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A Letter to Future Seniors, From Current Seniors

Illustration by Lainey Holland via On The Record Magazine

Dear Future Seniors, 

We still remember the first day of freshman year. Nervous, excited, confused, and lost, we all tried to navigate through open opportunities and academic pathways with the rather heavy title of high school on our shoulders. The process was not always easy, but each of us has learned something new along the way. Time really does fly fast, we are graduating in just a few months! Looking back, that time was special for each of us, in our own ways. We would like to share some of our experiences to help you struggle less and thrive all the way to senior year. Good luck!

“I wish that I could have explored my interests and gotten outside of my comfort zone a bit more throughout high school. There were so many opportunities to try new things, but I didn’t want to do anything that I wasn’t automatically good at. I may have grown a lot more if I’d pushed myself to try to get better rather than immediately accepting failure.

One of the most important things I’ve learned in the past four years is the ability to understand myself. Entering high school, it seems like the main priority (after academics, of course) should be making friends or fitting into a social group. I ended up trying to change myself a lot as a result of that being my focus. I’ve found that if you learn to be yourself if you understand your values, your likes, and dislikes, the right people will naturally gravitate to you. And overall, high school is a lot more fun when you’re able to form genuine relationships!” –Alexis Wright

“In your senior year, you should make sure you’re on top of your priorities. You shouldn’t procrastinate on college apps because if you do, the quality will go down. Even after submitting your apps, you should still focus on maintaining your grades that way your odds of getting into your dream school will be higher. I wish I could’ve done my college apps earlier, that way I have more time to check it over before I submit it.” –Kevin Man

“My advice to future seniors is to really start on your college search as early as possible (if you plan on going to college). Just really start contemplating your future. It can be really overwhelming at first, but picking away at it slowly will help you a lot. Be as organized as possible – I recommend making a Google Spreadsheet of all the pros and cons of each college you want to go to. Plus, when senioritis kicks in and you start slacking it won’t feel so bad. Also when senioritis does kick in (which it does to most of us) don’t beat yourself up too hard. Just try to remember that you’re almost done with high school, so keep trying.

It’s also okay to not know what you want to do for the rest of your life. You have your whole life to do whatever you want. Take your time and most of all, take care of yourself. Your health matters. You are always good enough.” –Nhi Huynh

“One advice I have for future seniors is to live your life in the present. Senior year is meant to be the remainder of high school to enjoy the time you have with friends, and despite all the promises to keep in touch, there will inevitably be people who will eventually drift from you, so make use of the time you have left!” –TK Dang 

“Start as early as possible on college apps. Senior year is your final year. The last you can spend with your friends and teachers. Don’t overwhelm yourself at the last moment and be left with no time to relish the time you have left.” –Benny Le 

“Explore and have fun with all the options high school offers. From clubs to activities, if anything sparks your interest, just join! I hesitated to join many of the clubs at our school during my freshman year since I was anxious around new people but I only regret not joining sooner. I truly can’t forget so many fun activities and club bonding moments that I was able to actually connect with my community at school and make new friends in Key Club and K-Pop to name a few. 

Academically, I think many seniors often make a mistake taking too many AP classes – whether a friend is doing it or simply you want to impress colleges- but what I could tell you that engorging an AP course after another is not that fun. I’ve seen one of my friends follow “mob mentality” and in the end, was not satisfied with the course! Although I have to admit, I like to challenge myself in AP classes and have learned a lot from my teacher, I overestimate my ability to handle the workloads and as a result, suffered from many sleepless nights (you might say you worked well at night, the next day you will wake up all groggy…). Is it worth all this stress? No, if I would redo my high school experience, I would wisely plan out my academic path carefully by assessing upperclassmen’s experiences of that class, and the time I’m willing to spend on the class homework. 

Even though it is very tempting to join every club and AP classes, make sure to also spend some time for yourself at the end of the day as well. Use your time wisely to balance between school life and what you want to invest in (could be a hobby or talent you have).” –Khang Tran

“Don’t worry too much about other people. Always comparing yourself to others’ test scores or extracurricular or accomplishments makes it difficult to work on your own things. Do things that you can be proud of and that you are genuinely passionate about, and then it will be easier to believe in yourself. While there’s nothing wrong with respecting your peers’ accomplishments, theirs will never be yours. I have many extremely talented friends, but I don’t let that bother me. I’m proud of what I’ve done, and excited to do more. Make your life about you first.” -Rutvik Gandhasri

Sincerely, 

Current Seniors

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