Fast Paced and High Achieving

Brendan Roberts, Reporter

I think that we can all say that our year didn’t end quite in the way that we expected. Suddenly in the middle of March, a pandemic that seemed to be a distant danger reached Selma. Our schools resorted to distance learning and we had to face the fact that this would likely be the last time we would see our friends for quite some time. However, for myself and the entire senior class, this was our last day at SHS. From that point on, we would be going on our separate ways.

I am telling you this because when you are told that your four years in high school will fly by, this is undeniably true, and you never know when your high school career might be cut short. Appreciate every moment that you have because this is an experience that you can never get back. High school is a time for students to decide what college they want to attend, what career they want to pursue, and which people they want to share their journey with, and this must all be done in a quick four years. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have at your disposal because you may find that you enjoy it. If that means joining a club that you’re interested in, by all means go for it, and if that club doesn’t exist yet, then why not create it? Don’t be afraid to break out of your shell. I was never seen as the athletic type, so I never did a sport until my friends really pushed me to. Once I started to do track, it was perhaps the best decision I made throughout all of high school. Finally breaking out of my shell is something that I will never forget. 

As I move forward in life to attending UC Berkeley, I’m reminded of all the struggles that came along the way. It is truly an honor to be ranked one in my class, and the biggest piece of advice I can give is that if your aspiration is to be valedictorian, don’t let anyone stop you, but know that it is quite the undertaking. You must be prepared for long nights and the hard work that comes along with it. Don’t sign up for AP classes purely because of the GPA boost, but rather because you have a genuine interest in the material. Without this, you will never find the motivation to learn, let alone be successful. If you value understanding and dig deeper into what you are being taught, trust me, you won’t need to worry about your grade.

With all of that being said, don’t feel pressured into trying to “beat” everyone else. Do what you feel will most enhance your learning, and if that means taking the most AP classes you can, then go for it. Do what is best for you because each and every student is capable of remarkable things. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking that you’re just not good at a certain subject, rather, you just need more time.

My high school years have been my most formative. There have been many people that have left a profound impact on my life, and I hope that I have been fortunate enough to have left one on theirs. It’s a shame that the year had to end in this manner, but in a way, it made me appreciate what I had more. Never take those around you for granted, and always seize the moment because these four years truly do fly by.

I would also like to dedicate this article to my family who continuously supported me along the way, all of my past teachers, my friends, track coaches, and last but not least, my History Day coaches Mrs. Gudgel and Mrs. Clausen. Without each and every one of you, none of this would have been possible. Thank you for being a part of my journey and shaping me into who I am today.