My final pieces of advice as a senior

Thirteen years later, this is the end. As an Alpha Omega, almost 72 percent of my life has been spent walking through the halls of Westminster, admiring the maturity of the upperclassmen every year as I inched closer to their age. But now that’s me. I’m the senior that’s supposed to be intimidating to the underclassmen (which, according to the freshman, I am not). I’ve been here the longest, I’ve accumulated tons of knowledge, and I have so much advice to share. Underclassmen: take notes. These are the 13 rules that I live by, one for every year I’ve been at Westminster.

  1. Set goals and be confident in yourself and your abilities. If you believe in yourself, that’s all that matters. When I was a freshman, I set a goal: letter in cross country at least once. I kept running every year because I knew what I was capable of, and my times consistently got better. By the third meet of my senior year, I had made the time and earned a letter. Stay true to your goals, and don’t listen to anyone who says that you can’t do it.
  2. Find your “happy place.” This can be a park by your house, perhaps it’s your local Crumbl, but it’s always been concerts for me. Unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced, whether it’s a crowd of 500 people or 50,000, regardless of your backgrounds, you’re all still there for the same reason: you love music. Seventy-six concerts later, they still bring a smile to my face every time.
  3. Don’t worry about every grade you get! Celebrate the good ones, but don’t worry too much about those that don’t go as you had previously hoped. By the end of your senior year, you’ll have forgotten about that bad test or choppy paper. It may seem like a big deal at the moment, but it’s really not.
  4. It’s never too late to try something new. Some of my favorite activities are things that I joined later in my high school career. I joined the Bi-Line, for example, in my junior year to improve my writing skills, and 12 stories later, I can safely say that I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I also just started SoulCycle, and it’s easily become my favorite part of the day! Getting to bike to the music I love in a room with flashing lights and words of encouragement truly brightens my day, and I just found out about it!
  5. Pay attention to what classes you enjoy and take more of those! When you get to your senior year, you have space for up to three electives. Perhaps you love science; then you can take anatomy and neuroscience! If you love English, there are creative writing classes! If math is your thing, take calculus and statistics! Whatever it is that interests you is what you’ll be best at. These special classes can also help you decide what you want to major in as you head to college!
  6. Do not procrastinate. I know it may sound difficult, but I’ve learned how to stay on top of my work over the years. My trick is that if I’m feeling really productive, then I will get as much work done as possible. Perhaps it’s Sunday, and I have three assignments on Schoology that are due throughout the week. Get all done in one day, not the day before it’s due. You’ll feel so much more relaxed during the week itself. 
  7. Pick up a hobby or a few! During virtual school, I began painting for fun, and I continue it to this day. It’s nice to unwind with some time dedicated to your hobby every once in a while!
  8. Find music that you love! I’ve met some people who tell me, “Oh, I don’t really listen to music because there’s nothing out there that I really like.” There’s always a genre for you, so spend some time deep-diving into Spotify and finding what you like! I promise there is something out there for you!
  9. Meet new people! In my junior year, I began talking to underclassmen a lot more and enjoyed hearing what was going on in their lives. If they were going through a challenging class, I had stories of when I did. If they were having problems with something, I could offer advice, and they could do the same. You’ll quickly realize that they’re not as annoying as some may say they are.
  10. Dress up for theme weeks and football games! Homecoming week is so much more fun when you actually wear pajamas or an outfit from the ’70s, and there is nothing like cleaning up loads of paint and glitter from your bathroom counter the morning after a game.
  11. For the juniors: Start your college applications in the summer! This one is crucial!! I did this, and I’m forever grateful that I was told to. Once school starts up in the fall, you won’t have time, or you’ll procrastinate. 
  12. Treat people with kindness! Harry Styles made this his slogan for a reason!! Everything is so much more fun when you’re being kind!
  13. Lastly, as this is my last article for the Bi-Line, consider these my parting words. Perhaps my pieces inspired an underclassman to become a columnist, much like William Buhay did for me during my sophomore year. Regardless of my impact on those younger grades to come, always remember the wise words of my idol, Hannah Montana: “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.”