Alumni share advice and regrets in aid of second semester seniors

Photo by Photo courtesy of Katie Lynch
Best friends and alumni Katie Lynch (second from left) and Danielle Yoshida (far right) stress the importance of making friends a priority during second semester


In a few months, seniors will slip on caps and gowns, proudly walk across the stage as the band belts out Pomp and Circumstance and receive their high school diplomas. However, with all of the chaos and mayhem of college applications and meeting deadlines, this bitter sweet milestone can seem like a distant fantasy.

HHS alumni shared some powerful words of wisdom they wish they had heard when they were transitioning to become “second semester seniors.”

“You’ll find happiness at any campus,” alumna Katie Lynch said, who now attends California Polytechnic University of San Luis Obispo.

Lynch said although a college rejection or deferral may initially induce a mid-life crisis, one must have faith in the system. Such responses from colleges are no indication of one’s qualifications, self worth, or determining factor of how successful one will be in the future. Lynch said remaining flexible through one’s senior year will allow unforeseen opportunities to arise.  

Congratulations! You were accepted into college! Now what? Even after deciding whether or not one will pursue relocating to attend college, the major decisions are far from over. Selecting a method for finding  a roommate is one of the countless decisions one will have to make.

“Don’t do random roommates because then you’re gonna be stuck with someone who you don’t like,” alumna Danielle Yoshida said laughing, who now attends University of Oregon.

Although selecting a random roomate may work out for people in some instances, Yoshida said she regrets leaving the task to fate. If one wishes to take roommate selection into their own hands, there are other methods out there.

After you have committed to a college, you will most likely be added to a group chat of other perspective students in your class. These forums are goldmines to get to know other people. Students typically begin posting brief blurbs about themselves in addition to some pictures. Then it is time to put all of the social snooping skills you have acquired stalking your crush to good use by looking through people’s profiles to find a good match.

Although the process may seem cumbersome, Yoshida said the effort will pay off.

“After all, you will be eating, sleeping and sharing a restroom with this person for at least a year, so it is crucial your personalities complement each other,” Yoshida said.

If this process does not sound appealing, many schools also offer questionnaires from which matchmakers pair students up with someone of similar interests.

Although many commit to four-year colleges or universities, succumbing to the stigma of staying local for college is unnecessary.

“You’ll never get waitlisted at Foothill,” alumnus Pablo Mont-Reynaud said.

Although commonly heard among Homestead halls as a joke, local community colleges are nationally ranked. Reynaud said that despite his former devastation of not getting into his desired colleges, he was pleasantly surprised with how much Foothill has to offer, both academically and socially.

Once applications are submitted, seniors must come to terms with the idea that there are always ways around unideal situations. However, there is no sense in dwelling in an anxious state, as one awaits answers from schools.

After too many cups of coffee, way too little sleep, and too many tears, seniors should look forward to soaking up all the anomalies of high school during their second semester of senior year. As college applications are very individualistic and competitive, seniors should turn their focus onto others for a refreshing change. Go out of the way to help underclassmen and lift them up to be the next leaders of HHS; talk to someone new at lunch; support friends at their sports games. Make the most of the power of giving before launching into a new chapter.