Seniors 2015: It’s the End of High School as They Know It

By Loren Young

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(Photo / Loren Young)

(Photo / Loren Young)

As most people would think, senior year is pretty crazy. Students have begun the end to their four-year high school career, counting down the days until graduation, freaking out about college applications, and trying to make their senior year as memorable and awesome as possible.

They’ve made friends all throughout high school, played sports as Chargers, put on crazy activities in the Greek, made clubs to bring the campus together, given teachers headaches, and, most importantly, left their mark on Dos Pueblos.

For some seniors, they don’t want to leave high school and their friends. For others, they can’t wait to “grow up” and go to college.

Here are a few seniors that share their hopes and fears for this year, their past high school experiences, and what they plan to do about making this year count.

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Tatianna Schluep  (Photo / Loren Young)

Tatianna Schluep (Photo / Loren Young)

Tatianna Schluep

Best High School Memory:

My favorite high school memory was a basketball home game my sophomore or junior year, and Chris Williams made a buzzer shot and we won by like one point or two points, but everyone ran down to the court and celebrated, and it was really cool. But, I’m also counting on this year to make some good memories.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

One of my fears this year is cliche college apps because they’re just scary, and I’m also scared of having to say goodbye to close friends and am sad to leave behind this chunk of our lives. But I’m also excited to be the ones on the field in pretty dresses on graduation day.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

Well, when seniors say that high school goes by so quickly, we usually just shake it off as underclassmen, but as a senior, it really does. It’s also kind of weird walking around and saying “this is it.” There’s no one higher than us or cooler than us–except for Josh McGreggor. For right now though, everything’s just going by at normal speed, but I feel like it will hit us like a big wave at graduation.

How to Make this Year Count:

I just want to be worry-free and carefree this year, but not carefree like I don’t care at all, just not having to worry about anything.

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Michael Villalpando (Photo / Loren Young)

Michael Villalpando (Photo / Loren Young)

Michael Villalpando

Best High School Memory:

My best high school memory would be being involved in Engineering because I got to meet new people and make a bunch of new friends. The sculptures we made are also really cool because I can have it in my college dorm and get to show people and say, “Hey, I made that.” Basically bragging rights. Also, mechatronics seems like a pretty cool thing because once we’re done, we’re going to get to show and teach people about engineering and physics, and that’s having a huge impact on me.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

One of my greatest fears right now is college apps and just having everything done before I go off to college and start my “life.” I’m also kind of shocked and scared about graduating high school since I’ve been hanging out with friends, the same friends, for the past four years, and leaving them to get a job and go to college. I’m hoping to make the most out of this year since I won’t be seeing people again. I want to end with a bang, and I’m super excited for senior activities like the Lip Dub so I can keep making new memories.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

It feels great [to be a senior]; I don’t have anything to hold back like previous years and don’t really care since people won’t see me next year. Like, on the last day of school or classes during finals week, I’m going to have my pockets full of confetti and I’m going to just throw confetti everywhere and say, “Goodbye!” I’m just going to try being more outgoing and want to get through this year and make the most of it.

How to Make this Year Count:

I don’t want to be shy this year and [I want to] talk more in class [and] be more outgoing. As I’ve learned over the years, I don’t really have to raise my hand anymore, so in English 110 I just talk freely, and same with AP Bio. I also want to talk to new people like freshmen or others that I’ve never met before. I want to do things I’ve wanted like track. I want to try breaking the school records [on the blue board by the track], and even if I don’t, the journey would still be awesome. I’m also looking forward to mechatronics and being a leader-figure; I want to leave my mark and have people remember me. I might also go to the dances and definitely ask someone to go with me. My little brother’s also here and people go up to him and think he’s me, even though I don’t think he looks anything like me, and ask him, “Hey, are you Michael’s brother?” I want people to remember me and say “hey, I remember when that one guy, Michael, did this” and leave my mark on the school.

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Giulia Castleberg (Photo / Loren Young)

Giulia Castleberg (Photo / Loren Young)

Giulia Castleberg

Best High School Memory:

Unlike elementary school and junior high, I began taking classes with students from all grades. I liked getting to know the upperclassmen. They were really nice and always had helpful advice for me. Going to some of the dances was also fun.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

I hope to stay focused with my studies for as long as possible before senioritis kicks in. And I hope to spend more time with my friends and sister before I leave for college. Although, I’m nervous for the mechatronics project in engineering. I hope it all works out, and that I get to learn a lot from the experience. Also, I hope college apps go well and I’m anxious of the notion that I have no idea where I will be this time next year.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

Being a senior is refreshing. I finished the rigorous aspect of my academics for college apps, so that relieves a lot of pressure. I get to spend more time with my friends. However, it’s weird walking around school and not seeing [alumni]. I guess I haven’t fully grasped the notion that we are now the oldest students on campus. I got junior year out of the way, and I get to see my sister around school since she’s a freshman, which is cool. I’m excited for second semester and graduation, same with the senior activities. It’ll also be cool to see the end of mechatronics since it’ll be pretty exciting.

How to Make this Year Count:

I want to spend more time with my friends and family before I leave, and I’m also going to try to take advantage of the resources SB has at its disposal; I want to go sailing and spend more time at the beach. I’m excited for senior activities, and I want to attend more athletic events and be more involved with school activities.

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Ella Stimson (Photo / Loren Young)

Ella Stimson (Photo / Loren Young)

Ella Stimson

Best High School Memory:

My best high school memory would be all of the times in cross country hanging out with friends (like Frannie Barthel who’s become one of my best friends) and making all the memories I have, like in Mammoth and at practice.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

I really just hope I get into college, but at the same time, I’m afraid of college since it’ll mean a new life and make me a different person, and I’ll have to find myself all over again. In the meantime, I hope to pass my classes and gain time with my friends since I’ll have to leave them in the spring.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

It’s kind of depressing knowing that I’m leaving DP and that I won’t have the same awesome memories or experiences ever again like in cross country or at DP in general. There won’t be any sports, activities, or clubs like here in college; there also won’t be any teenage angst anymore.

How to Make this Year Count:

This year I’m going to pull an intense pole-vault prank on my friends, and it’ll be awesome. But I also want to do some things that are academic or extracurricular that is outstanding to myself, not necessarily for others. And I, of course, want to hang out as much as I can with my homies.

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Jason Mally (Photo / Loren Young)

Jason Mally (Photo / Loren Young)

Jason Mally

Best High School Memory:

My best high school memory was doing the theater haunted house as a freshman. I enjoyed theater and when people needed someone to join crew, I did and got to participate in it. I got to jump out and scare people, so it was really satisfying.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

I hope to get into my top colleges in California. I still want to be able to come back to DP and hang out with my friends. I’m dreading finals week just because. But I’m also hoping to explore more music now, since I have more time, and maybe I’ll try starting a new band either by myself or get a new group, if I can find one.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

It’s kind of sad and I’ll miss the place, but I’m ready for college and freedom. It’s been a good year so far without all the external stuff, even with college apps. I want to stay in touch with friends so that I can still hang out with them after I graduate.

How to Make this Year Count:

I want to get as involved with Junior State of America (JSA) as I can and make conventions awesome so that all the freshmen get excited about the club. JSA has impacted me a lot; not only have I gotten to meet people from all over southern California and made great friendships, but I’ve become more confident as a speaker and socializer from it, and I want the freshmen to have that, too.

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Racquel Fygenson (Photo / Loren Young)

Racquel Fygenson (Photo / Loren Young)

Racquel Fygenson

Best High School Memory:

My best high school memory was when we got the [cross country] Mammoth trip together when Wiggins [the previous head cross country coach] left. Getting the whole team down there and having fun was just so cool and really affected me.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

I’m excited to get to go and see the next frontier in my life. But I’m also dreading graduating, because then I have to go to college and get a family, and then I’ll turn out like my parents and finally die, and I want to do something with my life since everything seems like it’s going by so fast.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

I like [being a senior] because I’ve grown a lot both academically and socially; it’s cool being able to go around and being like, “hey, I know you, and you, and you….” At the same time, it’s been rushing by so quickly; thinking about junior high and about life, it’s all been just so fast, and now I have to go have a life. It’s crazy.

How to Make this Year Count:

I want to take as many opportunities as I can to make this year count. Junior year everyone starts buckling down and starts being like, “got to get to school and got to do good.” It passes you by, so I need to say yes to things I wouldn’t normally do so that I can get out of my comfort zone and go out and do stuff and demolish my rut.

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Lucas Davis (Photo / Loren Young)

Lucas Davis (Photo / Loren Young)

Lucas Davis

Best High School Memory:

I think the best high school memory would be hanging out with my friends in the meadow everyday at lunch was really awesome. Like, it’s not a singular memory, but it’s probably the most memorable part of high school. [JSA has also] helped me grow a lot as a person and definitely helped me as a public speaker and being able to address people. Having a cause to join and being a part of the JSA is really cool because at all of these special conventions you meet people that help organize everything and you get to know some people that actually really care about it and like taking part in this. It’s really just in a sense more work but if it’s something that you want to do, then its way more motivating and has a major payoff. In my case, we planned this regional one-day [convention] that took a lot of time on my part because I’m the events coordinator. I had to scramble together, like, I think it was 16 positions to fill within the last two days before the event went up and I just filled up everybody with the debates with the DP people. That was terrible until the day came and it was really awesome because we got to have this one-day that I had never really gotten to a one-day before, so it was fun.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

I think that [my biggest fear is] don’t mess up and fail at the last moment like in finals at the end of second semester and failing [economics] or something that’s an essential credit and not being able to graduate, but I don’t really have any other fears for the rest of senior year. I hope I stay in touch with all my friends after they go to college, like that’s pretty depressing. I’ve had friends that were seniors and they go off and I never talk to them again, and it’s kind of a downer.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

It’s definitely kind of a relief from being a junior because it was way harder and I was taking more classes to boost my curricular standing and take harder classes, whereas this year I take a lot of classes that I really wanted to take. I’m taking psychology and Theory of Knowledge where I get to just explore things that I want to than trying to fulfill my requirements to graduate.

How to Make this Year Count:

I try to be dedicated to the projects that I start out myself. I do try my best in school, but I think that the extra effort and when I put my most [in] projects on my own like JSA, and putting my full effort into that is how I’d see making my best out of the remaining year.

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Andrea Barriga (Photo / Loren Young)

Andrea Barriga (Photo / Loren Young)

Andrea Barriga

Best High School Memory:

I don’t really have one; I just think that overall meeting the people and new people and experiencing high school in general has been a good experience.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

One of the biggest fears I have that I think a lot of seniors have is what you’re going to do afterwards and whether you want to go to college or get a job. My biggest hope, I think, is that I keep motivated for the rest of the year.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

It’s really cool because I don’t have to come back next year to high school, and I get to leave off to college and do whatever I want.

How to Make this Year Count:

I’m planning on having just so much fun and participating in as many and as much of the school activities as I can, like going to dances and stuff.

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Josh Fry (Photo / Loren Young)

Josh Fry (Photo / Loren Young)

Josh Fry

Best High School Memory:

One of my best memories in high school was when I jumped 6 feet 2 inches in the high jump. It was at a Ventura [dual meet] and I was going up against someone named Bryce, but he and I were battling it out, and the entire Ventura team lined up the high jump tarmac with people, and I turned to [now a DP graduate] Sam Seibel, and I said, “Hey, I want that.” He looks and gets people around, and then he goes to [now also a DP graduate] Stamatia Scarvelis, a strong woman, and said, “OK, Josh wants that.” So she’s, like, in her big voice, “Okay everyone, line up and sit down and shut up’ basically. There was a huge crowd around me, like 200 people, and there was absolute silence; I could hear a pin drop. And when I made it over the bar, everyone from both schools cheered as a whole body, not just separate groups. It was so great; it was fun. It’s fun being at the center of attention. I have no fears in being in front of a large audience because I’m fearless.

Hopes and Fears for Senior Year:

The only thing I hope for this year is to be college ready, but quite frankly I’m done. I hope that I can be able to [jump 6 feet 6 inches] in the high jump and am able to [jump] 15 feet in the pole vault and 22 feet in the long jump. I mean, I’ve got a lot of goals. It’s not so much about hope as much as I have faith in myself. And of course I also want to be able to pass all my classes.

Feelings about Being a Senior:

I’m not going to be here next year, so I don’t really know what my life’s going to look like after this year. It could go anywhere, I’m feeling pretty excited to be out of here for one, and…I’m looking forward to the next step of life.

How to Make this Year Count:

This year I want to do well in my athletics and have the results of the hard work and effort I’ve shown, because determination actually does prevail, and work ethic is important in finding the inner want to make people better, both physically and characteristically.

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