The Journey Towards Graduation


Jasmine Brown

Being a senior means a lot of things. With twelfth grade being your last year of high school, there are many “last times” that happen in this part of life. There will be the last time you go out to lunch with friends at school, the last time you dress up and go to take pictures before homecoming, and the last time you will write an essay for that one teacher that you can’t stand. Most importantly, being a senior means celebrating all the final moments spent with your graduating class in the same building before you all continue on in different walks of life. While being a senior closes the door to one part of your life, there are a lot of “firsts” that open the doors to the future. As a senior you will write your first college essay and submit your first college application. It will be your first time buying your cap and gown, your first time receiving college acceptance letters, and your first time preparing for prom. At the end of it all, your name will be called at graduation and it will be your first and last time walking across the stage to receive your diploma.

As the journey towards receiving your diploma comes to an end, you begin to ponder about all the firsts and lasts that have taken place over the course of your high school career. You realize that all the bitter-sweet moments from this chapter of your life are gone and can never happen again. You are hit with the hard realization that the past can never be altered or re-lived. The only way to get a hold of these moments again is through reflection and whether you like it or not those experiences are gone. Many of us have made mistakes in this journey and have regrets or things we wish we would or wouldn’t have done that would have made our lives easier or produced a different outcome. While we can’t change what we ourselves have done in the past, we can help those after us navigate through this tricky and turbulent part of life.  To those of you we leave behind here are some words of wisdom:

Remember the dates

All the dates that seem to be far away arrive sooner than you might think. It is important to figure out key dates your school offers in regards to senior year. Some examples might be FASFA night, senior portraits, when to purchase your cap and gown for a discount, and when senior dues are due. Its important to figure out around what time these things happen even if  there are no exact dates posted yet. That way you are able to save the dates, put money aside, and reduce the stress of being a senior by being well prepared. The earlier you start thinking about these things the better.

Get involved

School is not just about maintaining good grades. While grades are important they are not the only thing that colleges care about. They want you to be a well-rounded individual to show that you have a personality and that you’re involved within your community. With the competitive nature of colleges you have to remember that there are many people just as or even smarter than you so you have to make yourself stand out. The best way to do that is by getting and staying involved. You might fill the pressure to pack your schedule with a load of extracurriculars but that is not necessary. You have four years to join different clubs and activities and to find community service events. With some clubs you are able to kill two birds with one stone because they are comprised of the actual activity itself along community service hours.

Don’t wait until Last Minute

Start thinking about what interests you have so you can figure out what career fields you want to go into. That way you know what you want to study or what field you want to go into when you graduate. Take college tours to figure out where you want to continue your higher education or workforce training and what perquisites you need to get into those places. If you wait too long it might be too late to get your grades and standardized test score up. Start figuring out the types of programs Menchville offers to help you possibly start your career training early, such as the New Horizons program.

Seniors Say

When seniors reach the milestones that take place during their last year they look back at all they have accomplished and can carry what they have learned with them to apply it into the real world. We asked Menchville seniors to share some of their nuggets of wisdom to prevent underclassmen from making the same mistakes they did and  guide them in the right direction as they enter into this new chapter of life.

To start off on the right foot you should be diligent about your work and turning it in on time while your course load is relatively easy. As your classes become more rigorous and demanding you don’t want to have to overwork to make up for slacking off. Natalia Garnes says, “work your hardest freshman and sophomore year so that way if you slip up some junior year it won’t be too bad, plus you’ll be able to relax some senior year.”

There are many opportunities Continue to look for a club or acitivity to meet new people. It can be challenging to find a place to fit in and difficult at times to find a crowd to hang around and consider your own. Deja Demeritt says,  “Loosen up socially, don’t be so scared, and don’t be a social outcast. You have nothing to worry about.” With time and patience eventually, you’ll find a group of friends and people with the same interests as you. Even if you guys eventually go separate ways, the great thing about the new environment is that throughout the time you’ll grow and find new people to consider your own. In order to do that you have to put yourself out there Vontrez Moore encourages underclassmen to ” Say yes more than you say no. ” 

Sometimes we fail to realize how quickly senior year gets here. It seems a long time away and sometimes you make a few mistakes along the way. When things don’t go as planned and cause you to get off track, senior year can be pretty stressful when trying to figure out how you’re going to receive your diploma. Kevin Scott, a senior who’s working hard to recover credits in order to graduate this year said,  ” I regret not doing my work freshman year, If I could give any piece of advice to it would be to stay in school, get good grades, and don’t skip.”