Senior Sign Off
3 days. I’m writing this as I have 3 days left of high school and then it’s over, except I’ll have high school 2.0 in the fall but that’s another story. It’s a little nerve racking and it feels like it went by suspiciously fast, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’ve been reflecting a lot on my time here at Apex and often find myself thinking about the 4 years I had at high school which is a bit uncharacteristic of myself, but I think the main reason I want to keep these memories of high school is for my brother as like a highschool4dummies kind of guide.
I remember thinking back when I first stepped foot into Apex and how anti-climatic it felt. I didn’t like how middle school teachers would constantly try to make high school seem like it was some huge leap forward, when in reality it wasn’t all too different from any other year in school. Looking back I wouldn’t change a single thing about freshman year even if I didn’t do all the right things. I made a lot of friends who I’m still really close with even now as I’m a senior and I think that’s one of the most important things to do. I would also advise anyone to make actual connections with your teachers and not to treat them like some stranger you see for 90 minutes a day and instead talk to them like they’re your friend (respectfully) because the teachers here at Apex want nothing more than to see you succeed. That part is especially important if you’ve figured out what you want to do in life, so you can build a relationship with a teacher or staff that is well versed in a subject you’re interested in. As a final note from my experience in freshman year: Don’t slack off. I can’t stress how important freshman year actually is as colleges look at your first 3 years of high school. Unfortunately I didn’t follow that and did questionable things in my classes and didn’t do too much in the club scene. Freshman year is the best year to start preparing for your future or else it’ll be too late before you know it.
Sophomore year wasn’t all too different except I took my first AP class, and that was no joke. I didn’t have the mindset back then of grinding out all my work, but I still managed to pass with a modest B and a 4 on the AP exam. The only major change I really experienced was the introduction of COVID. It took out my entire 2nd semester of my sophomore year. If I’m being completely honest, I was actually a little happy that we went virtual. I just thought it was really convenient and easy to do everything from home. The only problem was that staying home was the only thing I could do. And I would soon feel the effects of it later on.
This year was probably the most stressful year of my life, and keep in mind I still hadn’t done my SAT or anything else to prepare for college. This was finally the year when I started joining clubs and going out and volunteering. Except COVID made it so difficult. There were limited opportunities and the ones that were open would always be filled up. Since everything was also all online I also developed many bad habits. At a point I would consistently go to bed at 4-6 am and then wake up for my 7am class and sleep through it along with some of the other classes. My only saving grace was the fact that my teachers were really helpful and their material was all on google classroom or on video so I could easily catch up. Having poor sleeping, studying, and time management I made this year harder than it had to be. It didn’t help that I was the hardest on myself this year because I finally got my first B in a math class. I think math is my strongest subject so getting a B in pre-calc really stressed me out, but once I finished I learned to just deal with it as not all problems have a happy solution. What I’m trying to say is, although you won’t go through your junior year virtually (hopefully) so our experiences won’t be the exact same, but it’ll certainly be the hardest year as most of your difficult classes are taken this year along with preparations for college like taking the SAT, ACT, and involvement in extracurriculars. The most important thing to remember is to have proper time management or else you’ll be engulfed in work and stress. On a side note it’s also important to take rest days as you might burn out from all the work you’re doing and lose motivation which is the worst thing that can happen to a student. You don’t have to be perfect and something like a letter grade or score don’t define you.
A lot of people say take your senior year easy, you’re done, but I don’t think that’s the best advice. I decided to take challenging classes while also fitting in fun and interesting electives, Newspaper being one of them. I think my experience is the same with some students who took Newspapers as a class we were just randomly thrown into. In all my years at Apex not one of my friends or teachers mentioned Newspaper which is pretty upsetting as the members of the Newspaper staff put so much effort into their articles, and I don’t think they get the credit that it deserves. I was a bit surprised as to how much I really enjoyed my time in Newspaper as well. I can openly say that I hate writing and prefer mathematics over English any day of the week, but I was in for a pleasant surprise as Newspaper was different to what I had imagined. Being able to interact with all the students, teachers, and staff was always a fun process, and seeing people talk about things they’re interested in was always rewarding. Another bonus for the class was that it also acted as a buffer. It was a break from the difficult classes where every moment you felt stressful whereas in Newspaper it was an environment where you could be relaxed and work on something that you actually wanted to do and not something you were forced to participate in. The environment along with the students that made up the class made for an experience that was more than I could’ve asked for and I would highly recommend people to join Newspaper themselves.