“I’ve been there”: students give advice on the past year

Madison Hart, print director

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With the 2015-2016 school year quickly coming to a close, Bear Facts interviewed involved members of each grade to get an insight on the past year, advice for the class filling their place, and their expectations for the future.

Macy Vanderpass, freshman
Activities: Freshman Class Board, Student Council, Softball, Orchestra, Choir, UCLZ, and GSA

Q: What were some of your biggest concerns coming into this year?
A: I was stuck with a lot of the same people throughout middle school and I didn’t have any tight bonds with those people. I was nervous about actually meeting new people and trying to make friends, but it turned out everyone was really chill towards me. I made a lot of friends through upperclassmen, and people were a lot nicer than I had anticipated.

Q: What are you most concerned about for next year?
A: I’m most concerned that the classes are going to get harder. My sister is a sophomore and everyone tells me things like, ‘Oh, freshman year is such a fly-by, sophomore year is when you actually get into high school.’ But I’m looking forward to being able to be a little more flexible with my class schedule next year. Obviously in middle school you don’t have a lot of opportunities to choose what classes you take, and freshman year your classes are kind of decided for you by your middle school teachers. Also, I’m looking forward to not hearing the ‘Wow, you’re such a freshman’ comments anymore, because nobody really wants to be that.

Q: What was the best part of your freshman year?
A: My best memory from this year was honestly walking into class the second day of school and thinking to myself, ‘I look like such a stereotypical freshman,’ and two seniors, who are now my friends, walked up to me and asked if I was a junior because they said I seemed like I was as chill as a junior. It made me feel like I was fitting in, and I had no idea I’d end up being friends with them.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is going to be a freshman next year?
A: Don’t stress yourselves and freak out about freshman year, because it really isn’t bad at all. Talk to people, actually try and make some friends, and don’t be afraid of upperclassmen; most of them are really nice. Also, it’s important to get involved because it makes the year fly by when you have a busy schedule, and you meet a lot of really cool people. A lot of my closest friends are in the same clubs as me or on my softball team, and I would never have met them if I hadn’t gotten involved this year.

Nathan Holbrook, sophomore
Activities: Wind ensemble, marching band, choir, sophomore class board, student council, drama club, and productions

Q: What were some of your biggest concerns coming into this year? What were you most worried about?
A: “Mostly time management with homework and different activities because you’ll have rehearsal after school, then you have to come home and do your homework, then you’ll have to practice your instrument for band or do other vocal things. Sometimes I have to go to early meetings for choir and other clubs. I just made sure I planned out when I would do my homework, so if I knew I had a ton of homework to do, I would try to work on some of it during school, during lunch or class time, or during rehearsal so I wouldn’t have a ton to do when I got home.”

Q: What are you most concerned about for next year?
A: “Time management is pretty much a concern for every year. With shows or other activities, I’m expecting a lot of homework from all my AP classes and no lunch because I am a F.A.M.E leader, so it might be a struggle to find time for everything, but it usually works ends up working out okay.”

Q: What was the best part of being a sophomore? Best memory from the year?
A: “I think the best part about being a sophomore is that you don’t have the burden of being an upperclassman and the weight of doing things in preparation for college since you don’t have to worry about that quite yet. You’re also not being made of fun of as a freshman, so it’s kind of like an intermediary stage. You just exist in the high school. It’s a fun time.”

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is going to be a sophomore next year?
A: “Definitely don’t try to overwork yourself and be over involved because then you’ll end up driving yourself crazy. At the same time, start thinking about college things, like taking the SAT and the PSAT because junior year is going to come up and you’ll have to make big decisions while keeping up with super tough classes.”

Alex Miller, junior
Activities: Football, Track and Field, NHS, F.A.M.E. leadership, P.E. Leadership, and Ball Gives Life

Q: What were some of your biggest concerns coming into this year?
A: “[I was] definitely worried about the workload and just getting ready for college. I had to make sure I kept my grades up. My concerns didn’t turn out to be as bad as I thought, things flowed the same as any other year, but I came in more worried [this year]. If anything, being in [more activities] this year helped me with time management. I’m not putting as much off because I know I have to get it done.”

Q: What are you most concerned about for next year?
A:“I’m most concerned about my college decision, but I’m also most looking forward to getting my college decision done with. I want to figure out what I’m going to do with my life and seeing what happens in the future.”

Q: What was the best part of your junior year?
A:“The first football game [was my favorite memory of junior year]. Just being out there after waiting so long for the season to start was awesome. Everybody showed up to support, and it was a great moment.”

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is going to be a senior next year?
A: “[In general], I would have gotten more involved earlier. I do a lot of clubs now, [but] early in high school I was really bored and didn’t do any clubs my freshman year. But sophomore and junior year I started to get more involved, so if you haven’t yet, you should try to join things. [For incoming juniors], relax. [Junior year] is not as bad as it seems. It’s tougher than sophomore year, but you can handle it. Utilize what you have. The school gives you a lot of resources, so utilize them. They’re here to make your life easier.”

Amanda Sarsha, senior
Activities: NHS president, student council, drama club

Q: What were some of your biggest concerns coming into this year? What were you most worried about?
A: “I’m the President of the National Honors Society so I was worried that maybe that would be really time-consuming or maybe I would stop liking the club or maybe I wouldn’t be a good president. It turns out it actually is a really fun club, and I’m doing a good job so far, so thankfully it all worked out.”

Q: What are you most concerned about for next year?
A: “To handle everything I want to get involved in next year, I’ll do my research before I go in and make sure I plan my schedule accordingly. I don’t want to do anything that I don’t really like doing because in college there’s no point of doing something you don’t really like doing. Also, I want to focus on what makes me happy and balancing homework and fun stuff like that.”

Q: What was the best part of your senior year?
A: “I like working at any events with kids. There’s this Thrive After Three thing after school, so you go and you help little kids with homework and I just really like that. I went to that for a couple weeks in a row. You get to really know those kids and they get to trust you and they get to tell you things and you get to see how your presence in their lives actually makes them happy and makes a difference. I really like that experience.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is going to be a senior next year?
A: “I would tell a senior to start looking for colleges right away, ask a lot of questions but talk to adults and older people about college because they’re going to just give you better advice than you could ever get on the internet. Talk to your counselor and think about both what you’re good at and what makes you happy and that’s the best way to find a major. Don’t just look for money because then you’re going to get frustrated. Before senior year everyone is so uptight, but then at senior year everyone is going to calm down, so just be nice to people, try and make friends and keep friends, and just enjoy this time we have with these people. Everyone is going to miss everyone, and don’t hang on to any frustrations or regrets. Just be nice to your peers and have fun with your last couple years.”

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