Senior Year Lessons

From the start of high school, we all look forward to becoming seniors because of how society has glorified the senior year experience and characterized it as carefree filled with partying, rarely any school work, getting into universities, and wild school breaks. I came into my senior year thinking that it would be a year full of relaxation, making memories, and saying goodbye to Alisal. That could have been a possibility, but instead I opted out of having an easy, breezy senior year and instead I decided to push myself to be better prepared for my future. 

My class choices for my senior year were beneficial for my future, but they were challenging to balance all at once. My schedule this year consisted of AP Calculus, Honors Chemistry, Sports Medicine, Government/Economics, Journalism, and English. Juggling classes, social life, extracurricular activities, scholarship applications, and getting proper rest was my daily life. Becoming prepared for my AP tests, submitting my yearbook deadlines on time, keeping up with chemistry notebook checks, memorizing the human body for sports medicine, and trying to make sure I had everything in order before my freshman year of college was difficult to say the least.  

I struggled throughout my senior year with my workload. Calculus was by far the most difficult class I took this year. It consisted of semi weekly exams, daily assignments that were due the next day, practice AP exams, and many memorization quizzes. Yearbook deadlines, although sometimes flexible, required me to stay on top of all of the sports I choose to cover. I had to get interviews from multiple athletes, coaches, and sometimes interview people more than once. College applications became confusing at times due to the financial aspect of it and narrowing it down to a certain major was difficult. With all of these obstacles being thrown at me at once it made me feel extremely stressed and burned out at times because I was constantly doing work with no days off, I worked through my breaks and on weekends. If it wasn’t for my planner, I wouldn’t have been able to pull through and complete all the assignments because my planner kept me on track and I would make sure to label the assignments based on level of importance and deadlines. 

 On the other hand, senior year came with meeting new people, visiting potential college campuses, going to more school activities, and scoring high on tough tests. I am proud to say that my senior year has been my toughest year, but I was able to keep my good grades and never fall below a C throughout the year. Yearbook came at the perfect time because it helped me expand my school spirit and become more involved in the school community before having to say goodbye to a place that was my home away from home. School was difficult, which will be the case any year at any school, but the teachers here always offered their help (Ms. Frankel, Mr. Trujillo, Mrs. Gonzales) regarding studies or mental health. 

Through the final months before graduation I was faced with countless questions from peers, family members, teachers, university administrators, etc. about where I would be committing to for the fall of next year. Personally, there are so many different options coursing through my head with the number one factor being taken into consideration is financial security. 

There’s the option of going to community college then transferring to save money or going directly to a 4 year university to experience the on campus housing. In addition, figuring out what specific campus would be most beneficial for me and my area of study is another critical component. It’s safe to say that as graduation grows nearer my nerves rise. Graduation will not only be a statement about my efforts throughout my academic career, but it will also be a reminder of all the struggles and how I overcame them to make it to that moment. 

The future will forever be uncertain and the path I will choose is yet to be determined, yet I know that Alisal, as overwhelming as it might have been through some parts of my life, has taught me a lot about myself and my limits. Senior year has been a rollercoaster of emotions from the feeling of stress due to tests/deadlines to the feeling of content when experiencing school events, but I wouldn’t change anything from this year because everything taught me a lesson.