I had the great opportunity to substitute teach at Payson High School this past summer. I have considered becoming a teacher at the high school level and was looking forward to actually gaining some in-classroom teaching experience. I had a really nice time interacting with the students. I substituted for the same teacher's class for almost a week and was able to observe the study habits, classroom participation and attitudes of most of the students closely. The experience was a real eye-opener. There, however, was one issue that I found extremely bothersome. For many of the students, there seemed to be an extreme lack of motivation to succeed.
If a current PHS student is reading this, I urge you to start thinking now about what you are going to do with your life after high school. While I substitute taught this summer, I was stunned when the many junior and senior students I spoke with still had no plans for after high school and didn't seem to care. I'm here to tell you that if you want it, you have to go and get it! The future you wait to get handed to you may not be the future you had hoped for. Looking back at my time spent at PHS, I can honestly say that I had a blast! But, I am so happy that I went on to college as well. In a day and age where financial aid is readily available, scholarships are numerous, and loans can be paid back later ... there is no financial excuse for not looking into furthering your education.
I encourage every student to sit down and realize that while high school is fun, it won't last forever. When it's over, it will be up to you to decide how the rest of your life will end up. I can tell you personally that furthering your education will no doubt enrich your life. At the least, it will give you incredible knowledge, allow you to meet people from diverse backgrounds, and open the doors to a future full of possibilities, unique possibilities you simply won't have without a post secondary education. Get motivated now and start thinking about your future beyond Payson High School because it will be over before you know it! Ask yourself what you want out of life and look into the different post secondary schools that can help you fulfill your goals. In closing, in my life I've never met a person who regretted getting an advanced education or a college degree, but I've met many who wish that they had.
Lisa Jackson, PHS Class of 2003, Currently a junior at Penn State University