Surviving and thriving

Reaching the end of a four-year journey

May 28, 2015

Senior year: the most anticipated year of high school. While some look forward to events such as prom, graduation and moving on, they often do not realize that senior year is filled with the endless stress of preparing for college, completing large amounts of work and making life-changing decisions.

As the end of senior year quickly approaches, many students are either apprehensive about what the future holds or ready to tackle whatever challenges it may bring. No matter what position students find themselves in, it is important for them to remember to enjoy their last year in high school. Celebrate friends, create memories and learn to make the best of every moment.

When graduation day finally arrives, students are going to begin a whole new journey. Some will choose to attend a university, some will choose to stay closer to home and some will choose to immediately start working. At the end of the day, each individuals journey is unique and they must remember the skills they learned throughout their high school experience to succeed.

Fearful Freshmen

Entering the high school for the first time as freshmen, students scurry quickly with their noses buried in maps. Clutching their books and carrying backpacks bigger than them, they rapidly attempt to make it before the bell. Once in class, the desperate search for a familiar face commences.

Since their first day as freshmen four years ago, seniors are moving on and reflecting on high school –which are said to be the most important four years of a person’s life. Senior Alysia Grimm believes her journey shaped her, playing an important part in creating the person she is today.

Karley Crawford / Legacy Media
Freshman Peyton Cothern said that although she had difficulty finding her way around at first, she learned valuable lessons from her freshman year.

“My freshman year was a crazy experience of firsts and I learned a lot of valuable lessons,” she said. “I think I’ve matured into a lovely young woman throughout my four years at Klein Collins.”

According to senior Sophia Kohlmann, she has also learned important lessons since her first day as a freshman, such as time management skills. To her, it is important that current freshmen understand these skills and use them to make the most of their academic experience.

“Freshmen should remember to take every class seriously because every grade plays a big role when it comes to GPA,” Kohlmann said. “They need to keep working hard because it works out for the best in the long run.”

Along with grades, senior Rida Kamal believes that extra-curricular activities make a major impact on students.

“The best part of my high school experience was joining an organization and feeling like I was part of something greater,” she said. “I enjoyed meeting new friends, visiting different cities for competitions and making memories that will truly go beyond high school.”

Grimm says that keeping an open mind throughout high school help students grow as individuals. She believes the friends she made helped her discover herself.

“Make new friends. I learned it’s okay to branch out from beyond my middle school group and it’s definitely okay to recreate myself for the better,” Grimm said. “Students should not be afraid of finding themselves because high school will be so much more fun if they are comfortable in their skin.”

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Infographic by Svannah Nguyen

Surviving Senior Year

After surviving the first three years of high school, most seniors expect to enjoy their last year of school. According to Kohlmann, while the year is full of exciting moments and memories, there are a lot of important decisions that seniors must make.

“It was pretty difficult to figure out what I am going to do after high school,” she said. “I had to take into consideration how it will benefit my life when I’m out of school. I put it together by figuring out what I wanted to do for my career, then I decided which major I should complete in order to perform that job.”

For Grimm, the anxiety brought by waiting on college decisions makes senior year a challenge. She advises underclassmen to get applications done early, not waiting until the last minute to fill them out.

“College applications were difficult for me,” she said. “Deadlines and receiving acceptance statuses had me on edge a lot.”

Despite the difficulties that come with senior year, Kohlmann believes the memories she made throughout this year make it one of the best years yet.

“The best part of senior year was really being able to make memories with my friends, classmates and teachers,” she said. “Studying and keeping on top of grades is very important, but there also needs to be some room for a little fun. I will always have these good memories to treasure.”

The Final Goodbye

After four years of hard work, seniors look forward to participating in graduation on June 6.
Karley Crawford / Legacy Media
After four years of hard work, seniors look forward to participating in graduation on June 6.

While the future carries so much excitement, seniors may feel uneasy leaving their comfort zones. Walking across the stage on graduation day can bring feelings of anticipation for many.

“Graduation gives me mixed emotions,” Kohlmann said. “I am excited to leave and see what the future holds, but I definitely have that anxiety lingering. To venture out means leaving the comfort of home, and getting used to being away is a lesson that is acquired as time passes.”

When thinking about graduation, Kamal also feels mixed emotions. She believes that there will be several challenges after transitioning from high school and moving onto college.

“I feel both excited and scared,” she said. “The thought of not being in a familiar environment honestly scares me a bit. Knowing that in just a few months I’ll be living on my own surrounded by new people living in a new city all by myself is scary.”

Despite this feeling of anticipation, senior Devin Dionisio remains optimistic about the future, looking forward to all that it brings.

“It’s like reading the sequel to my favorite books,” Dionisio said. “I don’t really know what’s going to come, but I know it’s going to be full of ups, downs, climaxes, resolutions, problems that need to be solved, and the best part, new characters that will continue to shape who I am as I continue to grow, just like high school shaped me.”

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