Advice to Baby Raptors

As the Class of 2023 leaves the nest, some life lessons stay behind.


Although it feels like yesterday when I walked into the lecture hall for the first day of Summer Scholars, four years have passed since and I feel it’s necessary to leave you all behind with some expert raptor wisdom. Over the course of my time here at AMHS, I’ve learned a variety of lessons, some of which I hope that you all try your best to avoid and most that I feel are necessary to personal growth & your high school experience.

Make Friends Right Away

As graduation looms around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about my classmates and what we’ve done together over the last four years. Some I call my best friends, some I wish I were closer to, and some are still acquaintances. It almost feels surreal that we’re all seniors. While it’s virtually impossible to be best friends with everyone you meet, my main regret is not putting myself out there early on in order to connect with other people in my grade sooner. Although it sounds like a cliche, time flies by and there’s a decent chance that you’ll be wishing you put in a little more effort to get to know the people around you better. It’s also good to know the people in your classes so that you’re comfortable asking them for the homework assignments. It seems scary, but putting yourself out there will be more beneficial than you might think. 


Hold Yourself Accountable

In an academically challenging environment, it’s crucial to hold yourself accountable and practice some form of self discipline. Whether it’s making sure that you study or doing tedious assignments on time, holding yourself accountable will have great benefits in the long run and it’s something that I wish I learned about in freshman/sophomore year. Overall, practicing self discipline takes routine and repetition, but the sense of accomplishment and responsibility that comes with it is important to have as an upperclassman and beyond. Everything you do now impacts you in the future & it’s better to not regret your choice of lifestyle by the time you’re a senior. One factor that is included in self-accountability is the ability to ask for help. While it seems daunting to ask teachers, peers, or parents for help, the results can be incredibly helpful for your wellbeing and your education!


Learn Time Management

Just as it’s important to hold yourself accountable for your actions and choices, both academic and otherwise, it’s crucial to understand time management. This is a lesson that everyone must learn, from the time that they’re a freshman to the time they’re a senior. A few ways to better your time management is to organize your to-do list by priority, steer clear of procrastination, and ultimately do what’s right for you. 


Place Less Emphasis on Perfection

Take it day by day. At a school like Magnet, it’s easy to succumb to the overwhelming sense of perfectionism, but it’s crucial  to take a step back and reflect on what matters most to you. Although it’s not a habit/mindset I would recommend adopting into your daily life, this is a blunt fact: failing on one homework, one quiz, one test, etc won’t completely derail your future. If you find yourself failing a math test or an English essay, take at least 5 deep breaths (yes, they really help.) Then, separate your self worth from the numerical grade staring back up at you, and work to better understand yourself & your work habits. Although another repetitive cliche, we aren’t meant to be perfect, and it’s oftentimes beneficial to take a step back and focus on the day-to-day aspects of your life & school year. 

At a school like Magnet, it’s easy to succumb to the overwhelming sense of perfectionism, but it’s crucial  to take a step back and reflect on what matters most to you

Don’t Place Self Worth on College Decisions

A lesson that I’ve recently, and turbulently, learned has been to not allow myself to place my self-worth and value on how many kids one college can take. While some argue that 2023 got the bottom of the barrel in the college world, the fact of the matter is that colleges can only take so many, most that have the same high GPA & test scores. College rejection is soul-crushing, to be blunt. In fact, one college left me bedridden for multiple days. While you can decide for yourself whether or not that’s the most dramatic response one could have, a college accepting 8% of its applicants doesn’t necessarily reflect on you. Oftentimes, there’s no direct rhyme or reason. You’re still a worthy & strong applicant and your hard work won’t go unnoticed. As you know, rejection is redirection & we all end up where we belong. May 1st also isn’t an end all be all, so steer clear from those anxieties. 


Remember to Have Fun

As a baby freshman, I was excited for all of the things I believed that high school would bring. While I somewhat found those things, I also found immense stress & newfound fears about school. Although AMHS is meant to push you & force you to grow as a person, it’s incredibly crucial to make time for fun. Magnet has unmatched school spirit and surprisingly impactful efforts to  brighten the student body. Make sure to make time for yourself, prioritizing sleep & self care is necessary. Make time for going to football games with your friends & working to develop connections with other people. While getting good grades is obviously important, it’s equally important, in my opinion, to focus on the social aspects of high school as well. I don’t really know if this is controversial advice, but more than anything, it’s about balance. One thing everyone will have to learn is how to balance school, sports, and social life. It’s worth it! Also, join a sports team. It will 100% be a lot of fun and is a great way to meet new people. Also… go all out for spirit week & sports games… some of you have been making me scared for the future of our undeniably fun school spirit. But, I digress. 

Overall, these lessons (and more) will have to be learnt by each and everyone of you. It’s a way to better yourself and grow as an individual. If I could do it all over again, there are certainly things I’d do differently. High school is a different experience for everyone and I genuinely wish you all the best of the best. You’re all integral in each other’s lives/experiences. Remember to focus on your academics but also on fulfilling your personal life & goals. Don’t worry, college will work itself out. Oh, and be sure to map out the parking lot before the summer-before-junior-year-starts. The senior lot is truly a battlefield. It’s been an honor, AMHS, thank you for all the memories, people, spirit weeks, and lessons. The birdcage will be missed.