As their time in high school rapidly draws to a close, what do seniors think of the last four years of their lives?
January can mean a multitude of different things depending on who you ask. For some, January marks a fresh start, and with the new year comes a whole new list of optimistic resolutions. For freshmen, January is the first time they get to experience the stress of finals week, and for teachers, January comes with a pile of final projects and essays to grade. For seniors, however, January can serve as a time of reflection.
One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about the past are things that could have been done differently,
“My biggest regret was thinking I had to take Chem Honors to do well in high school,” says Jovian Chang (12). “That class… tanked my self-esteem, seeing that I was the only kid out of my whole entire class that was failing that class so badly.”
Despite this, the unfortunate consequences of biting off more than you can chew often do result in a helpful realization. For Chang, this was realizing that science was not the subject for him and that he should instead look for subjects that genuinely interest him.
Katelyn Zou (12) mentions that one of her biggest regrets would be not working harder as an underclassman.
“That stuff hurts real bad when senior [year] hits and you have to reflect upon you immaturity in the past,” she states.
At times, there’s just something that people wish they could redo because of the consequences of that action. For Seher Alvi (12), this was not being more involved with the student body.
“I wish that I had joined leadership or participated in student government activities more actively,” she says. “It really does help you connect with the school and your classmates a lot better.”
Certain academic decisions can also be extremely regretful in hindsight.
“I should have let my pride go and gotten math tutoring… I am so bad at math and needed professional help and probably could have fixed my grades by seeking it,” states Zou. “Our school had a math tutoring program but I never had the courage to go.”
Zou also details the story of her running for a student leadership position.
“I would redo when I ran for ASB because I made my campaign too meme-based, and I would tell my younger self not to run! The embarrassment I get looking back hurts more than the pain of wondering what could be.”
However, sometimes the things people want to do again are positive as well. Chang says that his water polo Senior Night was definitely something he wanted to relive.
“It was so cool and fun to just see the smiles on people’s faces as we beat the other team. The amount of food there and all of the people there just made the night that much more special. Getting posters when I didn’t expect posters was really cool as well,” Chang says.
Of course, life usually has ups to complement the downs. These fond memories can range from bonding events with friends to fun class events. For Alvi, it was her sophomore year during science class.
“My fondest memories are messing up my labs in Honors Chem with my friends, and all the fire alarms that got pulled during finals. I hope college won’t be too serious and we can mess around then,” she says.
Based on the various positive and negative experiences seniors have had in high school they do have a few words of advice for underclassmen.
“Be yourself… a lot of people tend to code-switch and try to act cool; it kind of isn’t. It is hard with peer pressure to be yourself… [but] don’t change to accommodate other people,” says Chang.
Alvi says that “even if something seems hard, stick with it. It will get better.”
Although the middle of the year can be a time of looking back at the past, it can also be good for thinking about the future. Zou mentions that some things she wants to do before the end of the year are to go on an out-of-state trip with her friends, have a picnic at the playground at night with friends, and participate in the Battle of the Bands.
Alvi states that before she graduates, she wants to slack off in class for once and also say thank you to her teachers from the past four years.
Chang shares that he is looking forward to college sports. “I [will] miss high school sports, but I’m relatively excited to see how college sports work out. I hope I can meet a lot of new people, learn more about what I’m going to study at college, and make college one heck of a lifetime.”
High school is definitely a time of learning and self-discovery. There are all kinds of new experiences to be had, some good and some bad. However, in the end, everything contributes to making someone who they are. While the good can be a positive thing to carry into college and beyond, the bad can be valuable as well.