Senior Advisor: A Look Back Reveals the Right Way to do Things

Jourdan Zelaya, Opinions Editor

The school year is finally coming to an end, which means that now is the perfect time to look back on your year and think about all that you have done and gone through as a student.

Whether you were just starting out as a 2021 freshman or crossing the finish line as a 2018 senior, one thing is for certain: academics can be a real killer. From your core classes such as math and English, to the electives that can sometimes be unexpectedly brutal (who knew ceramics would require so much patience?) School always poses a challenge, one way or another.

As I wind down my senior year, after four years of homework, projects, tests, basically everything that a student could possibly go through, I have learned a thing or two when it comes to surviving high school while having fun doing it. No, this isn’t like Ned’s Declassified: School Survival Guide where I’ll give you every single tip I can think of, but as a student who’s delved into not only the academics, but the social part of high school as well, I would like to give a little bit of advice to those who are just starting out. So, whether you’re reading this as a freshman member of the class of 2021, or as a freshman in the class of 2022, I think it can help. No matter who you are, a little friendly advice from your average student is always helpful.

First of all, high school only happens once. In your entire lifetime, you will go through many different experiences. Whether it be love, traveling, getting your first car, or some other first time event, things are bound to happen in your life. But high school? The snap of a finger and it’s gone. A measly four years of your life are spent in a classroom, and just like that, time moves on and it’s all done.

In order to make these four years memorable, get yourself a little bit out of the comfort zone and go to school organized events. I’m talking football games, basketball games, homecoming, and if you’re an upperclassman, prom. Paint Branch is super lucky to have the student body that we have where the student section at football games and basketball games is so energetic and lively you forget you’re at a varsity game. Endless cheers, different themes every week (especially during football season), the famous taco-in-a-bag they sell at the concessions, each game has its own individual charm.

Prom and homecoming are a little different. They require a little more planning considering they’re formal events than screaming your heart out in the bleachers. But hey, fun is fun. Personally, I’ve never been to homecoming, which is probably one of my biggest regrets as a high schooler, but prom is something I won’t miss. As I’m writing this, I’m getting ready for it by getting my tux and getting my haircut, which reveals that it can really get hectic at times.

You’re only in high school once, and if you only go to homecoming one time, then perfect. You can say you went and you had an experience. Go with your friends, or if you have that special someone, be sure to make their week by asking them to homecoming/prom with a cute little poster with a nice personal touch to it. Again, these aren’t things everyone should do, but it certainly livens things up a bit.
Now that I’ve talked about the social aspect of school, let’s not forget about the primary reason you’re at school in the first place: learning.

Boy oh boy, do I have advice for you. I’m going to be as honest as I can about this: I’m not the greatest student in the world. I don’t always hit honor roll nor do I get the highest test scores, but I will say this: don’t be like me. The best advice comes from those who’ve experienced the most hardship. I’ve had to pay the price numerous times academically simply because I procrastinated, I didn’t study, and, worst of all, I didn’t do my homework when I was supposed to.

However, the times I succeeded balanced out the times that I failed, so, overall, I can say I’m the epitome of your average student. This is why I say study, study, study. We live in a society where technology is more prevalent than ever and with that comes technological wonders such as…wait for it…Kahoot.
Of course, Kahoot isn’t the only thing you can use to study, but it certainly makes it less tedious, especially with those cool beats that play as they ask you the questions. Jokes aside though, study your butt off, do your homework on time, and of course, try your hardest. By this point it’s a broken record that you hear almost everyday, but practice really does make perfect. Everyone functions differently, so what works for you may not work for others. Try experimenting with different situations and see what works best for you.

The takeaway from all of my words is simply this: high school will be over in the blink of an eye and depending on who you hang out with, what kind of effort you put into your academics, and what kinds of things do you do as a student/teen will slowly but surely shape who you are as a person. As a senior, I really am gonna miss high school, but take it from a senior who felt like freshman year was just two weeks ago – cherish it.