So Long, Seniors: Thoughts on Graduation

As the school year comes to an end, many of the students are preparing for summer. Freshmen may be feeling excited to finally shed their status as the youngest class, sophomores may be dreading the infamously stressful junior year, and juniors may, or may not, be starting on their college applications. Lastly, seniors, having finished the last chapter of their high school lives, are eagerly awaiting their transition into adulthood and independence. With only a few weeks left until graduation, RHS High Times decided to interview a few seniors on their experiences in high school.

How does it feel to be graduating in less than two months?

Anonymous senior 1: I’m excited to actually leave Ridgewood and go to college and further my horizons.  I look forward to making new, valuable experiences but it does feel scary to leave Ridgewood.

Anonymous senior 2 :  After spending four years at RHS, I am excited to move on to the next part of my life. These past 4 years have gone by so fast. It feels like just yesterday I was a freshman and now I am graduating.

Jessica Orefice : t feels really weird. I remember being a freshman attending the graduation for the class of 2015 and thinking about how it would be forever until that was going to be me walking down the front lawn in a white dress, but here I am going to get my grad dress with my mom tomorrow. It is crazy, and it makes me sad thinking about not being here everyday next year, but I do believe that I am ready and that growing up here has really prepared me for the future.

Eve Scharfenberg : The fact that I graduate in two months is pretty crazy. I’m definitely ready but I also still feel like I’m thirteen… but I’m not thirteen, I’m eighteen! Time really flies and all of the sudden I’m going off to college. I’m really looking forward to starting this new chapter in life, there are a lot of unknowns and so many paths I can take, which can be scary but also is also extremely exciting.

What was your most memorable moment in high school? and why?

Anonymous senior 1: I loved my physics with Mr. Marzloff. It was enlightening and fascinating!

Jessica Orefice : My most memorable moment of high school is probably sitting in Mr. Troy’s freshman history class about a couple weeks into high school when he started teaching us about the French. He compared them fighting in a war to men running around with baguettes in their hands, and that was the first time I really began to love history and the first time I realized how important it is to bring humor and personality into a subject that you want to learn or teach.

Eve Scharfenberg : My favorite moment this year was the acapella competition. I absolutely love the participating in the Acabellas, the fact that I get to work with a group of such strong, talented and beautiful ladies is such an honor and competition was truly a peak of that experience. We had all worked so hard and that work really paid off, which made it such a great bonding experience! It got even better when we got second place, it was such a rewarding feeling.

What kind of extracurriculars did you enjoy the most in Ridgewood and why?

Anonymous senior 1: I enjoyed doing track for two years. It was definitely helpful to have something I can do after school that is not related to studying. It was very fun.

Anonymous Senior 2 : I enjoyed volunteering in Guatemala. During the summer, I spend 2 months teaching Mayan children English. It was an amazing experience. I especially had fun doing it with my Guatemalan friends. If I had the chance, I would do it again!

Jessica Orefice : Throughout high school I was a part of a few clubs including Model Congress, STEM club, the TRI-M Music Honor Society, the chamber orchestra, and both the women’s basketball and soccer teams. I enjoyed all of these parts of high school because of the people. Especially throughout my 4 years of playing both basketball and soccer, I have become friends with some of the most amazing people who I consider to be my family and who I know I am going to stay friends with forever. Spending time everyday together for practices and games, in addition to being brought together by incredible coaches, has really built a bond within all of the sports teams I have had the pleasure of being a part of during high school. And I can easily say those friends are something I will hold onto for as long as I can.

Eve Scharfenberg : I really enjoyed new players, and spent pretty much all my extra time in the little theatre since I started going to RHS. New Players is a fantastic thing to be a part of it truly is like a family. I’ve had such an amazing experience with them. Everyone is so talented and I’m extremely proud of the productions we have put on. I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunities new players has provided for me.

How do you think Ridgewood impacted you?

Anonymous senior 1: Ridgewood impacted me in so many ways but by living here, I learned to study hard and be the best I can.

Anonymous senior 2 : The competitiveness of Ridgewood has caused me to push myself harder in school. I have surprised myself about what I have achieved during my 4 years at RHS.

Jessica Orefice : Ridgewood has helped me figure out who I am and who I want to be. I think I have learned to be myself and to do all the things I am interested in because it has created the most amazing friendships for me and made me more confident. In addition to learning about myself, I have also learned about others and what people around me might be going through at certain times, how to work with people around me, and how important it is to respect everyone.

Eve Scharfenberg : I really think Ridgewood pushes it’s students to be the best they can be. I have been challenged and supported in both my academics and extracurriculars. I also feel like I’ve learned how to express my opinion more openly by living in New Jersey.

If you could give any advice to underclassmen, what would it be?

Anonymous senior 1: Study hard freshman year because your GPA matters a lot. Also, visit as many colleges as you can to get a feel of the place.

Anonymous Senior 2 : Don’t be stressed about getting accepted by a college, it will happen no matter what. Also, relax during senior year. Take some time to just be with your friends.

Jessica Orefice :  To all the underclassmen I would just say you can’t be afraid. You can’t be afraid of what other people might say about you, you can’t be afraid to do something you really love or might wanna try for the first time, you can’t be afraid to get help from a teacher, you can’t be afraid to talk to someone new, you can’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, and you can’t be afraid to take a risk or do something you’re uncomfortable with. Because it is in those moments when you don’t do something because you are afraid, that you miss out on a new person or experience that would have changed your life. If you aren’t sure of something, just do it. High school has lots of ups and downs, but if you make the most of what you’ve got, it will truly be the best 4 years of your life with the most amazing memories you will ever have.

Eve Scharfenberg : Don’t let anything bring you down for too long, everything happens for a reason and it will all work out in the end. Work hard but make sure you have people and activities in your life that bring you joy and satisfaction. Be kind to everyone around you because that matters more than anything else!

Jiin Jung and Lisa Hwang
staff writers 

Graphics: Nicole Kye

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