Throughout my years at CVHS, I had never expected to be provided with so many opportunities to learn and experience new things. I began my freshman year with an open mind, joined clubs that I took interest in, and got involved as much as I could. Each opportunity gave me a chance to grow and see what it was like to plan and participate in impactful events which truly fueled my passion for helping others. If it weren’t for these moments, I wouldn’t have been able to grasp what I now value so greatly in life, doing good for our communities.
That’s why I encourage you to take advantage of the chances to become an active volunteer, run for an officer position in a club you are most passionate about, or get yourself involved in any other extracurricular activities you desire. Simply just go for it!
Katelyn Wong, University of California, Davis
” Take more classes you are passionate about”
Given the chance to redo high school, I think I would definitely change some of the choices I made: confronting toxic people, not letting others’ opinions affect me, stanning BTS earlier, etc. But the main change would have been to take more classes that simply interested me, even if they weren’t related to what I wanted to do in the future. Coming into high school, I already knew what I wanted to study in college so I had planned all of my classes around architecture. Even in my senior year, I filled up all the possible slots for classes. The thing is, even if you take a class in high school, whether it be a regular course or AP, you’ll probably have to take a similar class in college especially if it is a big component of your major. Take advantage of your public education and resources to take whatever you want and hopefully you’ll learn more about yourself in the process.
Mara Moysen, University of Oregon
“Cherish the Little Things”
I live my life in a free-spirited way. Although I bring myself to do things I don’t want to do, like attempting to study and doing homework, I still live to find my happiness. Finding what makes me happy has continued to be effective in pulling me through all of the ruts I’ve gone through. Everyone has their own little things that can make them happy and it’s important to know what these are. For me, it is the little things in life like small threads that hang off my sleeve, sweet fruits my mom cuts for me, tiny puddles after the rain, smiles from friends, fun little conversations with the people around me, sparkles on the floor, and other little things that can be overlooked in the tangled mess that we high schoolers deal with and write off as life. In life, it’s ok to take time to slow down and appreciate the little things that could have been overlooked.
Audrey Manzano, Cal State East Bay
“Balance is key”
It may just be because I’m a Libra, but balance is something I really cherish and value in my life. Achieving a balance between academics, social life, and physical/mental health is more challenging than it sounds, but it’s definitely essential. High school has such great potential to be a central hub for social interactions, with over 60 clubs, 3000 plus students, and opportunities to create meaningful memories. I’m not saying academics aren’t important, but you need to have fun in your life. Some students schedule every available minute for studying, and end up in a harmful spiral of diminishing return, working longer hours while getting less done, and getting more stressed as a result. In addition, you are neglecting your friends if your head is in the books all day, every day. You’re going to your connections to others, lose friends that will be there for you when you’re stressed and upset if they feel that they aren’t prioritized over your homework. Do you really want your fondest memory of high school to be getting all 5s on your AP tests? Take challenging courses that you can handle, get involved with sports and clubs, but also leave time to have fun and take care of health!
Jenny Pham, Johns Hopkins University
“Don’t be afraid to take chances”
I think my biggest regret during high school was not taking more chances. I can honestly say my freshman year was a waste and things only really started picking up after when I actually started getting involved. I applied for an internship in the summer of my sophomore year. While there was no guarantee that I would be accepted, I still took the opportunity and went for it and I lucked out.
Go out of your way to do things that even give you the tiniest inkling that it would be fun or interesting. Join clubs, meet new people and have fun, high school goes by quick and the worst thing you could feel at the end of it all is regret.
Andrew Watanabe, University of California, Davis
“Trust yourself to succeed”
A good work ethic is the key to success in high school and everything you do beyond the school setting. Challenges, to me, were defined as taking as many AP classes and exams as possible while safely balancing the number of extracurriculars I participated in. I am glad I decided to challenge myself with so many AP’s on top of sports, music, and internships because it taught me how to manage my time exceedingly well, which will be an asset to me in college.
The point of high school in my eyes was to prepare me for college, but you have to take it onto yourself to make this experience one worth working through. Find something that challenges you to be a better student and a better person. I believe that it is up to every individual to break past their own boundaries, be it with more AP’s, extracurriculars, or internships, to become the best versions of themselves that they can be while still sheltered in a high school community.
Emma Yin, University of California, Berkeley
“Live in the present”
“Time” consists of the past, present, and future. In order to survive, I believe we are in a perpetual cycle of being in the present, but thinking about the future and considering what happened in the past. So our body is present yet our mind is far beyond the clock that is currently ticking. Sometimes we get too caught up in the future when there are due dates we have to fulfill, such as “study for my math exam, do the laundry I didn’t do yesterday, turn in my college essays in two weeks… ”
My advice to you is to remember how you were back in elementary school when you cared less about the future, frolicked on the playgrounds, and devoured half of your brain cells to memorize the multiplication. It’s good to consider the future but it’s more important to do whatever you can right now and let tomorrow naturally come. If there’s an event that will benefit you, don’t wait until next year. Do it now!
Hayate Moro, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
“Explore all your opportunities”
Your GPA and SAT scores won’t make or break you. There are lots of other opportunities for you after high school, a lot of which are better for some students. Community college is a great way to explore your interests without having to declare a major and pay 40,000+ dollars a year. There are a lot of paths for different students to take, so don’t stress too much about being the perfect student in high school to get into the best colleges.
Thomas Vergara. Berkeley City College.
“There is no right choice”
Whether or not you have lots of great choices for which school to go to, it doesn’t matter. Just choose what feels right for you, where you can see yourself having the best time. Not which school has a higher ranking or more prestige. It really won’t matter down the line. Plus, there’s a good chance we’re all going to die from global warming anyways.
Rachel Stein, University of British Columbia