Get Involved

You only get one shot at high school, so take advantage of it.


Kaylee Evans

Students in the Symphony Orchestra practice their music during class. This orchestra is one of the many electives available to students, while the chamber orchestra is an extracurricular available to musicians looking for an opportunity to play more advanced music.

You only live once. 

That’s what everyone always says, right? You only have one life to live, so live it to the fullest? 

When I was younger, I mostly thought of that phrase as a joke–something to say when you did something stupid or risky and needed a way to justify it–but as a senior, it has an entirely different meaning. 

As I’ve begun to meet some “first of the lasts,” like soccer senior night and the fall orchestra-choir concert, I’ve also started thinking about my high school experience. Did things work out the way I thought they would? Was it anything like High School Musical? 

Some days, I think I’ve made the right decisions and truly gotten the most out of the past five years. There’s no feeling like winning a varsity game in which you were the underdog, finally nailing a challenging piece in a music ensemble or attending an event you planned as part of Student Council. 

Other days, I’m not so certain. I think my heart stops when I consider the fact that, since my soccer season has ended and I don’t intend to play in college, I am no longer a varsity athlete. It was my choice to be a one-sport athlete, and maybe I wouldn’t be able to handle any other sports due to all of the other extracurriculars I have going on, but I can’t deny the regret that stems from being too scared to try something new as an underclassman. 

I wish that someone would’ve given me explicit permission to try new things when I was younger. I wish that more people would have deliberately pushed me out of my comfort zone and strongly encouraged me to take a stab at something I had never done before. I wish I had listened to the ones who did tell me to do exactly that. 

So, as a senior, and with whatever ethos that gives me, I’m encouraging everyone at ALHS to take the step that I never did and go out for a new sport; know that you don’t have to be the best athlete in the state to have a good time–I sure wasn’t. Join a musical ensemble, even if you’ve never sung or played an instrument in your life. Put your brain to the test and try an academic extracurricular like Speech or Knowledge Bowl. High school is incredible because there are so many activities you can try, and guess what? No one is going to stop you. In fact, most people, if not everyone, will cheer you on for it because they get how hard it is to be bold and leave your comfort zone. 

It’s a little too late for me to take on any more activities–I have a full plate as it is, not to mention that I graduate in seven months–but that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. You don’t want to leave high school feeling regretful that you didn’t partake in more activities. So, if there’s even the quietest whisper of a voice in your head telling you to go join basketball or Student Council or orchestra, listen to it. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll do it later. Senior year and graduation creep up on you like a thief in the night, and all of a sudden, it’ll be too late. 

Let the “later” day be today. Be courageous. Be confident. Be better than I was and don’t let your fear of failure keep you from finding joy in a new adventure. I know that I would much rather have tried things and hated them than never tried them at all; now I have to live my life wondering if I would’ve absolutely loved basketball, mock trial, track and so many other activities with all of my heart. I probably won’t ever be able to find the answer to that question. 

Don’t let that be you. Go out, get involved and have a good time; when you’re a senior, you won’t regret it.