Op/Ed Editor

Izza M., Op/Ed Editor


Stony Brook University 


All my life I was told that high school was going to be the best four years of my life; that nothing was better than those awkward and crazy four years. As a freshman, I thought that saying only applied to sappy teen movies. After all, having four exams on one day, and then pulling an all-nighter the next doesn’t seem appealing. Now that I’ve had the past few months to reflect, I can safely say these were substantial years of growth and self-acceptance, given that it was filled with as much anxiety as joy.  


The never-ending IB requirements, excruciating exams, and daunting all-nighters are not things I will miss. However, I do cherish the memories I made along the way. I will miss meeting up at my best friends’ lockers before lunch to talk about the funny jokes told in class and discussing arguments for our next mock trial competition. I am fortunate to have met teachers like Mrs. Bongo-LiselliMr. Dineen, and Mrs. Pallilo that showed me that what is taught in the classroom goes beyond its walls. Other than memorizing the muscles of the back and the firing of neuronsI learned that there is nothing wrong with being yourself. In middle school, all I could think about was fitting in. I had to buy the same Abercrombie jeans and Jansport backpack as every other girl to fit in, but it’s the exact opposite in high school. Slowly but surely you come to terms with who you are, and if someone isn’t willing to accept you, then you’re probably better off without them. I’m not saying the path to confidence is easy, because trust me, it’s not. But it is a lot better than the struggle of pretending to be something you’re not.  


As a freshman, I thought high school was all about being on the board of every club, winning first place, and getting a 100 on every test. I didn’t care about school events or Commack pride. If I could tell my freshman self one piece of advice, it would be to stop caring about what other people think of you. After these four years, the truth is that you will most likely only stay in touch with a handful of friends, and everyone else will just become another distant face on your Instagram feed. I urge underclassmen to stop thinking about their “likeability” because it truly does not matter. As a senior, I’ve realized that I have to make my own happiness, and that starts with self-acceptance. 


P.S. Thank you to all my truly amazing friends (you know who you are) for never letting me give up, and accepting me with all my flaws and insecurities.  🔳