Senior Advice to Upperclassmen

Senior+Advice+to+Upperclassmen

Ximena Mendoza

In just a few days, the 2022 class will be departing from Lakota West, leaving behind their past and taking a big step toward the future. Many of these seniors will be leaving much behind, as they leave the familiar and thrust themselves into the unknown. Many will leave behind friendships, teachers, and clubs they have dedicated much time. Many will leave behind all that useless knowledge they crammed for a test, (like the Pythagorean theorem). And both the bad and good of their high school experience will become a distant memory in their adult minds. Most importantly, many will also pass down some of their infinite wisdom to the oblivious youngsters who wish to be like them.

 

As a sophomore, I felt like my first year at LWHS has helped me grow so much, not only as a student but as a person too. However, when I looked at the few seniors I knew, I felt that I was still nowhere close to their level of knowledge and confidence. When I interviewed a few seniors for this article, I was listening to prepare myself for the coming years. With anxiety and anticipation, I listened as they commented on what they wished they would’ve known as underclassmen. 

 

A lot of the advice related to things that would’ve helped them as a younger student.  “The advice I give to the underclassmen is to make sure you take the time to study. It really goes a long way towards helping your grades” Ashton Mullins states.  “Also, try to be at school as much as possible. I know it gets harder the older you get, but stay in school. Keep your grades up and it’ll really help you with scholarships and other opportunities you wanna explore, stuff like that.” 

 

Another interviewee by the name of Justin Meenach also offered advice on how to stay motivated when things get tough. “Just keep on grinding, keep on doing your homework. No matter how tough it may be, keep on moving. You’re gonna get there.”

 

Our seniors remind us to work hard, but also to focus on what really matters. “High School is not just about the information, but mainly about work ethic” Ban Van Zandt comments.

 

High school is said to be the “most beautiful moment in life”, but all of us know that’s not necessarily true. Being a teenager is already difficult enough without adding things like peer pressure and an unexplainable urge to fit in with everyone else. 

 

When asked about what advice she would give her younger self,  Jinan Shehadeh gave a beautifully emotional answer that honestly everyone should hear, “Regarding life choices…from the time I entered high school, there’s a lot of people who might deceive you in life, and a lot of people who might go against you and turn their backs on you, even when you put your full trust in them.” She says bluntly. 

 

“Having and trusting people is great, but being independent and learning to jump back up from those calamities that you face, or those hardships that you face, that’s the greatest thing you could ever do in life.

 

“Holding on is really hard, there’s a lot of times that when you’re holding on that you feel like giving up on everything and everyone…but I feel like just staying there and looking towards your goal, with the people you love, and the people you care about, and staying on your way is the correct way to go through your life.” 

 

This powerful sentiment was also expressed by Breyden Doan, whose advice consists of a truthful reminder that, “Anything that happens here is temporary, so don’t think too much about it. Don’t overthink.” 

 

William Laypleld also offers his take on high school conformity, “All those standing out may seem weird. But, it’s the best option for you.” He states. 

 

Gwyn Barnwoltz gave an ominous warning to all sophomores, (myself included),  “Beware junior year. It’s gonna be bad, but honestly, once you’re out of it senior year feels so much better. Just get through it and you’re good.” she says. 

 

Sohom Dey, notorious for annoying Ms. Mahoney, also offered his two cents on what it means to grow up and become a senior. “As you grow up, your body changes and your mind too. Funny things start happening to you. But you gotta remember to keep your priorities straight. The number one priority is school. Number two, you gotta have fun. You gotta have a balance. Look, if you keep up with your stuff, you can go out and party. But at the end of the day, you gotta do what you gotta do. It’s about hard work and determination.” 

 

Mr. Dey’s “partner in crime” Rylan Petuk then offered his own advice to future graduates.

 

“My life advice…live by the quote ‘work hard, play hard,” says Rylan Petuk. 

 

To which Sohom Dey exclaimed, “You know that’s actually my quote! That’s literally my thing!” 

 

Sohom also informed the readers to “Use Cricket Wireless”, which is also very important to know. 

 

Navigating friendships during your formative years is difficult, although Emily Pate reminds everyone that, “Friend groups definitely change, you don’t have to stick with the same group. Friend groups change and they don’t stay the same throughout high school and it’s okay.” 

This short-but-sweet message is definitely a reflection of the high school experience, and reminds everyone that these four years are times to experiment and grow as a person and to welcome that uncomfortable change with open arms. 

Tired medical student Lynn Nguyen also offers her take on friendships, “Make friends in your own grade,” she advises. “You’re gonna think that your grade is full of losers, and though that’s true, you gotta be friends with them. Because if you make friends with only upperclassmen -I’m talking to you band kids- if you make friends with upperclassmen and they all graduate, who are you gonna have? No one! That’s Right! Make friends with people your grade and younger because they’re cool. You just gotta find that out.”

Finally, Mia Embree offers perhaps the most important advice that should have every underclassman saving this article for future reference. Embree tells us all to, “Graduate. Don’t come back, graduate.”