10 experiences to have as a high school student


From left to right, now seniors Elaina Schwendemann , Hannah Jenkinson, Taylor Dumas, Clare Miller, and McKenna Bausman dressed up for spirit week as sophomores (Photo courtesy of Clare Miller).

Riley Coesens, Editor in Chief

To the Class of 2020 whose students had its final months of memories together cut short, to the Class of 2021 who has endured a rollercoaster of a senior year, and to underclassmen hoping for relative normalcy in their remaining time at Milford: take in all that being a high school student has to offer, ‘normal’ or not. Though everyone’s experiences differ during their four years before graduation, there are some invaluable lessons learned through reminiscing on one’s individualized adventures–often, students go through similar steps toward maturity that serve as milestones in their formative years. In no particular order, consider partaking in any of these experiences during your high school career, or consider the unique endeavors you had leading up to getting your diploma.


Try out for an athletic team: Not everyone has an interest in sports, but the act of trying out for a team or attempting something new can open dozens of doors for friendships, memory-making, and exposure to new ideas/personal growth–for freshmen in particular, joining a team early on can be influential toward one’s relationships and commitments later on. The schedule of an athlete can be rigorous and enforces the necessity of prioritizing, organization, and discipline. Even if you’re not the most athletic individual, make an effort to be active and potentially create lasting memories in the process! Additionally, you may have the chance to take on leadership roles and help underclassmen be successful socially, academically, and athletically. Personally, some of my most impressionable memories throughout high school were those enjoyed with the swim and dive team.


Get involved in an extracurricular activity (not sports): Similarly to joining a sports team, being involved in an extracurricular activity revolving around academics, service, or career preparation provides a multitude of benefits. A student can begin training for or exploring future careers or areas of interest, attend school trips and events related to their passions, lead in their community and among peers, and develop admirable character and skill sets for future opportunities. There’s a way for everyone to be involved if they make the effort, and the positives of doing so are limitless.


Take a class unrelated to your future career: The Class of 2021 has an abundance of competitive students, particularly surrounding grades. Though I personally have taken higher-level classes throughout high school, I also think taking a more diverse schedule of courses can be helpful for students curious in multiple areas of study. Loading one’s schedule with AP classes can be in the best interest of some students, but the vast majority would receive better results from taking a wide variety of classes in difficulty and content. Take a fun elective or two if you have the chance–between core classes and graduation requirements, more obscure classes such as Creative Writing and Forensics can be fun to mix into your schedule.


Attend as many sporting events as possible: Go to football games, even if you stand around, talking with a small group of friends. Support your friends at their sporting events, and ask them to come to yours! Week nights spent with friends outside of school are exciting and often create a strong sense of community among students. Whether it’s being packed together at the Homecoming football game or simply attending another sporting event to procrastinate doing homework on another evening, being actively engaged in the student life at Milford is important in cultivating unity and togetherness.


Go to every school dance: This advice was given to me when I was an underclassmen, and it’s something I wish I could have been able to follow through with. As a graduating senior this spring, there are many things cancelled due to the pandemic; two major events would be the Homecoming and Charity Week dances. Nonetheless, I cannot stress this enough: go to every school dance, even if it’s not for the whole time, even if the after events are the best part, or even if you don’t even like dressing up. School dances create a new environment to bond with friends and interact with different groups of people outside of the traditional school atmosphere. You’ll want to look back on pictures from each year and your aging with friends later on if nothing else!


Get a low(er) grade at some point: This one may sound counterproductive, but truthfully, getting a lower grade builds character and instills the importance of time management, hard work, and overcoming procrastination. For even the most ‘perfect’ student, getting a bad grade can be a defining moment in their academic pursuits; it gives them the chance to re-establish their priorities and how much effort must be put into a particular class or topic. Imperfection is normal, and it is unrealistic to expect to get all A’s for one’s entire school experience. When it’s happening, it can feel crushing, but in the end it teaches valuable lessons for one to grow from moving forward.


Participate in spirit week activities: Get involved with any and all activities that interest you during these special days/weeks! Whether it’s doing a lunchtime game with classmates in the cafeteria, getting out of class during Charity Week, or actively participating in dress-up days, having school spirit is a must. Create fun outfits with friends partake in events such as Mr. Milford, MavBall, or a pep assembly.


Make at least one friend in every class: Having a friendly face, a partner for projects, or someone to compare notes/study with is a necessity for many reasons. Whether you’re absent from school and need help making up work, don’t understand a topic, or simply want someone to talk to during the school day, having at least one friend in each class can eliminate unnecessary struggle in a student’s life. Sometimes it can seem easy to rely on the same friend(s) in a particular situation, but making new bonds will expose an individual to new ideas or ways of thinking, as well as opportunities for memory-making.


Make an effort to be spontaneous: As someone who loves having a structured schedule, this was hard to adapt to, but it’s worth it. Going on a walk with a friend after school, having a group picnic in the park, taking late night drives or going out to get food, and making last-minute plans make lasting memories that you’ll cherish, even if it seems insignificant at the time. This can be done with teammates, friends, and family, and creativity is key to being spontaneous.


Work a retail/service industry job: Working with a diverse range of people is a great skill to have and provides plentiful communicative opportunities applicable to later endeavors. That being said, it also enforces patience, careful consideration of verbal and nonverbal communication, and commitment to a cause you may not be entirely passionate about. Nonetheless, all young adults should seek experience in this field so that they may work with others more effectively in their futures.