Dance with your friends and watch a sunset at least once a week. Especially during junior year! It’s easy to feel like you don’t have time to slow down and smell the roses while you’re cramming for APUSH or the ACT but it’s the sunsets with friends that you’ll remember most. Oh and be sure to stay at least twenty minutes past sunset to see the sky really light up with color. It’s a rookie mistake to leave as soon as the sun sets.
Reading “Le Petit Prince” in French class with Madame Wiatr influenced me the most throughout my high school experience. When she first told the class that we were going to be reading a book in French, my first thought was “No way!” I was certain that I would not be able to understand any of it, and when she told us that we would be analyzing the symbols and the meaning of the book, I thought it would be impossible. However, as we started reading it, I was shocked at how much I could understand. It was an amazing feeling to be able to read in another language, it almost felt like a whole world was opening up to me. I definitely relied a lot on Madame Wiatr to help with the vocabulary and symbols, but she encouraged me and all of the other students to try and read as much as we could on our own. That experience made me fall in love with the French language, and thanks to Madame Wiatr I now have two wonderful French exchange students who are friends for life, and am planning on studying French in college. Whenever I can’t fall asleep, I read “Le Petit Prince”, and the feeling of excitement and shock that I can understand the foreign words before me always comes back just as strong. I feel so lucky to have been in Madame Wiatr’s class for the past four years, and it was such a special experience to learn and grow through her guidance. Merci beaucoup Madame! Bisoux, Chloe.
The mockumentary influenced me the most. It created lifelong friends that I know I will always be able to rely on. It taught me how to manage my time and create dynamic groups of people. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to take part in the project and be proud of the result my group created. I know I will have those videos for years and it will always be a memorable part of my high school experience.
Freshman year was a wake up call for me to say the least. Throughout middle school, my workload was easy. Rarely did I have to stay up late working on homework; however, that was not the case freshman year. Sayers shafted me, Don Carlos yelled at me in a language I didn’t understand, and terror ran through my body amidst a teacher-student scandal involving Madden Mobile. It was not my best year but it only improved. Thankfully, Sophomore year was my easiest year of high school. My course load lessened, allowing me to have more free time. My advice is to just keep your head up. It’s cliché I know; however, it’s true. Each year is more enjoyable than the last, so don’t get caught up in the present, its temporary.
The best advice I could give is to be friends with people who inspire you. In high school, your friends will have a have huge impact on you: on how you act, how hard you work, and how you feel about yourself. Popularity is a myth so find people who love you for you. Stay true to who you are and you will find your real friends.
Mercer Island is the epitome of spirit. And that spirit has given me the best, most amazing experience these past 4 years. However, it can get easy to get caught up in all the hype of the school. The stress of the importance of spirit that is put on all our school related and non-school related events and groups, makes it hard to see past high school. It makes it easy to forget that there is a completely separate world outside of the high school and the community we’ve created. When things are going well, Mercer Island can be the best thing in the world. When things aren’t going too hot, the bubble we’ve created for ourselves can make things very, very difficult. I love MI. But my piece of advice for any current or incoming high school student, would be to remember that you can take yourself outside the bubble every once and awhile. Mercer Island, as amazing as it is, is not and will not be your entire life. Hopefully, it’s something you will be able to look back on fondly, but things go up and down in life. So appreciate everything that makes Mercer Island so amazing, but remember you can always pull yourself out of the chaos when you need to.
It’s time to get rid of your mental, emotional garbage. No one wants to hear it. It stinks. When you scream, “Ahhhh I’m going to fail this test” or “I’m not going to get into college,” you are not doing yourself any justice. You are only hindering your own ability to do your personal best. You must trade your negative words for positive ones. You must be the cockiest person you know in your head. Because if you trust yourself and tell yourself, “I’m going to ace this test” and “I am a wizard at math,” you will eventually accomplish those things. So remember: you become what you think—think good words.
There is never a time in your life where the correct answer to your internal debate is to stay up later to finish the work. Sleep sleep sleep. The less sleep you get the worse quality your work and day will be and you might as well not have stayed up if your were just gonna produce poor quality work. Just go to sleep when you’re tired please.
For current and future MI students: Remember to take every opportunity you can at MIHS. Wear maroon and white every Friday, do your homework, study for tests, create relationships with your teachers and classmates, go to the assemblies, and go to games! You will never get this opportunity again and you won’t realize how valuable it is until you’re graduating. In college, you often have TA’s and grad students teaching you with little access to professors – you’re not likely to have the special relationships with teachers we have here. Most of you won’t have a football team the whole community comes out to cheer for. Student-led (and staff supported) marches may happen, but they won’t be as personal as the ones we’ve had this year because it won’t be as intimate a community. MIHS wants only the best for you – you can have incredible experiences if you take advantage of this place we call home. Class of 2021 (my brother’s class), slow down! You’ll be adults soon enough – learn to enjoy being kids! Finally, don’t waste your time on toxic people. Find friends who care about helping others and will be there for you through anything. It will make leaving that much harder but the memories you create now will nourish you on difficult days later. See ya later, MI!
To the current students of MIHS, I advise you to laugh a little more, stress a little less, and nap more than you think you need to. Seriously, the nap part helps. No matter how close you are to the college application process, remember to live for yourself – not a college. We all end up going where we’re meant to go, and sometimes that isn’t even a college campus. Find activities that you enjoy, friends who you can FaceTime in a crisis, and actually call them when you need help. If there’s something you want to happen, then make it happen. And don’t be afraid to try something new, even if other people might not think it’s “cool.” Some of the greatest experiences that I’ve had in high school were those that I never expected to be part of. High school may seem like it lasts forever now, but it’ll be over before you know it; I hope you enjoy your time in high school, because believe it or not, I’ve enjoyed mine so it’s possible.
Real talk advice you won’t hear elsewhere: 1. Put your phone in black and white to limit distraction 2. Stock a snack locker with instant oatmeal, tea, mugs, and reusable utensils so you don’t have to stand in the lunch line 3. Get a major haircut halfway through high school—go for a big style change 4. Don’t be afraid to ride your bike to school (the downhill ride home is amazing) 5. Join a club and host a drive or fundraiser; give back to the community 6. And last but not least, have dance parties with your friends, anytime, anywhere, especially during junior year.
From my time at Mercer Island High School, I have slowly transitioned from a small and apprehensive freshman to a more mature senior, approaching adulthood. Apart from the material I learned in the classroom, my journey throughout high school has taught me countless important life values. Before I came here, I hated studying, working, or doing anything moderately difficult. Whenever I received a bad grade on an assignment, I would complain about how the teacher was being unfair or how they must have made a mistake! I now realize how inexperienced this idea was, and that to expect good results without putting any work in was unreasonable. Succeeding in high school is about learning to apply yourself everyday and compounded over time, will results finally start to show, whether it be in your classes, your relationships, and anything else. This is a mindset that I will keep for the rest of my life, learning to trust the process that would someday bring me the results I want. Apart from this, my time in high school has taught me that not all battles are expected to be fought and it’s important to choose the key ones to fight and at the right time. If I tried to win every battle, I would have burned out by my freshman year! To get through school while being satisfied with what I have accomplished, I learned to pick the right battles to fight and win. The ones that really matter at the end of the day, that would make the difference my time here. These important mindsets have helped me survive my four years here and it took months of trial and error before I even came close to realizing this. It took the help of my teachers, advisors, books, and my friends that got me where I am today. I am privileged to be able to attend college, and I look to use the values I learned here over the next four years in the hopes of bettering myself and community around me.
I have become an entirely different person. Coming into high school I was completely entirely alone. No, I was not a transfer student. No, I did not speak another language, but regardless I was entirely alone. I was unable to find myself and spent more time trying to be like other people than I did trying to be myself. I would walk through the halls alone, knowing no one but my older sister, who would rather pretend that I was a stranger than risk her social status by acknowledging her younger brother’s existence. I sat in the back of class, afraid to answer questions out of the fear that I could possibly become more ridiculed than I already felt. I am probably singlehandedly the reason they removed the app store from the iPad’s because of how much I played games in Honors Geometry with Mr. Weed. I was alone yes, but even more than that I was lost. I had no direction, no desired future, nothing. I spent the year moping instead of studying and by the end of the year my grades reflected that. However, that is not the end of this sad soap opera story. I realized at the end of freshman year that I did not like being lost, I did not like feeling alone, and I most of all did not like failing. I understood that I had been the reason that I had been failing. Not Mr. Weed, not my parents, not my coaches, me. I decided that I had to change for myself and the person that I wanted to be. I committed myself to studying, to playing less games and paying more attention, and to finding something that I could believe in. For me that was Cross Country. That team became my family and my best friends, and it also became my salvation. I was pushed to perform better, to be better, and that wasn’t just in the races. Sophomore year single handedly changed my life’s course as I devoted myself to be a better student, a better friend, and a better person. I found a passion, and friends who shared that passion, and I pulled myself out of a dark place.I am so thankful for what I have gained, and the people that have supported me along the way. If I could only give one last message it would be this: Don’t give in, Don’t give up, hold on to every person and every moment like you will never see it again, because before you know it you’ll be sitting where I am, writing an answer to this very question. What matters now is how do you want to answer this question. So go out and become the person you want to write about.
Sophomore year, I decided to take singleton English and my teacher was Ms. Melgar. It turned out to be one of the defining moments of my academic career. Ms. Melgar helped me take my literary analysis and writing to the next level, consider new ideas, and try out new techniques with my writing. Not only was the class challenging, but it was also the class that I looked forward to the most in my schedule, At the end of the year, Ms. Melgar encouraged me to take Improv. Without hesitation I signed up, looking forward to something different in what would be a stressful year. Going into the class, I was a bit nervous; there were many students I did not know and I was worried about making a fool of myself in front of new people. However I learned that it is okay to be yourself all the time. The students in my class became like a family. The end of semester performance, which I was really nervous for, was a huge success and some of the most fun I’ve had in this building. The encouragement of Ms. Melgar to push myself in new ways helped me enormously in choosing who I wanted to be and how I wanted to represent myself in this school.