Don’t make the same mistakes!


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Cecilia Rao, Editor

Wishing to go back in time is a feeling that we all know too well. Whether it’s because we want to re-live a great day or undo an embarrassing mistake, it’s familiar to feel like you want to hop into a time machine and turn back time.

Sometimes, we want to go back not because of a small mistake or a happy memory, but because we wish that we would have lived a huge part of our lives very differently. Sadly, time machines don’t exist yet, but luckily, there are people who have learned from their mistakes and are able to offer us some guidance to make sure that we don’t follow in their footsteps.

Take high school, for example. The last four years here at SJS are definitely the most important. Everyone wants to have a memorable high school experience, but nobody wants it to be memorable because of how horrible it was. To the Freshmen’s advantage, they are the babies in high school, which means they have three classes ahead of them full of students who can give them pointers and tips as to how they can make their high school experience unforgettable, while keeping it professional.

Arguably, the best people to give these 9th graders advice would be Seniors. Since it is their last year of high school, they’ve lived through everything we are living through now. Any silly question the Freshmen think they might have, the Seniors know exactly how to answer.

And because it is crucial to start the four most important years of our school career on the right foot, here are some questions the Freshmen might have answered by our very own SJS Seniors:

Cecilia Rao
                            Isabella Katz (left), Ramiro García (right)

Ramiro García (12th) and Isabella Katz (12th) get real about their struggles and their good times as Freshmen, Sophomores, and even Juniors.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Ramiro: “Don’t spend time or effort on things that don’t actually matter. Focus on stuff that you’ll remember for life and will determine your future.”

Bella: “I’ve realized that putting myself first and then others actually makes me happy because you can’t be making someone else happy until you make yourself happy and accept yourself. Make sure you’re happy before you make others happy and it will come naturally.”

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your high school experience?

Ramiro: “Time management. Don’t sweat the little stuff. Make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to do and not what your friends want you to do.”

Bella: “The most important lesson I’ve learned has never been through a book or a test, its been through the experiences of not getting the grade that I want and realizing that at the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. It’s the process, not the end result. It’s about the memories you make.”

If  you could go back and do something different, what would you do?

Ramiro: “I would focus more on school and less on partying and my social life. I would definitely study hard and focus more on school activities.”

Bella: “To be honest, I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that everything I’ve done has made me who I am today. Something very simple is that when I was younger, I wouldn’t appreciate nap time, and now that’s all I’m asking for, so that’s something to keep in mind.”

Favorite year in high school?

Ramiro: “Junior year because I experienced all the different stages that someone goes through in high school. I went from studying hard and having no friends to being able to accomplish your goals and manage your time.”

Bella: “Every year in high school is one to take advantage and make the best out of because each year you’re closer to moving away from this.”

Every year in high school is one to take advantage and make the best out of because each year you’re closer to moving away from this.”

— Isabella Katz

How have you changed since 9th grade?

Ramiro: “I learned how to manage my time, I learned how to say no, how to focus on important things in life, and I definitely matured.”

Bella: “Since 9th grade I can definitely say I’ve moved around friend groups, met different people, but I’ve changed in the sense that I don’t live by the standards that society has given me; I live for what I believe that I should be associated with and that I’m happy with. I’ve also learned to stand up for what I believe. Even if someone doesn’t agree with me I’m not afraid of speaking my mind and letting that person know (with all respect) that I have another opinion and I don’t agree with them.”

Do you miss middle school?

Ramiro: “I do miss middle school because you could do anything and it wouldn’t matter. You didn’t have to stress about grades or classes you’re taking (although I did), it’s just having fun and preparing yourself for high school.”

Bella: “It was great at a point not needing to worry about AP courses and not needing to think about the extra work and meetings I had, but I don’t miss it because I realized that they are honestly years where everyone is immature, not understanding, and it’s an awkward phase.”

What have you realized now about being a Senior that you wish someone would have told you?

Ramiro: “I wish someone had told me that it’s not as easy as you think and depending on your classes the workload is a lot more. For me it’s been more challenging than Junior year. It’s the year that you’re gonna be the most nostalgic and it’s a weird feeling.”

Bella: “I’ve heard it all; I’ve heard ‘enjoy every moment,’ ‘it goes by fast’, ‘best (or worst) year of your life’, and I can tell you that I realized everything is true. It’s what you make of it. It’s stressful, friendships get tense, but you need to make sure that you’re supporting one another because everyone is in the same boat. That’s what I wish someone would have told me.”

Whether it’s grades, friendships, parties, or video games, we all have similar high school experiences. Being there for each other is extremely important during these last 4 years, and everyone should remember that.