Beginning of the End

Lesly Hernandez, Co-Editor-in-Chief

You walk through the hallways and see students opening their new lockers. Try to take it all in and calm down your nerves. Breathe in, breathe out. Yes, it’s our last year in high school.

It’s crazy to think that we already went through three years, going through the pandemic, transitioning to online classes, and coming back to a whole different school environment.

“I feel very bittersweet about it because I think it’s exciting that I’m going to be able to start a new chapter in my life, but I also think that it’s sad that I’m closing this chapter,” Senior Malina Martinez said. “And I think I’m gonna miss a lot of things about it, but I’m excited to grow from it.”

Senior year is an important year for us not only because is it our last year but this is the year we start applying for colleges, we tend to either get more or less work in our classes and we get to spend time with the Gunderson community one last time.

Because of COVID-19, our freshman year ended short around March and then we spent our sophomore year entirely online. We came back our junior year but it was obviously very different. This journey has thrown many obstacles and challenges our way.

“So far, it’s not that bad,” Senior Heidi Lozano said. “I mean, I don’t have that many classes and there’s not a lot of work yet [but] I also feel like I haven’t processed that I’m a senior. I feel like I’m still a junior.”

Spending a year online almost made it feel like it wasn’t real. Classes weren’t the usual anymore.

Instead of sitting at desks positioned a certain way, copying down notes from the board and once in a while whispering to your friend sitting beside you, it was just you sitting in your room staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day.

Lozano and Martinez share how their friends helped them get through the past years because having a good support system really helps, especially when you have a hard class.

Although our high school experience hasn’t been the best of the best, we still have time to make it better.

Martinez says she’s excited about “all the senior events like how we had the senior sunrise the other day” because we get to “do things all together one last time and celebrate.”

The school events feel more special and fun when it’s the senior year because you know that it won’t be long when we find ourselves saying goodbye and going to college.

“I would like to go to college [but] I don’t know exactly where yet,” Martinez said. “I have a few ideas but I have not gotten too far with that yet. But I do know that I would like to go and major in business and minor in fashion hoping to one day have my own business.”

Sometimes we don’t have the exact idea of what we want to do after high school and that’s absolutely okay. Some of us have a career choice in mind and others have a dream they want to accomplish. As long as we set our heart and mind to it, we can accomplish anything.

“I really want to finish the year feeling accomplished and knowing I did everything I could,” Senior Ariana Rodriguez said. “I also want to make memories with my friends and leave anything bad in the past.”

There were moments when high school probably wasn’t the best experience but not everything is perfect. There will always be ups and downs, even after graduating high school.

One thing we can do as seniors are try to help and give advice to underclassmen with things we probably struggled with.

“Make sure to do your research on the classes you’re choosing like ask other upperclassmen how the class is because that definitely helps,” Lozano said. “[Also] find a good support system like have really good friends because I feel like they can either make or break your high school experience. Surround yourself with people that truly care about you.”

We all know that there are times when everything feels like it’s too much and you can start to give up. But we have to stay positive and keep going.

It can start feeling like “why am I doing this” but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Martinez tells underclassmen to always do their homework because it’s useful and will eventually help them in the classroom. “Definitely study and if you don’t know how to study just ask because I didn’t know how to study for a while but there are different techniques for everybody.”

As seniors, we have to keep in mind our end goal: graduation. All the hardships we went through will eventually feel worth it once we put on our cap and gown and receive our diplomas.

Both seniors and underclassmen should always remember to “just stay driven as long as you can [and] don’t let anyone get in the way of your goals or your passion,” Martinez says. “Just be stern in what you want.”