the classroom this year has come from my parents. They consistently act as wonderful teachers for me by setting great examples from which I can follow. This year however, there lesson to me came not from learning by action, but learning by inaction. My mother has always made herself available to me whenever necessary, which I’ve always appreciated to a great extent. But this year, as I’m a senior and will be leaving for college soon, my mom and dad decided it would be best to step back from their “on call” assistance and require me to fix my own implications and necessities. It was a very larger learning curve, but it allowed me to learn what I consider the most important lesson I could’ve learned. Because of it, I feel prepared and confident for college life.

Nusaybah Smith – There are several experiences outside of school that have taught me lessons these brick and mortar walls could never impress into me. Sitting through lectures can only do so much for personal growth. Personally, this year has taught me to be more pessimistic and cynical when it comes to people or situations. I’ve always had my guard up, but this year in particular has shown me not to trust too easily. In a way, this personal development has made me stronger. I’ve noticed that I’m less emotionally driven, and that I respond less to my feelings in emotional ways.

Cayla Vanderzanden – Wow. I have truly learned a tremendous amount this year, the majority of it occurring within the realm of my personal life. I suppose, however, there has been one main theme among all of this newfound knowledge. Do not compare yourself to anybody else. Be exactly who YOU are as an individual human being. I spent so much time comparing myself to my friends; my body, my grades, my maturity level, my experience with guys, and so much more. All that did was damage me. It motivated me to do things for mistaken reasons. I have acknowledged that I will never be happy unless that happiness comes from within me, not ANYBODY else. I believe it’s vital to do what makes you happy and to fully embrace who you are. It’s substantial that you work on feeling confident in who you are, rather than continuously criticizing your flaws. The time spent comparing yourself to others, in any way, is exhausted time. Life is much too short to waste time. So, if you are to compare yourself, compare yourself to whom you once were and whom you want to be.

Lael White – As an athlete, there is constant competition and you always have to work your hardest to get better at your sport. My Dad always tells me, “You have to differentiate yourself.” I don’t know how many times I have heard him say, “These are the dog days, you cannot let up.” My dad has taught me many things in life, all important, but this year especially he has taught me to never give less than your best, it only hurts you. If you go through your practices half trying, who are you helping, it isn’t you.  All you’re giving up does is slow down your process of success, your road to the big leagues. Everything in life worth doing is worth doing to your best ability.

Logan White – This year, I would say that the greatest lesson I’ve learned outside of the classroom is to live life to the fullest by doing what you love. This year, I decided to do things that make me happy. I became Literary Editor for The Lambert Post, a regular humane society volunteer, and social media coordinator for the humane society and The Humane Hearts Club. I stepped out of my comfort zone, made new friends, won a scholarship with my writing, and I am graduating with honors and attending the university of my dreams this fall. This year, I’ve done so many things I never thought I could do. The best feeling in the world is when you stop letting fear hold you back.

Kelly Yoon – This particular year, I have learned a lot through first hand experiences. The hardest one out of all of them and probably the most important is that you can’t trust everyone, or even better, anyone. Even though I am still growing up each day, I learn to improve myself as a person. One advice to my former self would be stop pouring yourself to everyone who don’t even appreciate one bit about all of your efforts. It will only hurt you and all those pains you will suffer through; it will torture you. I continuously make this same mistake every year, but 2015-2016 was the star of the show. This life lesson I thought had to be mentioned at some point in life towards everyone and I am more than glad to be presenting this issue after going through several myself. Keep in mind that you are the most valuable person, at least to you, and also protect yourself in respect.