Advice From a Graduating Senior
BY ANUSHKA WANI '21
Hey everyone! Greetings from a graduating senior 😎! You’re probably wondering, “Anushka, how the hell did you make it through four years of high school?” To be completely honest, I’m wondering the same thing, but I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way. Read ahead at your own risk—the risk being you absolutely owning these next few years.
1. Work on your confidence.
It’s really easy to become the “uwu shy high schooler with low self-esteem” type of deal, and honestly, it can be a safe way to come across as relatable and get a few “moods” from your peers. However, it’s also really lame and boring—why bother being a run-of-the-mill self-deprecating teenager when you can be a confident, unyielding beast with a heart of gold? Much more anime protagonist-y if you ask me, and therefore much more fun!
How do you achieve this? Easy! Think of every single person who can have an opinion of you: yourself, your friends, your family, and your peers. Now throw away your peers, most of your friends, and even your family members if you don’t like them very much. Voila! The people left have opinions you should pay attention to. Those people want to see you succeed and have your best interests at heart. Once you carefully choose the people you surround yourself with, you won’t even think to care what other people say about you.
2. Branch out!
“Wowzers, high school! Man, I gotta stay in touch with my middle school friends.” WRONG! Broaden your horizons; meet some new peeps (is saying peeps cringe nowadays? I dunno, I don’t care :p)! Technically, the people in your grade in middle school through high school remain the same, but because high school is structured differently, you’ll definitely be interacting with new people in your classes. You’ll probably drift apart from your middle school friends, and that’s ok! Life is a whirlwind, and you’ll meet so many people in your lifetime. So don’t stress over lost friendships; just plow ahead and forge some new ones!
3. Drop that class.
Do it. I dare you. Here’s my general rule about classes at AB and how to go about them. You may feel pressured to take all these high level classes and work yourself to the bone over them, but...Don’t! Do! It! Burnout is super real, and you’ll quickly find yourself drowning under the workload if you can’t handle it. Don’t fall prey to toxic positivity; it’s easy to say, “I can obviously take this super hard class; I just need to work hard,” but it’s difficult to maintain a positive self-image if you’re receiving poor grades and feeling as though your hard work reaps no benefits.
So, if you’re a quarter into a hard class and you’re getting C’s, or just barely making a B-, simply drop the class. Your GPA will thank you, your mental health will thank you, and your senior-year self will thank you. Seriously, all that pressure builds up over the years, so it’s better to relieve yourself of the unnecessary stress now rather than have it slam into you like a truck later on.
4. Take more unconventional classes!
There are tons of fun classes you can take at AB, so definitely scour the Program of Studies for some exciting electives! Anything in the Visual Arts department is a guaranteed fun time, but don’t forget to take classes like Computer Science, Chorus, Band, and others that aren’t strictly part of your core curriculum.
5. Take Summer P.E.
Summer P.E. is a great way to free up some space in your schedule; who doesn’t love an extra free built into their routine?! Beware though, you won’t be able to squeeze in a class during that free block (trust me, I tried), but on the bright side, you get a period specifically dedicated to messing around—I MEAN… doing homework…
6. Use the secret East Wing staircase.
OK, so this staircase goes largely unused, and it’s a great way to move between floors quickly and also to hang out! When you’re in the East Wing walking away from the center of the building (on either floor), keep going until you see the elevators. There should be a door on your right that leads to a nifty staircase, and in between the two floors is a little ledge with a window. You can climb on top of the windowsill and hang out there during a free period!
7. Counseling center to print.
Okay, real talk, the library printers are super slow, and you’ll probably be late to class if you try to use them. Snag a computer at the counseling center during your frees if you need to do work; printing goes way faster there, and you can get to your class pretty quickly using the East Wing staircase (if needed) from there.
8. Try to get out of Freshman Study Hall.
Okay, I don’t know if this is completely legal, but I did it, and I’m graduating, but still take this with a grain of salt. Try to get passes from your teachers to go to the library instead of sitting in study hall. You’ll get access to textbooks if you go to the library for study hall. It’s also a chance for you to hang out with some friends and actually talk to them!
9. Learn to drive.
Get your permit! Driving is super fun and a total rite of passage for juniors. Take Driver’s Ed to get a discount on that insurance, and finish the requirements as quickly as you can! It’ll be so gratifying when you can drive yourself around to your job, school, or to friends’ houses!
10. Have a social life.
Go to concerts; get Starbucks; hang out with friends on the weekends. I didn’t go out as much as I would’ve liked to, and being in a panini (which refers to the pandemic for those of us who are not hip with the memes) for more than a year has been very eye-opening. Make sure to wear masks and practice social distancing if you go outside, but definitely go out with friends when it is safe to do so. This is your chance to have a good time and enjoy being a kiddo!
Well, that’s it from me! These tips are a mix of advice I’ve lived by, advice I learned, and advice I wish I had earlier. Hopefully these points enhance your experience at AB and make these next few years worthwhile :D.