Senior words of wisdom


Brandon Giles

As the 2021-2022 school year comes to a close, Bonita Vista High (BVH) seniors reflect on their time spent at BVH. Many seniors agree that underclassmen should make the most out of their high school experience by having fun.

Madelyn Omelina, Staff Writer

“Don’t be afraid to be yourself.” “Talk to your teachers, make good friends and keep good friends.” “Be able to find a balance.” “Just have fun.” All responses from seniors collected from a poll conducted by the Crusader on Thursday, April 21.

As the end of the school year approaches, seniors find themselves reflecting on their experiences and time at Bonita Vista High. They share their reflections to the underclassmen who will follow in their footsteps. 

“Personally, when I look back on [my experience], I think of the more positive and happy experiences. I feel like a lot of the harder times definitely helped shape who I am and my high school experience, but I feel like they’re not as memorable as the more exciting and happy moments,” senior Courtney Hunter said. 

For seniors Pablo Dollero and Nathan Luna, some of the most fun and encouraging moments they had with friends took place at school dances. For instance, unbeknownst to him, Dollero experienced the support from his friends when they campaigned for him to be the prince of the freshman class at Baronial. Luna also experienced encouragement from friends when he was nominated for the 2021 homecoming court and participated in the week-long events leading up to the halftime show where he was announced as Homecoming King. 

“[Being] the homecoming king was probably one of the best experiences,” Luna said. “All those people supporting you, sharing your name, going through the hallway [hearing], ‘Hey, I voted for you’. That was probably the best part.”

Along with her fellow classmates, Hunter is satisfied with her high school journey, though it was not what she expected. After the COVID-19 pandemic put a gap in her school years, Hunter returned to end her time as a Baron, as being one of the head sports medicine and health interns. Although she spent the first two years at Bonita dedicated to performing with color guard, she says this is her most memorable year. 

“I tried it and I loved it. I gained a lot of skills and friends along with knowledge that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. I developed time management skills, motivation and work ethic,” Hunter said.

For senior athlete Halle Smith, being on a prosperous basketball team are the monumental moments she remembers since she started high school. On the other hand, she does acknowledge that being a committed student athlete did take a toll on her mental health. She turned towards reaching out to others as a coping mechanism.  

“We have a peer counseling program and that was a really good experience,” Smith said. “You want to tell somebody, but no one’s going to understand. So just having that person by your side, where they don’t judge you or even have to say anything was really good to let it all out.”

In addition to taking advantage of different groups or organizations on campus, seniors found that reaching out to their teachers proved helpful. For Hunter and Smith, fostering these relationships became a resource when they needed help. 

“Having the right friend group has [also] been very helpful. I’ve gone through a couple different friend groups and having the right people around you who are going to motivate you, push you and encourage you is definitely important,” Hunter said. 

Hunter, Dollero and Luna have come to the conclusion that choosing the right friends can not only benefit your mental state, but impact your academic choices and success as well. They believe that students should challenge themselves and take harder or higher level classes, but for the subjects they are passionate about. 

“Definitely [have] connections. It’s good to know people. It’s good to be sociable and work hard. Hard work pays off, but you have to have a good mentality doing it. Everything is about the mentality,” Luna said. 

Luna sticks strongly to his belief, finding it important for how underclassmen view high school all around—whether it’s for academics, sports, clubs or even relationships. He notes the importance of applying oneself to school and its various facets, such as joining sports and clubs. 

“It’s always okay to do something for a few years, but if you ever feel like it’s stressing you out too much don’t be afraid to take a break. It’s always good to stay committed to at least one thing,” Dollero said. “When it comes to extracurriculars, start off strong. Branch out, do a few things, and then at the end of the day, do what you liked out of everything that you tried.” 

Smith adds that while trying the various activities and paths, the principle of staying true to oneself is crucial. She believes that changing oneself to try to fit in or meet a standard is insignificant. 

I definitely learned what it means to appreciate everything you have, and the importance of being yourself and staying true to yourself.”

— senior student athlete Halle Smith

“I definitely learned what it means to appreciate everything you have, and the importance of being yourself and staying true to yourself. That was probably one of the most important lessons I learned,” Smith said. 

Even though these seniors wish they did a few things differently, or learned a few things earlier, they enjoyed their journeys nonetheless. It is a common consensus that their high school experiences, the good and the bad, shaped who they are going forward into the future.

“It’s good to have your own experiences. The more you hear about people’s stories, the more you want to live up to them. So, just make your own,” Luna said.