Seniors’ thoughts on how they’d be remembered, freshmen advice, and more

Illustration by Daniel Hathaway

Illustration by Daniel Hathaway

Daniel Hathaway

What is the Most Important Thing You Learned in High School?

“I learned how to finish high quality assignments the night before they’re due.” – Talia Zakalik

“High school is a great filter, it weeds out immaturity and inadequacy. It’s comforting to see the change that everybody goes through in high school and realize how much better off everybody is than they were before, especially socially.” – Charles Cain

“The most important thing I learned in high school is balance. It’s essential for living a happy life. You’ll always have things you do that you love, things you don’t particularly care about, and things you hate, but they’re all still necessary and figuring out how to work them all together in the right amounts is key. Knowing the times when you need to buckle down and get work done or when you need to go see friends or when you need time outside alone is super important and a skill that the busyness of high school has forced me to learn.” – Eva Kubacki

“Life’s too short to stress over.” – Muneer Elshaikh

“I learned how the world actually works.” – John Lang

“I learned how to advocate for myself.” – Rebecca Brewer

“There is no difference between improving oneself and improving the world.” – Daniel Hathaway

“I learned how to act like a normal person.” – Stephen Jones

“I learned what subjects I’m interested in.” – Paige McCreadie

“I learned the importance of building strong relationships with people. Difficult times become easier when you have a support network of peers to turn to.” – Kyle Cheng

“Your future isn’t 100% determined by tests or what college you go to. People stress a lot about SAT tests and which college you’ll get into. From talking to adults I’ve learned that you don’t always end up in the same field as your major.” – Jessica Sheehan

“It’s not always going to go as you pictured or planned, so it’s okay to figure things out on the fly.” – Rory Campbell

“I learned how to weigh what really mattered to me. At the beginning of high school, I felt like I had to take everything everyone said to heart, and it caused a lot of stress as I tried to live up to everyone’s expectations. After I learned to focus less on people’s expectations of me and work on my expectations for myself, a lot of that stress was lifted. You get to choose what matters most to you and what feedback will help you the most in life.” – Jenny Meng


What Will the World Remember About This Generation in 50 Years?

“I think people will remember how much of our generation are activists. We campaign for new leaders, we fight for civil rights, and we are unafraid to question the status quo. This is something that previous generations were hesitant towards, and the reason why 50 years from now, we will hopefully be looking at a very different world.” – Eliza Shearing

“The world will remember how adaptable we are.” – Lauren Woodside

“The world will remember our resilience in the pandemic.” – Paige McCreadie

“A global pandemic couldn’t slow us down.” – Katherine Ellis

“We achieved great scholastic success with our own grit at home.” – Aleks Shameti


How Do You Want to be Remembered for Your Time at Pioneer?

“Don’t lose hope. If you need to move on from failure, move on.” –  Bufan Shi

“I want to be remembered as one of the most respected by students and staff.” – Davieon Olive

“I want to be remembered as a dedicated member of the Costumes Crew.” – Alexander Damm

“I want to be remembered for being nice.” – Kale Lampman

“I want to be remembered as the kid who was friendly and asked good questions in class.” – Renee Starosta

“I want to be remembered for my time spent in Peer Connections. It is my favorite class and I have a lot of memories from it.” – Michael Weindorf

“I want to be remembered as a student who tried hard but didn’t necessarily take things too seriously.” – Jessica Sheehan

“I want people to think of me and to feel as though I am a safe person to talk to.” – Aleks Shameti

I valued my relationships with my fellow students, and I was always willing to be involved, whether it was in the Arts, Athletics, or Academics. These relationships and experiences contributed to me being determined to achieve my goals!” – Kevin Dancey


What Advice Do You Have for Underclassmen?

My advice to underclassmen would be to take initiative. I know that is a lot easier said than done, but if you have a genuine interest that you want to make a reality just start asking around. Odds are there are way more students, faculty members, and administrators who will provide help and support than you would think.” – Heath Monsma

“Be yourself, go on your own path. Do not let other people plan for you.” –  Bufan Shi

“Keep working hard and you can reach your goals.” – Garrett Kracht

“Don’t sacrifice your mental health for school. It’s not worth it.” – Cassy DeMott

“One piece of advice I have for the underclassmen is just be yourself. I think it is very important to just be yourself. You should not have to be someone you’re not just to get friends. If someone wants you to be something you’re not, then they aren’t going to be a true friend. A true friend won’t want to change you. And I feel like you get more authentic friends when you are just yourself.” – Kyleigh Chambers

“Balancing your schedule is really important. Don’t drain all of your energy when you’re still in high school. Take some time to relax and take care of yourself.” – Yongwen Zheng

“To any underclassmen, I would say that coming to Pioneer is a bit overwhelming and there are a lot of different things you can get involved in. I recommend choosing an extracurricular activity that interests you, and you will most definitely find your people there. Throughout high school, you will most likely fall in and out of friendships, have a hard time figuring out what you want to do, etc. You just have to take advantage of any opportunities that come your way and trust that you will find your path.” – Allison Gaines

“Find friends who won’t mind you asking for help all year.” – Elliot Friedman

Find an interest and pursue it. Don’t hesitate, don’t conform. Don’t focus too hard on being a unique individual, you already are one.” – James Catanzaro

“Try all the classes you can. Pioneer is full of opportunities, and high school is the perfect time to try a variety of classes. Take electives that interest you and don’t worry if you think they’re too hard or not challenging enough because they are not AP; you will still learn a lot and you may find something you love that you never realized before.” – Isabelle Dugan

“Just get your work in.” – Jakob Lorenc

“Turning in an assignment late is better than never doing it, more people struggle than you think.” – Alexander Damm

“Every day might feel long, but these four years of high school will go by quickly.” – Stanley Rhodes

“Enjoy your high school time as much as possible because it goes by fast and it’s the last time you get to truly be a kid!” – Madeline Gupta

“Find your interest, and keep working hard to reach your dream.” – Danzheng Chen

“Don’t worry too much about your future! You don’t have to pull all-nighters to study or stress yourself out over one assignment. You’ll end up where you’re meant to be.” – Martha Laramore-Josey

“Be passionate. Find something, anything, that you truly care about and pursue it. It could be a sport, volunteering for a cause, a matter of justice, an area of educational interest, or a hobby. No matter what it is, enjoy it. Having passion for yourself and others will create meaningful connections for you in your community.” – Jillian Giordano

“Don’t take classes for granted, you’ll get something different out of all of them.” – Justice Jackson

“It’s never too late to find your people.” – Rishika Bhutani

“Be proactive, but more importantly, take time to enjoy the simple things in life.” – Kaitlyn Fa

“Don’t be afraid to try new classes out! Even if you don’t have any experience in the subject, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from testing an interesting elective or core class.” – Peter Bonasso