Fix Insider's Guide to High School Perspective

Study Hard, But Have Some Fun In College

Mariechen Puchert
TOWN, South Africa – I was 19 and had just completed my first year at
university. I brought home top grades, but found that I simply could not relate
to my classmates’ tales of self-discovery and rapturous journey through their
first year away from high school.
summer afternoon, my mom looked up quizzically and said, “You know, it’s okay
to have some fun. It’s okay to sacrifice a few percentage points.”
mom: the hardworking social worker who does a thankless job with more
enthusiasm than I have ever seen. I know she had a wonderful time at
university, hitchhiking and getting up to mischief.
are different now. Hitchhiking is more dangerous and the current definitions of
“mischief” are often considered illegal, but I decided that day that I would
not allow my years at university to be bound to a desk. You only have 10 years
to experience your twenties, and not all of those will be careless college years.
next year I traveled overseas for the first time, and I had to defer an exam to
do so. In the time since, I’ve had numerous opportunities to lead, to
experience, to participate in a society I barely knew existed.
met people I never would have met if I had become a mindless studying drone. I’ve
experienced the nightlife and learned that one needn’t lose control or engage
in illegal activities to enjoy it.
had to sacrifice some of those top marks, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t take
back any of the experiences I got in exchange.
I never dyed my hair purple, I did get a nose piercing, and the process of
considering the possible effects and side-effects and then deciding to go ahead
with the plan was a massive personal growth spurt in itself.
thoughts have a disclaimer: I am in no way encouraging irresponsible behavior.
a student, your wellness must be at the forefront of your concern. Tertiary
education is expensive and should you have the privilege of attending college,
do not disregard the value it can add to your life.
it will be a shame if you leave college with no more than a degree to your