My Time at PHS

Dannika Fulling, Editor

In my four years at PHS, I’m really content to be able to say that I’ve dabbled in every activity/club I’ve had even a minor interest in. Growing up, my sister was heavily involved in everything and always told me to get involved too. Spoiler alert: I’m going to tell you the same exact thing! But I think most stories are best when you start from the beginning, so let’s go back to freshman year.

Freshman year was awkward, as it is for everyone, finding my new footing in this new environment. Open campus was still a daily thing (and it should be now *cough cough* Mr. Will), and figuring out where to eat before the lines got long had a sharp learning curve. I would say that this is one of my few regrets, the fact that I worried more about where to go rather than just enjoy the time with my friends. I joined Drama Club, Student Senate, OPH cheerleading, Scholastic Bowl, and eventually FCA. I would say that my biggest success this school year was the fall production of Wacky Wizard of Oz, where I played 3 minor roles but it felt like the lead. My biggest regret of my freshman year was not going to winter ball, and that ended up being the last dance where I would be with Summer Agan. The rest of spring semester was cut short by the P-word, but honestly I’m tired of talking about it so let’s go on to sophomore year.

Sophomore year started with masks, which was a bummer since I got my braces off. With sports being postponed, I think it’s fair to say that this year was just weird. I mean we played football in April. I got my driver’s license, and bought my own car which is my biggest success of that year. I think if I were to regret something from this year it would be that I kept wishing for things to go back to normal instead of just enjoying the good times that we DID have. This year the fall play was filmed and we wore face shields, but we made it work! I think if I had to pick a favorite memory from this year, it would honestly be the time I ripped my pants. One day in PE, I was doing something and at first my jeans felt tight and then suddenly felt loose. I thought nothing of it, went to two more classes, Dollar General, scholastic bowl practice, and made it all the way home when I realized I ripped my pants down the entire rear seam. I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed in my life, but looking back it was really funny. Cheer season during the spring was different, not too bad, but it just felt kind of weird. I was ready for some normalcy in junior year.

Junior year was academically the hardest year of high school. I chose to take Chemistry, while taking two LTC classes, and the struggle was real. Just when I thought that I was getting settled in, SAT prep began. Things felt pretty normal again, though we had masks. Our class won the float competition for the 2nd time, we won our first football game in 4 years, and everything was going good. While it was still really rough academically, we all made it through and now I never have to pretend to understand chemistry again! My favorite memory of this year was prom, as I got to be with Tara again. She came up from Arkansas for the dance, and it made my whole year. My biggest accomplishment was going to state for the VFW Voice of Democracy contest (a little self plug to do it in English), and I got to go on a trip to Springfield for it.  As a history nerd, it was awesome and I learned so much from it. That summer I got to go on the history club trip out west to Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Canyon, and that was the best trip I’ve ever taken. Besides the fact that I forgot sunscreen on our very last day and got sun poisoning on my legs…we can forget about that part. My legs, however, can not as they STILL have the tan line.

Senior year. WOW. How did we get here in so little time? I’ve always been a super sentimental and sappy person, so I’ve been crying over senior year since like eighth grade. Hopefully this gives you an idea on how bad it is now, I mean I’m crying as I’m writing this. My main goal for this year was to just say yes. As involved as I’ve been, I’ve passed up on social opportunities, and I didn’t want to do that anymore. So I said yes to going to games on school nights, dinner when I could be studying, and pickleball though I despise it. We won best float again, Jag Day, and I got to be on both Homecoming and Prom court. I think it’s important to take academics seriously, but it’s equally important to have fun while you’re young. We have the rest of our lives to worry about all sorts of things, but we don’t have this period of our lives again. My biggest accomplishment of my senior year has been receiving the Golden Apple scholarship, which I’ve been working hard for all of high school. I found out while I was by myself, was able to process it, and I’ll never forget the look on my parents’ faces when I told them. If I did have to pick a regret, it would be that I never did fix my procrastination problem. I’m currently typing this at 12:11 AM, which means it’s officially my last day of school. I think I thought if I avoided it, then I didn’t have to admit that in less than 24 hours I’m done with high school. It’s weird stepping out in the world after being surrounded by the same people for so long.

The moral of this story is that you’re only young once. The only thing you’re missing out on in high school is memories. So join the club, go to the game, and just soak it all in. This isn’t the peak in your life, but it is an important part of it, so don’t worry about all of those tiny details. As I sit here now, the things that upset me as a freshman don’t even register now. It will be okay! Just have the time of your life, make some memories, and cherish your friends. Now that’s all I got, as I’m still crying, so there’s that.