The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

High school brought forth a new me

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Image used with permission from Henry Lee

If someone asked me four years ago what I thought my high school journey would look like, I would not have had an answer for them.

Why? I thought I would be dead at one point in the four years high school offers. I know. It sounds silly. But think about it. 

That’s four years. 208 weeks. 1460 days.

It’s twice the amount of time junior high school lasts — a dreadful two-year journey of awkward social interactions to learn more about yourself. I couldn’t see myself surviving for that long.

Coming into Sunny Hills with a small handful of friends, my shy freshman self found it difficult to interact with my peers who stuck to their same junior high friend group. I couldn’t see myself involved with all the exotic clubs that this school offered. 

Yet, I found myself in Journalism 1 — an elective that would ultimately lower my GPA. This class, which I joined with the sole intent of honing my writing skills, slowly refined its purpose into a meaningful elective that would help me develop a plethora of life skills.

As a freshman in a sophomore-dominated class, I found myself making friends with my future editors. By the end of that year, I made more friends in that cramped Room 138 than I did with my fellow freshmen.

That experience acted as the sole catalyst for my desire to taste and involve myself in the various clubs offered in and out of Sunny Hills. 

I realized I had to leave behind old remnants of my past to take a step further to discover my own trail. Setting aside the past meant picking up new hobbies and interests that would nurture my growth as a high schooler.

Skating as a Friar for Servite High School’s ice hockey team turned into jumping as a Lancer for Sunny Hills’ volleyball team. I had to quit ice hockey, the sport I dedicated my life to for nearly seven years, and move on to learn volleyball, a sport I inadvertently picked up after playing with frosh-soph athletes. 

Soon, the variety of clubs in and out of school appealed to my interests.

I stuck with Key Club from freshman year; I joined Distributive Education Clubs of America and Future Business Leaders of America to pursue a deeper understanding of the business field in sophomore year; I interned at Seoul Broadcasting System, led freshmen as a Link Crew leader and joined a tutoring organization called Financial Literacy for You. Still, this represents only half of what I had done in high school.

All the weekends I spent lazily scrolling through TikTok were now devoted to volleyball tournaments and practices. Nights I spent working on my homework became nights I sacrificed to edit layouts and write stories for The Accolade. My daily free time diminished as I tutored students and partook in club events and meetings.

Participation in each extracurricular was certainly not easy. Were there ever moments I wanted to quit? Of course. Did I ever wish for time to rest? Most definitely. But do I regret what I have done? Nope, and I never will.

My greatest feats were cultivated as a result of meaningful friendships and experiences produced during these valuable past four years.

I can proudly say that my high school did not end in my ultimatum of death; rather, it filled the prime of my teenage years with memories and hardships that I will come to remember forever.

As for The Accolade, I leave behind a lasting legacy of contributing to our success of winning countless national awards and becoming the first web editor-in-chief to receive the Distinguished SNO Site honor for our online website.

So, yes, I accomplished much more than I had originally planned. Death did not literally occur; but rather in a figurative sense, high school forced me to leave my clingings to my past to foster a new, refined version of myself.

With that being said, cheers to the next four years of my life — studying and cycling through this process yet again.

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About the Contributor
Henry Lee
Henry Lee, Web Editor-in-Chief
After serving as the assistant sports editor during the 2021-2022 school year, senior Henry Lee looks forward to starting his fourth year serving as the Web Editor-in-Chief for The Accolade. While Lee focused on writing articles for the sports section the previous year, he hopes to cover a wider range of stories to capture the multiple aspects of the Sunny Hills student body. When Lee isn't working for The Accolade, you can find him working with school clubs, playing volleyball or attempting to take a nap.
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