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On TU the Next!

By: Alexa Foodim

In order to summarize my experiences in my education thus far and to give advice to the underclassmen, I decided to create an acronym! The acronym is my new favorite city and my new home for the next four years: NOLA!

Never give up: At times, high school can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. At times, I found it stressful to balance my schoolwork, extracurriculars, clubs, community service, and spending time with friends and family. Even though it got stressful, I always found a way to manage my time, and I learned that everything always works out. For starters, I found that a list always helps. Throughout my time at HSE, I also found myself being an “Infinite Campus stalker”! I would check once an hour, watching my averages increase and decrease down to the decimal point. So, to all underclassmen, do not spend your time worrying about each individual grade. Remember that your average each quarter is a culmination of ten weeks of hard work and dedication. Never ever give up, and do not sweat the small stuff!

Opportunity: One thing that makes HSE so special is all of the opportunities that it offers. Between clubs, the arts, music, and sports, there are so many ways for each individual to shine and excel. High school taught me to be independent. Throughout my time at HSE, I found my passion for writing through the Thunderbird Newspaper Club. Writing became a creative and therapeutic outlet for me, and writing and journalism are things I definitely want to continue with in college. I was on the editorial board both my junior and senior year. I learned so much about teamwork and was so proud of each publication we created. I also became deeply involved with the Students Rebuild Project through the Future Educators Club, serving as Vice President. This taught me the true meaning of service, and I saw how the entire HHH district could unite under one cause. I also volunteered weekly at a homeless shelter and participated in various fundraising projects for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Throughout your time here, take part in as many things as you can! The opportunities are endless! As I learned in English class, carpe diem!

Learn: This tip may seem obvious, but it is sometimes overlooked. Half Hollow Hills hires the most educated and kind hearted teachers, and they molded me into the person that I am today. Special thanks to Ms. Dalton, Ms. Davis, Mr. Troise, Mr. Russo, Mr. Simon, and Ms. Nolan for teaching me and guiding me throughout high school. Throughout my time here at HSE, I enrolled in classes and chose electives that interested me and will help me in my future endeavors. Also, learn and listen to your peers. Over the years, I have developed friendships that I know will last a lifetime. Even though there are 426 seniors graduating in the class of 2019, I feel as though our grade is very close, and I am so happy to be a part of it!

Appreciate: It feels like yesterday that my mom took me – three separate times – to walk my schedule before my freshman year. I walked around with my highlighted and labeled map and had no idea what to expect. I was so anxious before the first day, but everything worked out. I had some of the best memories in the building that I used to think was a place where I could never find my way. In the blink of an eye, it is all over, and I am moving forward to the next chapter of my life. High school goes by very fast and is over before you know it. Appreciate every moment.

Growing up can be compared to a car. I started my journey on April, 5th 2001 as a baby in the car seat. As I got older, I “graduated” to the booster seat. I would sit here on my way to Chestnut Hill every morning as my mom would walk me into the building to drop me off. I would watch out the window at all the cars driving by and would wonder about everyone else’s journey on this road. Eventually, I moved up to the passenger seat in the front seat next to my parents. I remember swinging the front door open and running into West Hollow on a cold winter morning for Earth Science extra help. At sixteen, during my junior year, I was given a whole new opportunity and a whole new outlook on life. It was my turn behind the wheel, and I was finally given the keys. After years of looking out the window from the back and sitting in the front and accumulating a wealth of knowledge, I finally was able to control the car and use everything I learned. As a high school senior who is almost done with the school year, I am driving my “car” onto a completely unknown road: college. I am attending Tulane University in the fall and will be taking all of my knowledge down to New Orleans. Even though this next journey will be filled with new experiences and maybe some detours, I am very excited to hit the gas and accelerate into this new phase of life!