Senior Reflection: What I learned from my experiences


Photo by Helena Hong

Senior Helena Hong will be attending Syracuse University in the fall.

As my last day of high school approaches, I am filled with different emotions. I am excited for my future, nervous to go far from home, sad to leave my friends, family and dog, thrilled for summer and bittersweet for graduation. I feel like every senior has the same things to say about high school: “Join clubs and sports,” “Do well in school and actually try on your AP exams to get college credit,” “Go to all the games,” “Meet more people and form relationships with your teachers,” etc. 

But I want to emphasize, be true to yourself. Especially in freshman year, everyone is meeting new people and finding their new “group.” Don’t change yourself to fit in, whether it be doing things you usually wouldn’t or saying things to seem “cooler.” In the end, you could be unhappy with who you’ve become. I think being yourself and finding other people who accept you for who you are will bring you true happiness throughout high school. It’s important to stand up for yourself and others. If you think someone shouldn’t be doing something because it’s mean or rude, say something. Don’t just watch them do it because you are scared they will get mad at you or you want to please them. Say something.

I also learned to make mistakes and learn from them. In high school, you try so many new things. Some may lead to good experiences and memories, and others bad, but these are the experiences that help you grow as a person. I have made a fair amount of mistakes throughout high school, ones that have left me with guilt, regret and shame. However, the mistakes I have made and the consequences that followed each mistake have shaped me into a more knowledgeable person, changing me from what I was like before. Obviously if I could go back in time and do things differently, I would, but since it’s impossible, what’s most important is what I do after making those mistakes moving forward. Looking back at one of my biggest mistakes, I defended myself with excuses and fully convinced myself that what I was doing was OK because I didn’t want to face the reality that I was hurting not only myself but also my friend. Own up to your mistakes and learn. High school is the time to grow.