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Youth Spotlight: Sam Grimmer

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

A new school year brings a chance to refocus priorities.

As many high schoolers can attest, the transition from middle school to high school can be a difficult one. New location, new peers, heavier schoolwork loads, and for some adding a job requires a level of intention and time management. Going to Zealous Schools for all of middle school, he was a big fish in a little pond. And for many freshmen, overwhelm is one term they can identify with. Sam wants other students to know that checking in with your values and goals throughout the year is essential to being your best. Freshman year went by faster than he thought, and he found himself taking the summer to set some goals for the school year.

In middle school, his hobbies and sports were strategy card games, cross-country running, and nordic skiing. There was less time for some of these hobbies once high school started. “I didn’t want to get rid of the hobbies, so I made them a weekend break time, something to tune out and recharge from school,” Sam explains. Sports are outlets for enjoyment, personal challenge, and connecting with friends for Sam. He understands that your best requires the reminder that your biggest competition is with yourself.

As a GenZer, seeing social media influencers posting their lives as something to aspire to, Sam knows it’s easy to get stuck in the trap of comparison. Sam wants his peers to know that working on the balance of enjoying your youth while being intentional by setting attainable goals is one way you can make the most of this time. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”, and Sam acknowledges this is one challenge his generation knows well. It’s not something that will be easily moved past, but taking the time to identify and write out your weekly, monthly, or yearly goals can show you just how valuable your time is. It’s a little easier to see where you’re going when you set your directions.

In talking about his freshman year Sam reflects, “I knew I wasn’t going to know how to do something well right away, but with time you get better. I can see myself as successful. For example, I went into freshman year only completing pre-algebra, but I challenged myself to take Honors Algebra II. I advocated for myself, because I know I’m one of 300 students my teacher might have. Some mornings I would go in and study before class, asking for clarification from my teacher. I would use Khan Academy, YouTube videos, some tools I used in middle school”. It might not be important for every student right now, but Sam thinks “It’s never too late to advocate for yourself and your academic career. It’s the beginning of the next school year, take a little time to reflect on what you want to get out of this year, and what you’re willing to give to be your best”.

As school starts up this month, may you reach the goals you set, Sam!

Written by Marcus Carter, Intervention Specialist for Mountain Youth.

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