Importance of Taking Chances in High School


High school students in a classroom working on assignments. (Photo taken by Mr. Batt).

Sydney Curry, Staff Writer

¨You miss 100% of the shots you don´t take.¨ -Wayne Gretzky. The former hockey great said this in regard to scoring goals on the ice, but it is worthwhile life advice as well.

According to a survey posted on Linkedin, 98% of the population goes through life living in their comfort zone trying to be like everybody else. We know the thoughts and feelings that reside in that zone. We know the kind of life that exists there.

¨Trying new things and changing my routine is very fundamental to getting out of my comfort zone. One of my favorite quotes is ´Make what’s uncomfortable comfortable,´ so then I can always challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone,¨ said Junior Maddie Williams.

Risk-taking is part of growing up. It helps teenagers to develop independence and identities- to start becoming adults. Taking risks helps teens find out what they can do and gain insight into the meaning of their lives. 

So there has to be a balance between the two, especially when reaching high school. High school is the development stage where teenagers are learning to grow up and become more independent. It’s also the stage to make mistakes and screw up; it’s better to learn now than later. 

But it’s not so easy to suddenly develop a risk-taking attitude overnight. It stems from baby steps. Think about how often in your life you find yourself afraid to try new things. Do you often look back and wish you did something new, something different?

 Many people often feel a longing to go back in time and change the past.  It’s perfectly normal to feel that way; after all, we all want to do things that make us happy. If only it were that simple. 

¨The older I get, the more I realize that I wish I could have done certain things differently, but at the time I was scared of having attention on me. It was just easier to stay quiet.¨ said sophomore Shania Lyn. 

If you stay in your comfort zone too long, it can make you complacent. Staying in your comfort zone isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s good for recharging and reflection. But staying too long in your comfort zone limits your potential. 

Everyone always says the same thing, “Life is too short”. It is easy to talk yourself out of things. You find yourself saying,  “I’ll do this later,” but then later comes and you’re still stuck in the same place you found yourself in the beginning.

¨I wish I took more opportunities when I first started high school because I never knew the importance of being involved in activities. I always had the thought ´what if´ in my head. I was anxious to try new things, but I opened up and developed into a better person.¨ said Junior Gabriela Thompson

So, how do we push ourselves out of our comfort zones? There are ways to do it. Try to unpack the situation and look at it from all angles. 

Think about the absolute worst thing that can happen to you. Think about what’s holding you back. Whether it’s embarrassment or fear of failure, you have to ask yourself; are these the things that really matter to you? 

¨You can’t let fear control you. It’s an easy thing to say, but obviously, it’s not that simple. You kind of have to get over yourself. Don’t let your emotions hold you back from what you really want in life.¨ said Junior Emily Valentin. 

It’s very important to recognize when you’re afraid, perhaps it’s you taking a brand new class, something completely different than your used to. You’re worried you won’t do well in the class and you’re considering speaking with your guidance counselor about switching classes. 

So what exactly creates this fear? Studies show from that we are prone to self-sabotage. It often stems from low self-esteem and negative self-talk, which are continually reinforced by fear of failure.

You can beat self-sabotage by monitoring your behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs about yourself, and challenging them when they stand between you and your goals.

¨I’m always talking myself out of things. I want to try a new activity, but then I say to myself, ´I’m not going to be any good at it´ and then I psych myself out.” said Valentin.

Another option may be writing down a list of goals of things you want to accomplish. Have a plan and start slow. You may have setbacks, and you may have off days, but keep that list in mind and don’t give up.

Taking chances is a part of life and growing up. It’s all a great, big learning experience and every day is an opportunity to take a chance on something new. It keeps you on your toes and in the moment. Don’t let time pass you by. Stay in the moment.