Many of last year’s senior graduates have moved across the country and set out on their own new college experiences. These college freshmen, despite being only a year older than a high school senior, have accumulated wisdom in their year away and found plenty of advice to hand down to this year’s graduating class.
Illinois State University freshman Sara Walis is a biochemistry major. In her first year at Illinois State, she has become involved in research and found new passions. She said that her best advice for high school seniors was to keep going all the way until graduation.
“My best advice for high school seniors is to not give up and finish strong,” she said. “Senior year should be a time of having fun, enjoying your last year at high school, and making memories, but academics should not be forgotten. Your senior year classes still matter and you should try your best in all of your classes no matter how much you want to give up.”
Israar Ahmed is another AT graduate who is now a freshman in college. Ahmed, who now attends Yale, has been using the opportunities from his college experience to meet various politicians and grow his budding career as an economist and politician.
Ahmed said that what makes college different from high school for him is the looser structure it provides.
“In college, I can say that everything is much more laid back and with an entirely different schedule that only has four or five classes but enough work to keep me up 7 days a week,” he said.
Walis agreed about the more laid back nature of college.
“Something that is different about college is the amount of free time that I have compared to high school. High school was more structured with eight periods to a day and being controlled by a bell,” she said. “College is the complete opposite with only having a couple classes per day which allows for more free time to join clubs, hang out with friends, and do homework.”
Despite the numerous benefits of the collegiate life, the rgaduates all reported missing a few things. All of them mentioned the connections that they formed with their high school teachers and the way teachers cared for their students in the high school setting.
“What i miss most about high school is definitely some teachers that had a big impact on me,” said Petya Harlanova, who is a freshman at Drake University studying music. “They know who they are.”
Ahmed also said he missed being able to not take things so seriously.
“I can admit as a graduate that I miss slacking off in high school because the level of work expected and required is at a much higher level for me now,” he said.
Harlanova noted that ultimately, seniors do not need to worry about the things they can’t control, because these things will fall into place on their own.
“Don’t stress too much. You will graduate. You will find love. You will be happy eventually. Just worry about finding yourself,” she said.
As AT’s seniors prepare to fill the shoes of these college freshmen next year, they seek to build advice of their own to hand out to the class of 2023.