Senior Wisdom for Returning Scotties

Valerie Arevalos, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Freshman year, as we all know, is our year to know the school. It’s when we get to meet people from other schools and learn that seniors don’t really shove you into lockers and trash cans. Sophomore year is about that slight feeling of increasing coolness – you survived freshman year, and now you’re back to have your voice heard. Make your presence known if you will. Junior year is when things start getting serious – you realize classes and grades really do matter; you have to deal with C4Me paperwork, SAT/ACT tests, and Junior Proposal.

Senior year is different from the rest. You’d expect this year to be your free year – sure, you have college applications but after that, you’re free to aimlessly drive around with friends and dive into that fun you experienced years prior.

Well, my friend, coming from a senior who had to achieve this level of wisdom the hard way – high school is really not all fun and games, but there’s definitely a way to make it fly by smoother.

It seems like, through every year, we hear the same advice on avoiding procrastination at all costs, and finding that hey, despite their wise words, we all leave that five-page essay until the caffeine-filled night before it’s due– here is a list of the top ten senior advice on surviving Helix, and it’s all more real than asking you to avoid the unavoidable procrastination.

  1. Put yourself before others

Let’s clarify – we’re not advising you to be selfish, per se, but if you’re stuck on the guilty line between going out with friends vs. taking the afternoon to catch up on school work or take a break from your hectic life and sit on your cheetoh-stained couch to watch Netflix- go for it!

  1. All school work matters

Though this relates to everyone in high school, it’s mostly meant for you, freshmen who spring up at the rumor that “colleges don’t care about your freshman year; it’s all about sophomore and junior year,” because really, everything you do could matter. A class you think won’t affect you because “it’s just an elective” will bring your 4.0 into a 3.9 and times are college admissions are tough- it’s all about competition these days.

  1. Take that class!

Soon you’ll realize just how much people regret not taking a specific class. We’ve all heard it, countless of times in fact, that “oh, I wish I could’ve taken (insert class here)” and though you might think it’s too hard for you or it’ll bring your GPA down, if you’re interested in the subject, there’s a low chance you’ll fail it. If your brain is engaged and you’re interested in the subject, you’ll be more than okay and better yet, you’ll be proud for challenging yourself with a class you used to be intimidated by.

  1. Just do it! (continuation)

“Take that class!” advice also relates strongly to after-school clubs and other forms of extracurricular activities. If you already consider yourself an outgoing person, then just do it! Clear your after-school schedule one day out of the week and check out what the Helix Tap* fuss is about. Interested, but are too shy to put yourself out there? Here’s some advice that might catch you off guard but might also work as a mantra: no one is focused on you because usually in nerve-racking situations, we’re all worried about how we look to others. Oops, did you fall? Get up, shrug it off, and keep going.

  1. Pick your friends carefully

Your business isn’t anyone’s business but yours. This doesn’t mean to distrust every single person that comes near you, of course, but don’t broadcast your every action, and even if you have a best friend you tell everything to- it’s also convenient to maintain some sort of privacy. Make sure to appreciate those good friends you have, however. Let them know you care about and appreciate them.

  1. Relationships aren’t everything

We get it – you just finished the Sparknotes version of Romeo and Juliet and why shouldn’t you and Billy Bob/Sandy Sam be the same, right? Well, forget Juliet’s young age, for she was just as immature as we are at this age and relationships come and go. A relationship shouldn’t dictate your every move– you wanted to stay at home and pig out by yourself, but your special someone convinced you to go out instead? Yeah well, the reality is not always as sweet and cute as social media makes it out to be.  At the end of the day, you’ve got to “put yourself first,” remember?

  1. Don’t stress too much

Yes, sophomore interviews, senior defense, and senior boards are nerve-racking as we see the date approaching, but that’s mostly because we don’t know what to expect and it’s in our nature to fear the unknown. If you get your requirements/work done on time, then interviews, speeches, AP tests, and senior projects will go by in a breeze. Stress is normal among students. It’s one feeling we all have in common no matter what kind of person you are, but what good is to stress about something that’s going to happen either way?

     8. Do your senior project as soon as possible!

Another pro-tip you hear all the time (we know, but this one is crucial) is to learn to pace yourself– try to start it as soon as you get approved and if you plan it out correctly, you can even get it done during the summer before senior year.

  1. Helix is here to help you, not hurt you

There is a point in every Scottie’s life at Helix that attendance and requirements become a dread and you’re bombarded with a battle of unavoidable questions: Do we have to do a senior project? How will AP Bio even help me in the future? What’s the worst that can happen if I transfer schools? Well, the worst that can happen is that you don’t graduate feeling like a proud, strong, and college-ready Helix student. Helix is hard; there’s no denying that, but all the obstacles we have to face through this four-year journey is what builds us into the confident and throw-it-at-me-I-can-handle-it young adults, ready for anything the world has to offer us.

  1. Don’t change for anyone

Last and definitely not least – be yourself. Who are others to decide what kind of music is “cool” or what actions to take to make you fit in with them? Newsflash: no one is the same. We all come from different backgrounds, different cultures, and distinct families; Therefore, we all have individual personalities and through the course of our lives, our mentality and actions alter in response to society. We are still our own person and we should never pretend to act like someone we’re not.

A final adieu from the class of 2018 to incoming and current Scotties. Once a Scottie, always a Scottie!

 

*Helix Tap is great. Yes, this is a biased opinion.

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