CLASS OF 2023: Early Bird Gets the Worm, and Other Lessons Learned at HHS

By The Hawk staff

Time flies. Try new things. Don’t be afraid of change. Avoid the school bathrooms. These are some of the words of advice from seniors who replied to The Hawk survey. 

Some thought back to their freshman year and what they could have done differently. 

“Definitely try as hard as you can freshman year and then just try to hold onto that,” said David Quinlan. “Freshman year is the easiest, so take advantage of the grade boost.”

Dennis Sacco agreed. “Every year counts so don’t take any lightly. It could greatly affect your future plans.”

Devin Benjamin would have taken more honors classes in ninth grade. “I did not know how big of an impact it would have on my GPA,” she said.

More important than what classes you take is figuring out how you learn best, advised Danny Tawa. “When you discover how [you learn], it can serve you throughout the rest of your life and benefit you tremendously,” he said. “The school work is only the means by which this new understanding is found.”

Developing good study skills will help with every class, said Liam Monahan. “Put in the effort … it will pay off.” 

While academics are important, it’s critical to find some balance so you’re not overwhelmed, many seniors said. 

“Push yourself to work hard, but definitely set limits,” said Teddy McCrann. “I wish I had known that getting a good night’s sleep and just taking a break from work is more important than turning in an assignment, because your teachers are very understanding.”

“Put some pressure on yourself to be the best you can,” echoed Sophie Rathgeber, “but also don’t prevent yourself from having fun in the process.”

“Don’t think high school is all work and no play,” Pat Jones agreed. “You are put in the best environment to make the best memories.”

“Find friends who are there to help you through the difficult years,” said Evelyn Hallaren.

A big part of high school is making discoveries about yourself. The best way to do that, seniors said, is to expand your comfort zone and keep an open mind.

“High school is a place for you to grow, so experiment with what high school has to offer. Try new things,” said Jake Faghan.

“Become involved in the things you love to do simply for the sake of your own joy in those activities,” suggested Mike DeMayo, senior class president.

“Be open to talking to a variety of people,” said Morgan Ceurvels, “because you’ll never know who you’ll become friends with.”

Change can be scary, said Ava Sullivan, but “everything will always work out and you should embrace change with open arms, even if it seems negative.”

Other students advised underclassmen to be true to themselves, do their homework, and try not to overthink everything.

As for the bathrooms, several seniors used their parting words to warn against vaping, congregating or just generally causing mayhem in some of the most-used spaces in the school.

“I would tell younger students to not hang out in the bathrooms,” said Henry Gorbey.

Jay LaFreniere agreed … “unless you want to meet Dean Hannigan.”

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