“What It’s Like” with Rayna Christy 

Seems these days everything you hear about Gen Z – the generation born between the late 90s and early 2000s – is negative. No social skills, no human contact, hooked up to the Internet and social media since birth. Eating Tide Pods and jumping out of cars for  Tik Tok challenges. 

As with anything in life, you can’t just paint all people with the same broad brush.  Orange County Stories brings in our newest and youngest columnist to show us “olds” – in my case, Gen X – what’s REALLY going on in the lives and school hallways of our kids. Teens these days are dealing with issues many of us didn’t have growing up, and some of them are very serious. 

Rayna Christy gives us an insider’s perspective on what it’s like – really like – in high school in 2023. At least in a small Texas town.


“Driven to Succeed” 

When it comes to high school, most people remember the fun times. They think of the Friday nights spent in the stadium or reminisce on their prom night. However, not many stop to think about the stress they were under during their high school years, or the hard work they put in to graduate. High school, at least for me, is a busy time to say the least. 

In my case, the majority of my high school career is focused on academics, whether it be competitive or just studious. During school hours, I take honors and dual enrolled courses for all of my core subjects. Looking past the required core subjects, I’m the managing editor for my school’s newspaper, and I take one class a year geared toward education and training to prepare me for college. 

Alongside academics in the classroom, I compete in UIL Journalism. My competition days consist of five events: Copy Editing, News Writing, Feature Writing, Editorial Writing, and Headline Writing. During the season, I spend at least one Saturday a month at different invitational meets, which all lead up to our district, regional, and state meets. 

On top of UIL, I also participate in numerous organizations around campus. I’m the public relations officer for LCM Interact, and also a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, and FCCLA. These clubs are not the only groups I am a part of, though. I hold a part-time job outside of school, working at the Horseman’s Western Store in Orange as a sales floor associate and spending most of my days there after school. 

While high school is busy, this isn’t to say it’s not fun at all. A lot of these things have their fun moments breaking up the stress, and I still make time to attend those Friday night games and the other important moments of youth. The stress now will make sure I graduate best prepared for my future so that I can remember the fun times later in life. However, that lesson did not come easy to me, and it took time to realize the correlation stress and enjoyment have.

Rayna Christy is a junior, soon-to-be senior, at Little Cypress Mauriceville HIgh School. We’ll get an insider’s perspective on what it’s like – really like – in high school in 2023. At least in a small Texas town. 

Her stories – Gen Z’s stories – are another piece of the Orange County Stories we seek to tell.