The student news site of Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

The New Dealer

The student news site of Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

The New Dealer

The student news site of Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

The New Dealer

Senior Reflections: What I Wish I’d Done in High School


On June 26th, 2024, I will be graduating, and as I reflect on my four years here at FDR, I find it preposterous that my 4 years of high school has gone by with a blink of an eye. It genuinely felt like quarantine had just ended, and here I am, about to graduate and go to college. I have countless personal experiences and some regrets to share that you, upcoming graduates, might consider as you approach the next stage of your life.

My first regret: spending too much time on my phone. I would like to preface my absolute disgust for the integration of short content on social media platforms. If you’ve read my previous articles, I’ve talked about the severe consequences of doom-scrolling, a term used to describe someone brainlessly scrolling through social media for long periods of time. We’re all guilty of doom-scrolling at some point. Even if you’re not doom-scrolling and you’re just using your phone for other purposes, regardless, you are still staring at a screen. Last semester, my weekly phone usage peaked at 55 hours (not even including the time I spend on my laptop). Now, you don’t need to be a mathematician or physicist to calculate the projected time I spend staring at a screen in a lifespan.

55 hours a week * 52 weeks = 2860 hours a year.

2860 hours a year * 89 years, the expected life expectancy = 254,540 total hours.

When I turn 89, 777,504 hours would’ve passed, meaning that I would’ve spent 32.7% of my life staring at a screen.

Think about that for a second.

And maybe our parents were right. Maybe it was, “because of these damn phones.”

My second regret: not exploring enough hobbies and interests. High school is a great, if not the best, time for self-discovery and exploration. It’s a time when you can try out different activities and join a bunch of clubs and organizations in and outside of school. Many students, myself included, were too centered on one specific interest during the first years of high school, remaining persistent on devoting all their time and energy on one thing. That’s completely fine, and I highly encourage students to pursue what gives them energy. However, I highly suggest students to look around themselves once a while and see what the environment offers; because “if you blink, you might miss it.”

My third: not spending enough time with family. At this point in life, I begin to realize how precious time is, and as cliche as it sounds, value every living moment in your life to the fullest. Because we’re so young, many of us take time for granted too often, thinking we have all the time in the world. I remember countless evenings when I would rush through dinner, barely having a conversation with my parents, eager to rush back into my room and play video games with friends. Then, there are the weekends when I would make plans with friends, leaving my mother behind without a second thought. Even though I am only a senior in high school, to all of you who still have time, I urge you to make the most out of it. Make time for family dinners, put that phone away, plan some vacations with family, even if it means sacrificing some of your personal plans. Because when you take a step back, you realize that you only have less than 75 springs, 75 summers, 75 falls, and 75 winters left in your life. And as the number of seasons left for our parents slowly diminishes, they spend less time with their family and more time alone.

Lastly, your mental health. Coming from someone who excels academically and strives to be the best in anything I do, pulling those all-nighters was probably not the best idea. You need to take care of yourself, not only physically, but mentally. As mentioned, take some time off your phone and go lift some weights. When your brain stops working, your body stops working too. Even if work stacks up, never consistently sacrifice your sleep to finish them. This is not to say, “don’t do your work,” but merely to “delay your work.” Because at the end of the day, the person who sleeps longer than the person who doesn’t sleep at all, lives longer. After all, your homework won’t be present for the rest of your life. Hence, pick your poison—but I prefer and encourage the latter.

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