Senior Column — Amish Jha ’23


Amish Jha, Staff Writer

Writing a senior column because my senior year is coming to an end in itself doesn’t make sense to me. But I look back at the past four years, and realize how many things I’ve learned, and how I’ve changed as a person, and it is immense. I would like to thank Arcadia High School for all these things. 

I’ve always told people how much I loved my middle school, Foothills Middle School. Everyone knew everyone; I was friends with everyone; it felt like a big family. After an experience like that, coming to a school with 750 kids in my graduating class gave me anxiety freshman year for multiple reasons. Was I going to stay close with my current group of close friends? Will I be able to make the same bond with people from other schools? Four years later, I realize there was no point thinking about any of this. I realize you will remain friends with whomever you put the effort towards, and making new friends and bonds will happen seamlessly and without effort. I could not have asked for better people to meet in the past four years. 

Now, as someone who was a freshman in 2019, a pre-COVID world, as much as I hate to speak about covid, it is hard not to talk about its effects on my high school experience. My experience with COVIDand high school is a bit unique. I believe my anxiety skyrocketed in combination with the isolation and paranoia of the world. This made me disengage my focus at school. Coming into junior year, I was able to slowly fix this, but it had forever changed my anxiety for the worse. A whole year cut out of my high school career, filled with bad memories, makes me think about how different my life would be if COVID never happened. But, if someone were to ask if I could go back and change how things were, I’d say no. 2020-2021 taught me life lessons, the importance of positive thinking and hard work. I am taking what I learned into the future. 

School involvement, which I began truly in junior year, made me realize why teachers and upperclassmen had been telling me to find your clique in high school through programs. Post-COVID in junior year, I joined Apache News and created my own chartered club, “The Nourish Project,” with the goal to feed and nourish the unhoused in our local area. These, along with making me incredibly involved at school, taught me so much about responsibility, leadership, and having a voice. Starting that school year, I had to stay connected with multiple admin and students through Apache News. I had to stay on top of my stories and scripts, conduct my own interviews and research, and had to be held accountable when something went wrong. I had to conduct a meeting with 40 kids every week at my club meetings, constantly planning new things for them to do, and new ways to earn money to donate to the local unhoused. I would never have it any other way though; I don’t think I would ever know how to properly be a leader or network without these programs. I took what I learned here, for my success at The Quill during my senior year as well. Thank you Apache News, The Arcadia Quill, and The Nourish Project. 

It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to this school. The place that changed me forever for the better, the place where I met the best of friends, the amazing teachers and admin who had an incredibly profound influence on my character, but it is time to move on to the next chapter. Thank you, Arcadia High School.