Grades matter, but experiences matter more

March 19, 2013

By Zach Bunch

School. Grades. SAT. College Applications.

As a senior in high school, I’m not new to the pressure placed upon students every day. Everything is about doing well in class getting into a good college. After all, don’t we want to be successful in life?

Hall Monitor Zach Bunch Liberty                High School

Hall Monitor
Zach Bunch
Liberty High School

What I’ve learned is that, while schooling and grades are important, it’s just as crucial to live a little — to find a balance somewhere in the middle. This could come in the form of sports, drama, clubs, art, community service or any number of activities; we all need to have something that we can look back on and say: “That was me.”

When I look back on high school, it will not be math, science or history that I remember. It will be journalism.

I’ve written for Liberty High School’s newspaper, the Patriot Press, for the past three years now, and spent that last two as an editor. I started because I thought it “might be fun.” It has grown into a passion. If you asked me, I would say that my high school years were successful, but not because of my academics. My high school years were successful because I found something that I loved, and I stuck with it.

The thing is: Success as a teenager shouldn’t be measured in the classroom; it should be measured by what life experiences we gain and what we learn about ourselves. What we choose to do with our adult lives will be greatly influenced by what we choose to do with our teenage lives.

I plan on continuing journalism into college at Brigham Young University next year. Whether I end up being a career journalist is irrelevant; there is no question that the course of my life has been directly influenced by my choice of extracurricular activity.

My advice to next year’s high school freshman: Grades and school matter, but don’t shy away from the opportunity to try something new and have fun, because you never know — it could change your life.


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