As this challenging school year nears its end, seniors are leaving behind their high school lives and are looking forward to what lies ahead in the future. As they are making this integral transition, many seniors have been passing on crucial advice to juniors.
Advice for juniors
Seniors have immense experience with navigating high school, and many express the importance of maintaining a hard work ethic, even though it is the last year of high school.
“Don’t think that senior year is the year to take super easy classes and slack off,” Poorman said. “A lot of colleges ask for your first semester grades so it’s important to stay on top of them.”
However, some seniors decided to take less intense classes due to having a rigorous schedule in past years, so juniors should evaluate the classes they have already taken, and decide the best path based on that.
“I didn’t take as many intense classes as I did any other year,” Ruiz said. “I had plenty of credits so I was able to do this. Try to not overload on intense classes and if you don’t have to take seven classes, don’t.”
Although a strong academic foundation is crucial for future success, seniors stress the need to enjoy the comforts of high school life while it lasts.
“Don’t stress about the future,” Ruiz said. “This is a time to reflect and relax before you head off into the world. It would suck to look back and realize you couldn’t fully enjoy senior year.”
Some juniors will not have the traditional high school experience due to dual enrollment, but are looking forward to the extensive benefits that it offers.
“I will be a full time dual student so I technically won’t be at Naples anymore,” Knight said. “I’m happy that I get the opportunity to do it, but also feel weird about never being on campus. I hope to finish my associates by next summer and also study abroad before I leave for college.”
Many juniors are hopeful about the exciting activities, but feel saddened by the thought of leaving behind close friends.
“I’m super excited for my last year of high school!” junior Tiffany Knight said. “Definitely hoping to have a prom though and looking forward to graduation. I’m sad to leave my friends but it’s always possible to hang out even after we graduate.”
Seniors looking back on high school years
While juniors are preparing for their last year at NHS, seniors have begun reflecting on their years at Naples High.
“Most of my memorable moments included catching up with friends and just spending time with them,” senior Adalis Ruiz said. “I think those moments will make a bigger impact than any party or dance.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely changed the course of the school year, severely altering the classic high school experience. Many popular events were also cancelled and postponed, causing a blurred year for many.
“Senior year was a rollercoaster,” Ruiz said. “There was a lot of uncertainty and confusion.”
In times of uncertainty, seniors express the importance of living in the present and appreciating the things they have.
“I wish I would have realized how fun junior year was at the time it got cut short,” senior Lily Poorman said.
Virtual seniors also feel like the online learning model disrupted the usual dynamics of their year.
“Being online at the beginning of the year was a challenge this year,” Poorman said.
Many students would agree that the pandemic has changed the education system dramatically, which will serve as a large part of their high school memories.
“This is a unique year and as a virtual student there wasn’t much that I did,” Ruiz said.
Despite the inevitable changes that were made, some notable senior experiences maintained relatively stable. Getting accepted to college definitely acted as the high point of senior year for many. Transitioning to college is a dream that young people have throughout their lives, so it is an emotionally intense event once the day finally arrives.
Even though seniors will no longer be attending high school, they will forever be our fellow Golden Eagles who carry fond memories of Naples High.