An Open Letter to High School Seniors

An Open Letter to Highschool Seniors

“Leaving high school is like finishing a really good book. You feel both happy and sad at the same time.”

Dear Senior/s,

Let me just start off with a big congratulations for getting this far :). I’m sure that making it past nerve-wrecking oral presentations, cramming paper after paper and pulling countless all-nighters is no easy feat, but somehow you were able to manage and here you are now!

While senior year harbors a long list of lasts, it’s also filled with a long list of bests. From the last first day of school to the final time one wears his school uniforms (shoutout to this year’s MHCS SHS students and their cardigans), and finally getting to walk up onstage to receive your diploma, it is definitely going to be a year filled with bittersweet memories.

Vikings Class of 2017 ABM


Vikings Class of 2017 ABM

Vikings Class of 2017 STEM

Vikings Class of 2017 STEM

The next ten months will be the one of the best moments of your life, not to mention the most crucial one—- so you better make it count. 😛

What do I mean by that?

Prepare for the CETs like your life depends on it.

College Entrance Tests

Frankly speaking, your life kind of does depend on it. Unlike bar exams, you only get one shot in taking the college entrance exams, and later ultimately decide which university you’ll be attending in the next four or so years of your life. Make sure you allot time to review for the CETs and do your best.

I’ll be do a more in-depth discussion regarding the CETs in my CETs Survival Guide installment.

Do not neglect your studies. 

Acing the CETs does not excuse you from slacking off in the remaining months in high school. Fight off the senioritis, no matter how hard it hits you. After all, you need to pass high school to get your diploma; which you will need when applying for a college!

Take care of yourself.

Eat well, get enough sleep, and don’t overwork yourself: these kinds of things are pretty elementary. However, as you get caught up with homeworks, extra-curriculars, exams and other requirements, you might start to neglect your well-being.

If you have to sacrifice your health for the sake of passing a subject or getting in the honor roll, it’s just not worth it.

Back then, my dad would always scold me for staying up ’til the wee hours of 2 AM to review (okay, cram) for physics/calculus exams, only to get a not so satisfactory score afterwards. I even ended up sleeping in class a lot and got sick quite often which caused me to miss at least a week’s worth of lessons. As a senior, this is something you cannot afford to do.

Sleeping in class

I fell asleep cramming during lunch period right before our physics exam LOL.

Your grades are important, but be mindful that your health is wealth. ✨

Be active in (and outside of) school.

It’s your last year in high school, and what better opportunity to do all the things you never got the chance to do than now?

Volunteer! Join the school paper! Run for the student council, or if that’s a little too much for you, you can opt to run as one of the class officers. If you’re interested in sports, try out for the varsity team. On the other hand, if you have a knack for performing onstage, the band/choir/drum line could use some new recruits as well.

Our school has a variety of interest clubs for students to sign up for, so you’re bound to find something you’ll like. Don’t be afraid to try something different; learn to say yes to new things, because once in a while, you need to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t hesitate or be unsure of yourself when a teacher asks you to compete in inter school competitions or attend a seminar. It’s clear that s/he sees potential in you, which is why you’re being invited to take part in it in the first place.

Participating in extracurriculars can also open up many doors for you. From scholarships to competing locally and internationally, you also gain more exposure, continue to hone your skills and and get to meet new people.

Take the mathletes in my batch for example; along with a few underclassmen, they got to compete in Korea and even enjoyed touring around after the contest.

You might’ve come across our school’s robotics team in the newspaper maybe once or twice. Bagging 1st place in a mechatronics and power competition held by the DOST, they were chosen to represent our country in an international robotics competition held in China and Mongolia where they also garnered awards.

MHCS Robotics Team Philippine Daily Inquirer

A couple of my friends who submitted an short film entry (that also doubled as their project for Media) also had the opportunity to fly off to Japan to join the JICE JENESYS Asian Internation Children’s Film Festival last year.

You can watch their video, ‘Broken’ here:

There’s loads of other achievements my fellow batchmates (batchmates talaga eh, ‘di ako sumali eh HAHAH) attained over the course of their last year in high school but my point is, academics isn’t everything—-you also need to be active, pursue your other interests and have fun once in a while. There is so much for you to discover and to experience beyond the four walls of your classroom. Plus, being active in extracurriculars helps you build up a more impressive track record (just sayin’ hihi). Opportunities like these seldom knock on your door twice, so go for it!

But most importanly:

Enjoy high school while you can.

It’ll start to sink in when you go shop for a pair of heels to make sure it has the right amount of comfort and gives you the height boost that you need; or when you pick out a tie for your suit, making sure you look your best during graduation.

“Where did the time go?” You ask yourself, it seems as if it was just yesterday you walked through those doors for your first time and smiled at that stranger you sat down next to homeroom who would soon become your best friend. And…in a blink of an eye, it’s all over. These moments are almost gone and I’m certain you’re nervous/excited about the future. But as eager as you are to get out high school, please remember what you are leaving behind. Do not forget to pause, look around and take in what you have right now. Because trust me when I say that you’re going to miss it.

A few months from now, you’ll look down at your planner and realize you only have a couple of weeks of school left. And within those weeks, everything will hit—- and it will hit you hard. You start to realize you will no longer get to buy lunch or eat together with your best guy and girl friends of four (or more) years again. It dawns on you will never have another practice with your teammates or get to cheer your friends on during the championship games in the intramurals. It hits really hard when you realize that your barkada is all going their own separate ways, and within a couple months, they will all have new friends.

So cherish these small hours; look around and smile at the girl who was always in your class but never really talked a lot. Chuckle while looking at the class clown, remembering when you first met him back in freshmen year and he was already such a troublemaker. Celebrate passing the CETs together with your friends because you know deep down no matter how many times you said, “Di naman ako papasa (I won’t pass anyway),” you still worked your butt off for it. Scarf down the food everyone pitched in for the Christmas party (even if it’s almost always pizza), join the games your friends organized no matter how lame they might be.

MHCS Vikings Christmas Party

When you have finished your last game, Whether you won or lost, thank your coach/mentor for everything they’ve done. Clap your teammates on the back one last time and give the sulking underclassman some words of encouragement to cheer him up. During intrams, play and cheer your heart out, no matter what happens. Delight in every practice and every game you have together because the next time you return to the court, you will be watching from the bleachers in a completely different atmosphere.

Vikings Cheering

Vikings Intrams

Vikings Class of 2017

And as you’re coming up on your last prom, my word of advice is: just ask him/her to prom already. You’ll never know what answer you might get if you don’t have the guts to ask. Dress for a night to remember and dance until your shoes wear you out.

Take as many pictures as you can with your best friends; hug them every chance you get because chances are, you will not attending the same university next year. Find happiness in every moment you get to spend with your batchmates.

Vikings Retreat

Then, as the last week of classes comes around, you’ll be finishing up your final papers and last exams of high school; already looking forward to getting that well-deserved diploma. Aside from cramming your other requirements for clearance, you’ll also plan to cram those dedications (HAHAHAH) because everyone obviously wants a heartfelt hand written dedic as a keepsake.

You’ll roll your eyes at how draggy and boring graduation rehearsals are but let me tell you: hold on to those days. Those are the final days your class, your family of four years or more, will ever be together again.

And when graduation finally comes around and you’re all lined up and waiting in the back of the gym or hall in your white toga to walk down the aisle (more like a red carpet), reflect on the past four years. All your hard work has lead to this very moment, so smile and hold your head high while you down the aisle.

As you sit down in your seat alphabetical order, realize that this may be last time you may speak to that person who was always in front of you when lining up. Congratulate him and take a picture with him. Heck, take a picture with everyone.

And when your name is called to get your diploma, walk up on that stage and look out at the crowd and take in the sight of your entire class, their families, your teachers and finally, your own family, staring at you smiling. Remember how beyond blessed you are and how much those smiling (and crying) faces have shaped you into the person you are today.

Vikings GraduationVikings GraduationVikings Graduation

#VikingsOut

Stefanie Ching,

MHCS Class of 2017

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