By Sheralynn Magallanes
I remember being a freshman and looking up at the seniors. They made everything seem easy and fun; and it is, when you’re a freshman. It is when you’re a senior, too, but on a different level: you know the system, you’re more mature and independent and you know what you have to do and what you have time to do. The two years in between freshman and senior year can be good or bad, and it’s entirely up to you.
Sophomore year was a questionable one for the class of 2011. It was our first year of advanced placement classes, and we tried together and failed together. Natalie Wojinski, Hercules High School AP world history teacher, was incessantly baffled at our low test scores and grades. Ask almost any senior about their sophomore year, and most will respond with, “It was my worst year.” A mass-acceptance of failure had us united with one mentality: if you fail, and I fail, and we all fail together, then it’s okay.
Junior year, we all stepped up and fought a little for ourselves. It was a tough year, as I had expected it to be. Most people were taking a full schedule of whatever the next level of every core subject was, plus as many electives and AP classes as they could, in addition to sports and clubs.
Now it’s senior year and whenever I mention college applications I receive a groan and a “don’t remind me.”
When you’re younger, adults ask you what you want to be when you grow up and what you plan on doing. You say, “I don’t know” and they reassure you with, “Don’t worry, you have plenty of time.” Well it’s almost November of senior year, college apps are due at the end of the month, 2010 is almost coming to an end and I don’t feel “grown up” at all, and it’s already time to decide and, even more crucial, take action on what I want to do with my life.
What do I want to do with my life? I have a vague idea that is subject to change at any moment and thinly supported by anything besides ideas and things I’ve learned word-of-mouth; but I have to keep moving forward, keep working hard in school, keep applying to colleges, keep looking for scholarships, keep jumping at any opportunity that seems beneficial for my future, whatever “my future” entails. I have to just do it; we all do. I thought by this time I’d have it figured out. I am above being a freshman, a sophomore and a junior, but I don’t feel like I am a senior, and I’m not alone on that. My question is, did anybody? I’m guessing the majority did not, but they still moved forward and did what they had to do, because sometimes that’s all you can do. Regardless of whether you have your whole life planned out or you just started researching colleges, majors and careers, make a plan and do it. It will change, it will be bombarded by obstacles that force you to alter your course, but whatever you do, don’t stop. (background music: “…believin’.”)