Senior Column: Photojournalist gives advice, reflects on past 4 years

As+they+avoid+looking+into+the+sun%2C+seniors+Michael+Ramirez%2C+Andrea+Melendrez%2C+Molly+Petroskey%2C+Jacob+Christy%2C+Katie+Barrett%2C+Nicholas+Delfino+and+Niah+Jaraczewski+group+together+during+a+first-semester+senior+lunch.+They+have+been+friends+since+freshman+year.+Some+friends+argue%2C+while+some+friends+may+never+make+up%2C+Ramirez+said.+I+was+able+to+keep+these+amazing+people.

Photo Courtesy of Michael Ramirez

As they avoid looking into the sun, seniors Michael Ramirez, Andrea Melendrez, Molly Petroskey, Jacob Christy, Katie Barrett, Nicholas Delfino and Niah Jaraczewski group together during a first-semester senior lunch. They have been friends since freshman year. “Some friends argue, while some friends may never make up,” Ramirez said. “I was able to keep these amazing people.”

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I have been in Prosper since I was in eighth grade. During this time, I have learned from family, friends, teachers and my fellow students. While there is a lot I will take away, here is some knowledge – and some advice I’d like to leave.

Advice for Each Grade

For the freshmen, I would tell you that high school is what you make of it, and life is full of choices. You can choose to be active in the school, or you can choose to just be a student and only a student. I can tell you from personal experience that being just a student is very boring, and you end up feeling left out if you only come to school to learn. Prosper High School is a school with so many opportunities.  Take advantage of them. Those opportunities help with resumes and college applications, as well. In this school, grades are expected to be high,   but what really sets students apart from others is what kind of organizations and extracurriculars they are part of in and out of school.

The last piece of advice I have for freshman is that high school is hard. People can be rude and critical of each other. However, just be yourself – or at least start the journey to get to know yourself better – because everyone always says “never change for anyone.” I have always felt this is super basic. Also, never be afraid to try new things. Everything will be scary at first, and you have to learn to take risks. Don’t be reckless, but it’s okay to get outside of your personal comfort zone. Then, you will not regret anything looking back on life.

To the sophomores, congratulations, you are not a freshman. Enjoy this year because life gets real quickly once you become a junior. Have fun, go out with friends, and make memories in your classes. Learn how to talk to and how get to know your teachers. Oftentimes you will go to them for help, but remember that your teachers are human, too.

Juniors, your year will be tough. Everyone knows that this year will be a lot on your plate. You have a lot of responsibilities and a new wave of deadlines and events being thrown at you. This year is really college year for high school students, and this is the year that you should write your college essay, be thinking about what college you want to go to, what you want to study in college – and really getting ready to be an adult.

Each year of high school will have its up and downs. Yet it is your responsibility to make each year of your high school career a great year – with a minimum amount of regrets.

Friends

We all have friends, or at least people we talk to during our class days. My only advice would be that friends come and go. Sometimes, you form friendships that can last forever – and some will last a lifetime. Though you may lose friends due to jealousy or because of a fight, sometimes you are able to have a conversation and keep a friend. I have always considered my friends close to my heart, and while I am leaving high school with only a handful, my friends are people I am proud to be associated with. I can’t wait to see the adventures we go on. Don’t be afraid to make new friends. Because, if you lose a friend, it won’t be the end of the world, I promise.

Yourself

In my opinion, high school is about figuring out who you are as a person. Personally, my freshman self would find my senior self unrecognizable, and I’m proud of the fact that I am different.

I encourage you to try new things, talk to new people and make memories that will carry on past high school. This is the time to find yourself, so use it – because, in college, you may lose the carefree nature high school students have. Be confident and be true to yourself because no one else will be you for you.

“There is something in even the darkest situations that we can make a positive in our lives” – Deborah Norville

– Love, Michael