Shaina Woodward

Shaina Woodward, Staff Writer

As the 2017 school year comes to a close, many students are saying their final goodbyes to Westwood High School. For the seniors, the last four years has been full of positive and negative experiences, all of which have shaped them into the people they are today.

Throughout their high school careers, all of them have faced plenty of struggles with academics, family, friends and other obstacles that have gotten in their way. From these experiences, the seniors have learned a few tips which has bettered each of them and shaped them into who they are as they finally throw their caps in the air.

Be Comfortable Talking to Teachers

All students have struggled with school at some point whether that be a class or just a specific assignment. Learning does not come easily to all students and therefore it’s important that you learn to handle this issue in the best method possible for you. “Math was my biggest struggle,” said Brandon Brown, “I overcame it was by going to the teacher and asking for extra help, coming early in the morning and going over study guides. It’s important to be comfortable with the teachers for extra help.”

Even Alex Pirola, the valedictorian of the 2017 graduating class had some difficulty within his four years. “I distinctly remember getting a C- on an essay I wrote for Mr. McGuirk in his English II Honors class sophomore year,” said Pirola, “It evoked a lot of anxiety and doubt about how I would perform in the class because this assessment was given towards the beginning of the year.” However, by talking to his teacher he was eventually able to raise his grades. “Academic success is all a matter of adaptation. “Don't be afraid to approach your teachers - they’re there to help” he said.

Find a Hobby

Whether you like volunteering, being a part of a clubs or playing sports, there’s always a hobby that will suit you. “Try a sport, and if sports aren’t your thing, try a club or out of school activity” said Ashley Grob. Being involved in extracurriculars is great for finding people who share the same interests and goals as you, and that you would easily get along with. Finding an activity you truly enjoy is a great way to burn off stress that you build up during the school day.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

During high school, you might find yourself contemplating who are, and are not your true friends. You are not alone. Throughout high school, most students change and find themselves enjoying spending their time with different people. “Freshman year, I was friends with a very “cliquey” group, there was so much drama and they were bad influences. Don't get me wrong, we had our moments and I don't regret being friends with them,” said Halle Luttrell, “But I created distance between us and found a new crowd that I’m still best friends with today.”

It’s important to surround yourself with people who truly benefit your life and want the best for you. “As a senior preparing to depart from Westwood, I started recognizing the people I truly want to keep in my life after graduation” said Pirola.

Don’t Take It Too Seriously

Although while in high school, keeping a high GPA and acing a test might seem like the most important thing in the world, it’s important to not solely focus on academics. High school is the time where you learn about yourself and make mistakes while learning from them. It is important to not just spend all your time studying for the next exam when you could be learning about yourself and experiencing new things. “Bigger things await all of you after graduation, so make the most of it by using this time to figure out the person you are, and the person you ultimately want to be” said Pirola.


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Shaina Woodward