Building a Better Community from the Bottom Up

Emily Renteria, Editor in Chief

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Summer was great, wasn’t it? For most, summer gives people a chance to take a break from the chaos of life and give in to some much needed pampering and relaxation; but that is not the case for many high school seniors. Before the school year even started, soon-to-be graduates began tossing and turning at night over college applications.

(Note:  Whether it has hit you or not, the time has come for some self-reflection)

Many students find themselves saying, “I should’ve done this,” or, more importantly, “I shouldn’t have done that.” One student, for example, regrets taking only the minimum amount of classes required to apply for Cal State universities. He says, “I just wanted to be done with school, but after my junior year, I realized how important education is for my future. I do qualify for Cal States, and I’m grateful to have achieved that, but it would’ve been nice to have had the chance to even apply to a UC.” Another high school senior confessed that she hadn’t taken school seriously, because “[she was] going to be a model, so [she didn’t] need to worry about college… That was before [she] discovered [her] passion for helping animals.” (Now, due to her effort and hard work in her junior year, she is eligible to apply to a four-year college this fall and will pursue a career as a veterinarian). But why are there students having this epiphany so late in the game?

Upon talking with other students, most acknowledge that they did not properly inform themselves; yes, they knew the basics– A-G courses, SATs, ACTs, Personal Statements (now Personal Insight Questions), etc–but they were not determined to excel in those areas. Why? Well, they looked up to juniors and seniors and what were they doing–living life without worries!

Upperclassmen are so rad–they go to parties, concerts, and explore the world around them. Yet, the emphasis on academics and planning for the future is often overlooked (by both upperclassmen and underclassmen). Just like the two students mentioned, there are countless others coming to realize the necessity for education; some still have not come to that conclusion. Will it be too late? Is it already too late? For current seniors, it most likely is. Just because we have faltered, does not mean that those that follow in our footsteps should have to encounter the same fate.

I propose a challenge to high school seniors and juniors: I want each and everyone of you to look out for each other and care for each other. I want each and everyone of you to inspire your classmates, especially freshman and sophomores, to take pride in their school work and their person. I want each and every one of  you to guide your classmates–as if they were your own blood–and guide them to success.

Do not wait for a teacher to motivate those around you– you be the mentor, the inspiration, you would have wanted when you started high school. Prepare (with) your peers for the future we will all have to face.

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