The Oracle

Alumnus’ advice for seniors: slow down, take in the views

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Alumnus’ advice for seniors: slow down, take in the views

Jack Mallery, Alumnus

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You finally made it: the glorified second semester of senior year. You’ll be skipping classes, getting C’s with no repercussions and finally beating Sanchez in a fight. Or at least, that’s what most people think of when they think of being a second-semester senior, or an SSS. It’s true—second-semester senior year is a wonderful time and was my favorite part of going to Gunn. But it will be over before you know it, so take some advice from someone who has al- ready lived it and had a fantastic experience.

Firstly, there is a common misconception that grades suddenly don’t matter. They matter a lot. Drops in grades are inevitable, and most colleges and institutions will understand, but don’t let them dramatically fall. There’s always that one kid who gets their college offer snatched away because they allowed their grades to slide just a bit too far, and suddenly everyone knows about the idiot who let it all slip away. Don’t be that kid. Try to go to class; you’re still learning material that will help you after high school. However, some days those double FlexTime slots will be looking pretty long and incredibly pointless: don’t be scared to slide off of campus for a bit; Travis won’t be able to stop you with his golf cart.

Personally, I had a great time as an SSS. I had fun, sometimes a little too much, and it was a time where everyone in my class felt on top of the world, until college application decisions came rolling around. But, the days flew; I would know: my journalism teacher kept a counter of the days until I graduated on the board, and graduation ticked nearer every second. Every- one always says, “I can’t wait until I graduate,” and everyone will keep saying it until the last day of classes, when they realize all the things they’ll miss about a school that people always complain about. You’ll see your friends after graduation periodically while in college, and you’ll make an effort to see and stay in touch with people that you were close to. But you’ll miss things that you took for granted: that friend you had in a specific class, an amazing teacher you had or the time your partner imitated Mr. Hernandez during an English presentation. As cliche? as it sounds, cherish the moment, because it will be over before you even know it.

The end of high school isn’t the end, but merely a nascent of something more significant. Wherever you end up, be it college or the post- grad life, everything will be different. College thrusts you into a vastly different world than what used to be the norm, where everything is starkly opposite from what it once was and provides an impetus for dramatic character reformation. For me, it was a welcome change, but for other people it can be a difficult one, so appreciate the community Gunn provides while you can. So, if you’re one of the 12 people who actually read The Oracle or you are just some- one who’s astonishingly bored in class right now, I’ll deign to give some advice. Don’t hold back. Talk to everyone and anyone who you want to interact with, join a club that you have never tried (it’s not too late), try a sport for the first time and don’t go to Flextime because it’s pretty useless. Also, take Mr. Hernandez’s English class even though you will end up quoting him to a bunch of naive college students and look like a fool. Second semester varies from person-to-person, but it has the potential to reach the lofty standards that everyone sets for it. So, instead of juuling in the bathrooms as the last part of your high school experience, go look for the pool on top of Spangenberg: it’s a truly sight to behold.

—Mallery is a member of the Class of 2018.

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Alumnus’ advice for seniors: slow down, take in the views