Dear underclassmen, here’s some good advice


Ari Harvey

With their graduation caps nearly in the air, some seniors have some words of wisdom for future Grizzlies.

Some of The Californian seniors have a few insights about their high school experience. Here are their words of wisdom.

I’m going to be honest with you. If I were an underclassmen listening to a senior giving me advice, I’d give them 30 seconds of my attention before drifting away to dream of my next procrastination session. But here’s to hoping that this advice isn’t just a shot in the dark and that it may fall on the ears that need it. 

I don’t claim to be wise. I’m not sure I have much, if anything figured out about my future. I do, however, have one special power: living in the moment. I know, I know, it sounds cliché, but just hear me out. 

So many come into high school thinking these four years are just a transitional phase until they get to start their “real lives”, and too many leave unsatisfied. 

The truth is these four years can have so much in store for you, more than just studying to get into your dream college. Take time to look at the hills from the main building window, go to that school event, bask in the laughter of your friends at lunch. There’s no need to reminisce, the good old days are now.

– Shiphrah Moses

I’m going to use some buzzwords to catch your attention. 

Getting into a top 10 school won’t fix all the problems you create in order to gain that acceptance. High test scores and perfect grades are not absolutes to achieving your goals. Nothing is absolute beyond what has already passed. 

Be productive in high school in a way that matters to you, not in a way that matters to college admissions. “High school” is an arbitrary label placed upon a formative four years of your life, and associating the infinite possibilities of 1,460 days with negative connotations before you even experience them is a recipe for fruitless success. 

Work hard in what you love and stay healthy, and the rest will follow. 

– Carol Chen

In short, high school rocked my world. It can be cruel, but the awesome part of high school is finding a way to live in a world that can be a cruel (I’m not a pessimist, I swear). 

Anyhow, I think everybody feels a bit fragile about who they are. The world’s cruelness can make expressing yourself or trying something new extremely difficult. We don’t want to fail miserably and then feel like we must take shelter under a rock and live there permanently. 

But you see, if we do not try to show and uncover all the parts of ourselves then we would be missing out on the incredible moments that come from being brave – the moments where you rock the world.

Take the small risks as well as big ones as you never know what you will find. Do not ever hold yourself back, I promise, you can do anything you set your mind to. If what you were aiming for doesn’t work out, then you will be OK and if not, then you will also be OK. Spend time finding yourself. It’s scary, but you will make the unforgettable memories along the way.

Please, please, please, I beg of you, know how special you are. You have so much potential. The best part is you are just getting started on embarking on your journey and I guarantee you are going to rock high school and then the world.

 – Sydney Cicchitto

By the time you graduate, nearly a quarter of your life will have been spent in high school. As a freshman or sophomore, middle and maybe even elementary school seem like fresh memories. But looking back as a senior, even eighth grade seems like forever ago. I can almost guarantee that by the time you graduate, you will be a changed person: more mature, thoughtful, responsible, and insightful into your own wants and needs. 

Know your limits academically. There’s no point in loading up on AP and honors classes if it means you won’t have time to make memories. When you graduate high school, you take with you the memories you’ve made, by which you’re going to remember high school for the rest of your life. It’s important to work hard, but high school is not the place to become completely burnt out and lose the joy for the things you love. 

Drop that AP class. Take off a period from school. Be serious about what you want academically but also be serious about what you want socially. Don’t get lost in petty social drama. Find your people. Do that thing you’ve been wanting to do: now’s the best chance you’ll have to do it. 

Listen to yourself, and you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish. I know I am.

– Ari Harvey

Of my favorite moments in high school, being accepted into Stanford probably doesn’t make the top 10. I was ecstatic to get in, but soon after I had to continue studying for semester finals and doing all the daily tasks high school seniors have. I was proud of and grateful for my accomplishment, but all-in-all it didn’t change my life much.

It’s hard to pick a favorite moment from high school, but among the highlights include: sitting in a Denny’s after school events chatting with friends; working for the City of San Ramon through the iQuest class; hanging out with my fellow Scouts at summer camp making tea from fir trees; creating the first ever participatory budgeting program in the Tri-Valley; and the late-night drive with a couple of friends where I finally came out as bi.

What these all have in common is that I either did something that helped my community beyond the grade book, or I spent time with the people around me. You should mold your high school career around these two concepts.

– Nicholas Harvey

From the seniors editors collectively: if you join newspaper, turn in your drafts on time!