Lara’s Declassified School Survival Guide

Laras Declassified School Survival Guide


Dear Knoch High School, 


I was sitting on my bed atop my purple comforter looking at the Ferris Bueler poster that leers at me in my room thinking, “What original, never-done-before, groundbreaking idea do I want to do for my last newspaper article?”  Then, it hit me: an article about high school tips and tricks!  Super unique!

In all seriousness though, there were so many things that I wanted to cover, and I wanted to do something to help the future seniors, so this format just made the most sense.  I hope you enjoy this guide and maybe even get something out of it.  Maybe even more than ten people will end up reading it someday!  A girl can dream.


  • If it’s bringing you more distress than joy, quit it, sister.

This advice can go for just about everything in life, but especially sports.  I’ve seen too many friends, associates, and even enemies at school and in my life join a sport with the intention of having some fun physical activity with friends and ending up miserable, dreading every practice, game, and/or match.  Don’t forget, while sports are great for fitness and wellbeing, they are also incredibly important for mental health!  It took me all of ONE YEAR of track to realize I hated running, and you know what I did?  I quit!  And I was totally fine, if not better.  No, actually, 100% better.

  • It’s not that deep.

It’s not!  Listen: If you have a sport you are passionate about and love and want to spend time on, get it girl!  Or if you are relying on a sports scholarship to get you into college, more power to ya’.  BUT.  That does not mean you need to pressure your student peers to have the same drive and devotion as you.  School sports should be FUUUNN!!!  There’s no denying we are putting increasing prioritization on athletics, but that doesn’t make you liable to feel guilty for not wanting to spend every waking moment practicing and researching your sport.  It’s okay to just want to do something for fun, so don’t be the jerk that’s yelling at your teammate and saying they should be more committed.  Lame. 


  • There are greener pastures

What I mean by this lovable dad wisdom is that if you don’t feel like you have found your people yet, that’s PERFECTLY NORMAL!  The odds that you find ample people that you jive with in our incredibly small district are slim to none.  I am lucky enough to have friends that align with myself, but it took me almost fifteen years to get there, and a LOT of trial and error.  As painful as it can sound, sooner rather than later, you will enter a vast world with friendship opportunities out the freaking wazoo.  

  • You don’t need everyone to like you!

Just like with sports, I’ve seen people stuck with a person or group that they aren’t at all happy in, and they end up having countless nights or events ruined from it.  If someone is treating you in a way that you KNOW is not right, it’s ok to let them go.  This doesn’t mean you should be an a-hole to people you don’t mesh well with, but just don’t freak yourself out about being popular with everyone.  No matter what, you will be disliked and disappoint people; it is simply inevitable.  What is important is recognizing the people you have found that make you happy–people whose respect you actually WANT to have–not that you feel pressured to.  Once you have those people, don’t ditch them for whatever social status gain presents itself, because newsflash!   That doesn’t make you or your true friends happy, it just ruins the good things you have.  Put your efforts towards people that deserve and will appreciate them!  Also, it’s OKAY to be alone every now and then: it might actually be what you need.  Coming from a teenager, teenagers are the worst.  Odds are your hormonal friend that is in their most developmental and fragile state isn’t happy about how they’re acting either!  So give it time, and don’t let them use you as a punching bag.


  • Don’t waste your time

I’m not talking about procrastinating here, I am like the poster child for putting assignments off (I do not endorse or encourage it btw).  What I mean is don’t spend the 7 hours you have to be here complaining about being here.  I get it, it can be boring or tiring, and I’ve definitely dialed 9-wah-wah a couple times.  What I mean to say is maybe–JUST MAYBE–if you TRY to LEARN something, your time would be a lot more enjoyable.  I have been with people who have talked about how boring and stupid a class was, and they just have their headphones in the whole time and don’t participate.  Participating is the most engaging thing you can do and it makes every class 100 times more enjoyable, I promise.  We are privileged enough to get an education, DON’T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.  

  • Don’t feel guilty for enjoying something

I’m going to be so for real: I was going to make this whole article about how disappointing my senior year has been.  But, after looking back, I realized that was being a bit harsh and too negative.  Still, I had to work in some of my frustrations here.  There were so many school events that I was really amped up for and looking forward to that no one else seemed to care about.  Thankfully, I have people in my life that are willing to care about things like me (thank you, Willow).  I remembered seeing my older siblings do the same thing, and the sense of school spirit and pride that their classes had was something I envy to this day.  Why wouldn’t you want to enjoy and try to make something fun out of school!?  Make it more bearable for yourself, man!  There’s no worse feeling than going to a game, dance, or class that you are excited and passionate about and end up having it tarnished and ruined for you by a bunch of people that think they’re too cool and make a mockery of it.  Sue me for wanting to have a good time.  


    • Stop comparing yourself to everyone, sweetheart <3

Whether it’s grades, sports, relationships, or body image, we can all benefit from not putting ourselves down for not fitting someone else’s mold.  You are your own person, don’t force yourself to be a less good imitation of someone else.  I’ve struggled with this advice more than anything and spent whole days or weeks hating myself, but that doesn’t have to be the way it is.  Honestly, everyone hates themselves in some way, and you are the last thing on their mind.  Sounds harsh, but it’s kind of freeing.  When you hear that one kid in class comparing test scores and being obnoxiously Type A, just know that they’re most likely doing it out of a place of insecurity in themselves.  And if you struggle with finding something attractive about yourself or loving your appearance, I am always happy to talk about it, doesn’t matter who you are.  No one should have to go through that alone. 

  • Have people that make every day that much easier

Everyday I wonder what I’ve done to be lucky enough to have the people in my life that I do.  First I have to take a moment to thank my parents for pushing me to want more and strive for higher goals.  Never have I felt discouraged from having a dream or passion, and as I’ve grown up, I realize how rare that kind of support is.  Also, thank you to my siblings for setting an example of something I want to be and can only dream of achieving.  

Paige, Dara, Willow, my ladies, thank you for making me laugh every day.  There were some seriously dark days this year and some serious blows to my confidence, and despite telling myself before I came into school that I’d spend the day brooding, you always seemed to be able to make me break after a total of ten minutes.  I know I can get caught up on some moments and be a bit insufferable, but you always stick it out with me, and I don’t know what I’d do without you.  

Ms. T of course, thank you for providing a safe space.  I know this year hasn’t been easy for you either, but I believe karma will reward us any day now.  It’s never too late to marry Steve Hartman!  Thank you for giving me motivation to think outside the box and keeping me up to date with current events and important history that doesn’t get talked about enough.  

To the past newspaper staff, thank you for welcoming me into this club and making every day a party.  Thank you also for making me realize that the deadlines are more of a suggestion (kidding Ms. T!).

Karsten!  Thank you for adopting all of our names for you!  I hate your jumpscares so so much.  Last year I was half certain you hated my guts, and now I’m only 25% sure, so that’s progress!  I hope you stick with this class and get a less lousy group next year, because you are a boss and crack me up with every article you write.

Abby and Kenzie, the newbies.  You caught right on to everything this year and brought an energy and quality to this class that was never unappreciated.  

Mr. Miller, thanks for calling me out of class to criticize whatever I most recently posted!

Alright, I’m just stalling at this point.  I can’t say I’m not a bit salty about how my senior newspaper class ended up being like, but I appreciate everything I’ve gotten from it and all the good times and tunes I’ve had in this room.  If you made it this far, I am extremely shocked and appreciative. 

Night night, The Knight Times.

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About the Contributor
Lara Ejzak
Lara Ejzak, Editor-in-Chief
Oh hey! My name is Lara Ejzak, and I am a super (cool) senior here at Knoch. I am involved in tennis, German club, history club, and Youth and Government.  I am still making atrocious puns and baked goods that just don't quit! I write articles about school and whatnot, but my specialty is any article that allows me to spew my opinion everywhere because I am always right.  I'm a sucker for a good mango or raspberry, and I am still out on a hunt to find the best apples, so hit me up if you know of any.

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