If you could go back and redo high school, would you?


Emily Kelly, Author


A few weeks ago, our journalism class came up with an array of varying questions to ask students so that we could write about different topics from Hauppauge student’s perspectives.  Given all of the changes to the school this year and the many issues going on across the globe, I thought it would be interesting to focus on how people felt their high school experiences had been, and what changes they may have wanted to make if given the opportunity.  The question was “if you could go back to freshman year and redo high school, would you?  Why or why not?”


An Overwhelming “No”

To my surprise, almost every student I interviewed said no.  I wasn’t expecting all of the responses to be yes, but I did think the responses would be more balanced.  I interviewed a handful of juniors and seniors (since sophomores and freshmen have not gotten through the bulk of high school yet) to hear their opinions and reasons behind them.  It was somewhat difficult to get responses, since most people I spoke with to ask the question were, of course, freshmen, but I was still able to get a variety of responses.  Most people agreed that they would not want to re-learn all of the material and go through the stress of high school all over again.  Senior Joe Battaglia said that he has “come too far” and already planned out his future, which was something that a majority of interviewees also explained.  Other responses from seniors explained that it was not worth redoing the drama and that there were too many life-changing experiences that many do not wish to change.  Vincent Gerardi explained that “all of [his] high school experiences… have shaped [him] into the person [he is] today, and so to go back and change what brought [him] to this point would mean to change who [he is]”.  While I may not have worded it as eloquently, I agree with that statement, that some major events in my high school life have shaped who I am today, and I don’t know if I would want to risk missing those opportunities should I redo high school.  Even some juniors chimed in, many saying how they would have to relearn everything and also would have to go through some of the same difficult and painful experiences of the past, or even worse, fully miss those life-changing experiences.  Junior Gianna Capone expressed that she would not want to change her current life, since the events of high school resulted in the person she is today.


The Odd Ones Out

While the majority of responses said no, there were some that expressed interest in going back to freshman year.  Junior Meghan Walsh stated that freshman year was an important time in her life and she “would love to go through everything again” and have the opportunity to make even better memories and change the things she did not love about her first years in high school.  Personally, I too would go back to freshman year.  Part of it is because I don’t want to grow up and move on from this part of my life, the last bit of childhood, but it is mainly because I would have the opportunity to change the things I regret.  I wish I spent more time with friends and less so focused on schoolwork and studying, but at the same time I would study more efficiently to raise my grades a bit.  I most certainly would have spent more time researching colleges and focusing on applications, something I have to stress about now.  There are many classes I also would not have taken, and I probably would have opted for less difficult classes so I could have more time to actually enjoy these last few years in Hauppauge.  And on the flip side, I wish I could have taken more electives and more courses that actually interest me.  I have only taken “two” electives in high school, and I regret not having the opportunity to take many more to find out what I wish to spend the rest of my life doing.  While there are many things I would not want to go through again, I think having a fresh start would be beneficial, and I would have the chance to make sure I graduated highschool with zero regrets.

Researching this topic online was not as direct as these answers, since the majority of websites and surveys expressed what people would redo if given the opportunity, not whether they would choose to go back or not.  Nevertheless, many articles quoted the same ideas as the students here, saying that they would want to fix their grades, spend more time with friends, and take more electives in subject-areas they loved.  Overall, people may not have wanted to go back to high school for various reasons, but almost everyone had things they would have changed if given the opportunity.