Good-bye high school, hello college

Graduation season is approaching anew. It’s an emotional time for many seniors, as they reminisce about their four years of stress, joy, obstacles, times of failure, moments of success, and much more. With all this in mind, the Stinger asked some of Cam High’s seniors to reflect on their time at this campus.

Senior Joanne Kim, will attend Cal State Long Beach
Senior Joanne Kim, will attend Cal State Long Beach

Attending Cam high for four consecutive years has allowed senior Joanne Kim to learn many life lessons, and not necessarily easy ones. “I learned that people change,” she said. “I’m not the same person that I was in middle school, and I’m definitely not going to be the same person ten years from now.”

Some of the seniors, with a feeling of poignancy, say they regret many things that they did in high school. “I wish I would have been more confident in certain situations,” said TJ Jose, senior. “I was still trying to

TJ Jose, senior, attending UC Santa Barbara this fall
TJ Jose, senior, attending UC Santa Barbara this fall

find myself so I wasn’t sure who I was. There were definitely some classes where I could have earned a better grade but didn’t because I was too lazy.”

Kim agrees. “Sometimes I regret not putting myself out there,” she said. “I would’ve liked high school a lot more if I had made more of an effort to get out of my comfort zone.”

Unlike others, Jaidyn Phillips, senior, views graduation season with only positivity. “I think of this stage as a partial reset button. Not everyone takes advantage of the opportunity, but I definitely will,” said Phillips.

David Gatchel, senior, plans to attend the University of Southern California
David Gatchel, senior, plans to attend the University of Southern California

Still, there are things that some of the seniors would want to change if they could go back in time. “Sometimes I wish I could breathe for a moment to enjoy a unique time in life,” said David Gatchel, senior.

Despite some remorse, however, most seniors also feel very confident and optimistic about the future and attending college.

Phillips is especially determined to change herself for the better. “Moving [to] college will give me a chance to reinvent myself,” she said. “I mean, I’m moving to a place where I haven’t met anyone and no one has met me. This point in my life is perfect for making larger changes because I can make all these changes in one fell swoop.”

College, in Jose’s opinion, means moving onto the next step in his life journey. “I’m excited to live away from home because I will be able to control my time and how I choose to spend it,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be independent and do my own thing, and college gives me the opportunity to do that while pursuing an education in what I want to do.”

Some of these seniors have already decided on what they wish to accomplish in life. Kim’s goal, for example, is “to be successful and live a fulfilling life.”

Gatchel, on the other hand, has specific pursuits and plans for university. “In college, I am definitely looking forward to some freedom and independence, as well as time to pursue what I love, which is music.”

Through their own experience of trials, hardships, and dissatisfaction, many of the seniors had advice they wanted to share with the underclassmen and juniors they are leaving behind. “Everyone should definitely try new things, challenge yourself, and try not to procrastinate,” said Kim.

Gatchel emphasized the significance of being a well-rounded individual. “It’s important to find a passion and pursue it, but also maintain balance in life by not limiting yourself,” he said. “If you play a sport really well, make sure you have strong grades, as well as service.”

Phillips urged high school students to look at things optimistically and in terms of the big picture. “I’ve learned that no matter what you do, everything usually turns out okay,” said Phillips. “A bad test grade or a missing homework assignment doesn’t dictate who you are as a whole.”