Upperclassmen Advice


Pamina Yung, Staff Writer

High school is an undeniably stressful and pressure-filled time. However, students have persevered through these four years, and thus, shown that there are indeed ways to survive.

Junior Sarah Callahan, a student at AHS, says that she values a good night’s rest, so she tries to get as much homework done at school in order to lift the load once she returns home. She claims to not have a solid social life since she is currently taking AP courses and advanced drama which consumes most of her time. The only time she is available to mingle is at lunch. Sarah FaceTimes her friends when she feels like it or gets the chance, but she rarely has time to hang out in person outside of school. As well as advanced drama, Sarah is part of the National Honor Society. Her advice would be to get ahead of your homework to free up time in your schedule. Sarah’s amazing work ethic allows her to avoid procrastinating. But even without procrastination, we can find ourselves staying up late doing schoolwork.

Even if this is the case, Sarah is always willing to take a break. “If I need a break, I do it. Even if it means staying up late, sometimes your brain just needs a break,” she says. “Your time is precious.” She recommends dedicating it to things you love and schoolwork. Sarah adds that in order to make the most of your high school years, you should challenge yourself to a healthy point.

Alyssa Chow is a junior at Temple City High School. She is part of her school’s Dragonflicks’ stage crew, a yearbook designer, Link Crew, Peer Listeners, ELD mentoring, and clubs such as the American Cancer Society and German Club. In order to stay on schedule, Chow organizes her assignments and activities to keep her focus on what she needs to accomplish. Like the rest of us, she tries not to procrastinate, but distractions like Netflix and YouTube make this difficult for her. On her iPhone, she sets the screen time for entertainment to 30 minutes. 

If I do procrastinate, I work harder and think about the stress I had while procrastinating to prevent more procrastination in the future.” To maintain a clear head, she focuses on her activities and tests one week at a time. “When I do that, I usually find myself relaxing more as opposed to thinking about assignments and tests for the month.” This makes her feel more relaxed, as she is taking things a step at a time. Chow finds a free weekend a great reward at the end of a long, hard week. She also encourages lowerclassmen to “enjoy their high school experiences and participate in things like spirit weeks and pep rallies which make high school so much more enjoyable.

Junior Preston Futaba is another student at AHS. He is the Senior Patrol Leader in Boy Scouts and volunteers for several organizations. He is also a member of various school clubs such as Chess Club and VEX Robotics Club. Preston blends academics with his social activities, but he recognizes more importance in schoolwork. Academics are a priority, but he always looks forward to lunch. It helps the most when Preston has all of his distractions out of sight. 

He puts heavier-weighted assignments first on the to-do list and advises to “Make wise decisions and commit to activities you are certain you will have time for, and managing your time will become significantly easier.” According to Preston, there is no such thing as a real non-procrastinator, but keeping an online calendar helps him not lay off tasks or slack off. “With all the stress, sometimes I want to curl up into a ball and fall asleep.” He believes that since stress doesn’t just magically go away, it’s best to deal with it when we are in a healthier mental state. Some ways he lets go of some stress is through playing a quick game or sitting in a dark room. He also says that you should really demonstrate academic dedication and uniqueness.“I hear many people tell younger students that freshman year doesn’t matter. But it does. Utilize this year to meet new people, join new clubs, or explore your hobbies.” High school is exhausting, “But always remember that tomorrow is a new day, and that over-nighters before a test are most certainly a regretful choice.”

Ryan Luu is an AHS alumnus who recently graduated from UCI. He played in the school orchestra and was part of Senior Men and Women and Allies. Some of his advice to not fall behind is to create an outline for that week’s priorities which prevents cramming and hectic schedules. He says that he definitely procrastinates, but he has learned how to deal with it over time.

“The best strategy I have used to combat procrastination is inspired by Nike. ‘Just Do It.’ Starting is the hardest part but if you can find ways to motivate yourself to start, that is half the battle. I would always ask friends to keep me accountable to the deadlines I set for myself.” Luu sets up one thing to look forward to that day, like playing sports, hanging out with friends, or eating something he likes. He also finds physical exercise and stretching effective ways to combat stress. To make the most of your high school years, Luu recommends to embrace and delight in the opportunities you get. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose or drown yourself in the stress and competition in school. “But remember that in high school you’re learning more about yourself, your passions, your goals, and life skills. In addition, take some time to just chill and give yourself rest. Life is a marathon!”

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