Senior Column — Brandon Chan ’21


Brandon Chan, Staff Writer

Where do I start…

High school was definitely a memorable experience to say the least. I still remember the first day of school as a wide-eyed freshman walking onto campus for the first time ever. The class I was looking for was Digital Photography in A Building. I had absolutely no idea where this “A Building” was located. It took my friend and me a solid fifteen minutes to find this classroom and take a seat, waiting for Mr. Fuji’s instructions. And honestly, the whole first week was somewhat like this: making sure I didn’t get lost in the hassle of busy students navigating their way through the hallways during the seven minute passing periods. Apart from this very anxious first week of school, freshman year was a fantastic experience. It was my first year playing basketball for AHS, and I loved every minute of it. The best part of it was going to either Honey Boba (unfortunately shut down) or Joker’s after practice with the team. Just talking in those stores was an amazing bonding experience. 

Oh, and backtracking just a tad, I had to pick basketball over soccer, which was definitely one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I would say I picked basketball because everyone on that team was my friend, but I was better at soccer. Do I regret this decision? Sometimes. But it was something that made me who I am today. 

Then came sophomore year. This was my first taste of what an AP course was really like (granted AP Comp Sci Principles and AP Human Geography aren’t the worst). It was a struggle trying to balance basketball, extracurricular activities, and an increased workload, but I was able to do it. I had some close calls in AP Human Geography, barely getting an A- in both semesters, if my memory serves me right. But sophomore year definitely prepared me for junior year. 

Junior year came in the blink of an eye. This was the dreaded year; every AHS student knows they have to put their head down and grind during both semesters. Let’s just say, this year was not fun at all. During the first semester, I was barely getting any sleep, and I had other activities outside of school that would take up my whole weekends and free time. On top of that, AP Lang, AP U.S. History, AP Chinese, and Pre-Calc Honors were not the easiest of classes. I received my first two B’s in my high school career, and that did not feel good. A couple months later, COVID hit and shut down in-person learning for good. Now, I won’t say that COVID was a good thing, because it wasn’t, but it gave me a break from all the work I was receiving. The second semester of junior year was much easier, and I was able to recharge and bounce back from a personally disappointing first semester. But like I said before, everything up to this point has made me a better student and person. 

And last but not least, senior year. This year I’ve met some of the best people ever, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything despite some bumps in the road. Virtual learning and a shortened schedule gave me more free time to hang out with my friends and family. Driving to the beach at midnight, stargazing, and just exploring the world was so much fun during senior year. The best memories were made this year, and as I’m writing this, grad night and other senior activities still haven’t happened. As this chapter of my book concludes, I’m ecstatic to begin another one in college. 

If I had to tell my younger self one thing, it would be to just enjoy the journey, and everything will fall into place if it’s meant to be.