OC HIGH: STUDENT NEWS AND VIEWS : So, What's to Like About School? : Plenty: As a place to get an education and make friends, the high school experience is as good as you make it.

Kathy Zucca attends Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills, where this article first appeared in the student newspaper, Smoke Signals.

High school isn't always a breeze. There are times when you wonder if you will survive. It could be a huge essay you have to write, finals week, a conflict with a teacher or a friend or many other things that are getting you down. But life is full of stress and conflicts. Things don't always go smoothly.

First and foremost, high school is a place where you can learn. An education is practically handed to you. Not all students take advantage of this chance, but an education is there for the taking. There are many opportunities to expand your horizons and gain new skills.

Critics of high school claim that it is shallow and fake, based on a hierarchy of popularity and conformity. That may, at times, be true. However, high school is also a place where you can meet friends that might last a lifetime.

High school students are often stereotyped as being conformists and caring only about popularity. But the truth is that there are so many different people on campus with unique talents and qualities that it would be impossible to label high school students as conformists.

And popularity cannot reign supreme because different people value different qualities in their friends. Yes, some people are more social than others, but that is true everywhere, not just in high school.

For the most part, high school is an enriching and rewarding experience. So stop complaining! High school has a lot to offer, but only if you give it a chance.

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