Over the course of my high-school and middle-school career, I’ve frequently heard people say “high school is the best time of your life” or “enjoy this, it only gets worse from here.”

I sincerely hope that isn’t true, as it has definitely been a rollercoaster.

I don’t think many would disagree when I say that this past year has been rough, especially for my age group. COVID-19 has led to isolation from friends and other peers, as well as making school work more difficult to complete correctly due to distance learning.

Before all of that, my classmates experienced the death of one of our own, as well as the everyday trials and tribulations that come with being a teenager in our modern society. 

Friend drama, pressure to decide what we are going to make of ourselves and our lives, getting a driver’s license (not to mention a set of wheels) and so much more that seems to require immediate and constant attention.

However, I’ve found that being 16 isn’t all bad.

As aforementioned, driving and the freedom that accompanies it is truly exciting.

I also tend to find some comfort in the fact that I still have my whole life ahead of me, and I don’t have to worry about everything in the present.

I also don’t have many expenses, and although I do have one, I don’t necessarily need a job or a steady source of income at this point in time.

One thing I’ve learned from talking to adults around me, such as my parents, is that, despite how vivid and all-consuming things seem at this point in time, it won’t matter several years down the road.

My mom actually told me that I brought back a lot of memories for her of her high-school days that she hadn’t thought about in years, both good and bad.

Despite our adolescent experiences being worlds apart due to several years and different locations, I’ve found that there are certain coming-of-age moments every teen experiences, and that it isn’t all good or bad for anyone, unless they have all the luck in the world or an incredible lack of it.

I’ve been told by various older family members who I am close to that I bring back a lot of memories, both from their childhood and raising their own children, as in the cases of my grandmas.

I once heard someone say that writing is like putting a picture frame around a feeling you once had, and I feel as though that sums it up perfectly.

Of course, I have memories I do and don’t want to remember, but I do think it will be nice to look back.

– Victoria Jorgenson is a student at Redwood Valley High School and is the author of two books.