photo by Evan Riley

Parting Words

Final thoughts from the seniors on the Uproar staff

June 11, 2021

Sofia Brickner

Reflecting on my time at NASH, as Ferris Bueller would say, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Senior year felt like it passed in a blink of an eye, but the memories I made certainly will stick with me. If there’s anything I’ve learned the most from senior year, it’s how important it is to stop caring about what other people think. I’ve always tried to make this my mentality, and this year I think I finally made a noticeable enough effort to be proud of myself.

I’ll admit, it’s not easy, but the reality is, you’re only holding yourself back from being the best version of yourself and not allowing yourself to do what makes you happy. People will change and come and go, and that’s okay. It’s all about going with the flow, living in the moment, getting over the bumps in the road, and simply choosing to notice and embracing the little things everyday that can make any dull repetitive day a day worth living.

Alyssa Bruce

Like everything, my high school experience was both good and bad. My four years at NA were a mixture of positive and negative aspects. I had awful experiences. However, I also met some of the most important people in my life throughout high school.

Despite the downsides, I am happy that these four years occurred the way that they did. They were ny no means perfect, but the good situations made me happy, and the bad situations taught me something. These four years made me who I am today.

Looking forward to the future, I feel that I am prepared for college. It’ll be an adjustment, but I think that life is full of adjustments after adjustments. Sure, it’ll be new, and uncharted territory. However, this past year, I think that we all have gotten used to new and uncharted territory.

Each year taught me new lessons and beliefs. Although it is hard to choose just one important lesson NA taught me, I would say that self-advocating was the most important of them all. Reflecting on my high school experience makes me immensely grateful that NA taught me to have the confidence to advocate for myself, because it is a skill that I greatly needed to learn.

Lucie Flagg

A few months ago, I watched a video that compared the size of Earth to the size of the galaxy and beyond. I felt so small—like no matter how much I will achieve during my time on Earth, it will always be minuscule in comparison to the universe we live in.

As I fell into an almost depressed state knowing diminutive impact I and everyone else has, I realized the good and beneficial in being practically nothing. The pressures we feel and the tiny things we stress over are even smaller than we are, and that includes schoolwork. Yesterday’s homework and tomorrow’s test mean nothing.

Success is not always based on academic busywork but rather on the drive and motive to achieve it. In the moment, it feels difficult and lazy to not put in the work, and that’s not to say you shouldn’t. Put in the effort to the extent that you need, not what others want. When we stress out for the delight and sake of others—making our parents and teachers proud—we sacrifice perhaps the most delicate and important thing of all: ourselves.

Too many students don’t make it out of high school in one piece, and many of those who do leave broken. Frankly, it’s an epidemic worth fighting. Risk, stress, and fear only impact us when we allow them to.

So strive to seek happiness on your terms because on the scale of everything, we are microscopic beings that just want to enjoy life.

Emma Kim

After 12 years of school, there are definitely a lot of things to say. My time at NA has been a whirlwind, but the last four years have definitely been the most tumultuous. From worrying about grades to pandemics, a lot happened.

Still, I am very grateful for all the small moments in between. Yes, big events, such as vacations and graduating high school, are amazing things to look forward to. But, life is not just about things to look forward to. Life is about all the moments in between the big ones. The small moments are what make up most of our lives, and while they might seem trivial, they can sometimes give us the simplest joys. There are moments, like watching the sunset, laughing with a friend, walking outside into fresh air, listening to a song for the first time, and so many more, that are what make up our lives.

Therefore, my advice is to not forget about the small moments because they are what make the big moments worth it.

Kristen Kinzler

I hate to admit it, but whoever said that it all goes by in the blink of an eye was right. I mean, maybe not all of it, but certainly the good stuff. At least, that’s how the past four years have felt.

I don’t buy into the notion that high school is the best part of your life, but it is a unique part, so do your best to appreciate it for what it is. It’s going to be hard, and it’s going to be a little messy, and every failure will feel like it knocks the wind out of you. But when the good stuff comes, it will feel like you’re on top of the world.

When you’re growing up, every emotion feels so raw and vulnerable and overwhelming, and it’s worth taking it all in. Don’t let the little things pass you by. Go out of your way to seek out experiences, whether that means stepping out of your comfort zone or interacting with your classmates more or simply putting down the books in order to spend some time with your friends. Because, within the blink of an eye that is high school, I don’t remember half the things I thought would ruin my life, but I’m grateful for all the little experiences that have turned into lifelong memories.

Zach Ludwick

It’s hard to believe that my 13 years at North Allegheny are finished. It’s been a whirlwind end, to say the least.

I remember being in Kindergarten at McKnight just thinking how far away fifth grade was. Time sure flies. The best thing I’ve learned over these years is to enjoy the ride life gives us.

In terms of journalism, I really enjoyed my time on the Uproar over the last year. Being able to express myself and potentially bring new information and viewpoints to readers is something I cherished. On top of that, I want to say thank you to everyone who read our site.

These last two school years were not easy, but I am confident that our class will have the ability to take these lessons learned and apply them to our future. Remember that nothing will ever be easy as we take on the challenges that face us. Life will throw a whole bunch of curveballs and blindside hits, but just keep trucking.

Thank you for the great memories, North Allegheny, and here is to whatever is in store for all of us.

Abby Pingpank

Ever since first grade, I have been a student at North Allegheny, and it is all I’ve ever known. I am who I am because of my time spent here at NA, and I would not trade it for anything.

Though these last 15 months have been tough, and I never expected my time at NA to end the way it did. However, I think through it all, everything that happened has taught me so much.

Looking back on the years I have had at NA, the one thing that sticks out to me is the friendships I have made. Some go back all the way to second or third grade, while others I met just last year. I am extremely grateful to have met the people I have at NA. My teachers have been nothing but wonderful, and I will miss them next year.

With everything I have learned over the last year or so, my advice to underclassmen is be to cherish your memories and try to enjoy your last senior year. Your last year of high school may seem very intimidating and stressful, but I promise you, it will work out in the end. Senior year will be one of your best years (if not the best) at NA, so do your best to take it all in before you move on to the next part of your life.

Kennedy Stana

We definitely had one of the craziest senior years, but I’m so happy with everything we accomplished. We did our best to do what we could with what we had. I’m so thankful for all the friends I made over these four years and so grateful for the teachers I had.

This year taught me how to stay positive and always look at the bright side. We really learned how to adapt and make the best out of what we had. Journalism was definitely something that helped me let out my creativity. Thanks to journalism, I have found my passion. I am so excited for this new chapter of my life and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

This year definitely had its ups and downs, but overall we ended it the best we could. Thank you to NASH for doing all you could for the senior class. This will definitely be a year we won’t forget!

Christiaan Titus

Obviously, this year was much different than any other year. Although there were some things that we weren’t able to do exactly the way we wanted to, there were still so many great moments that I will always remember from my senior year.

I had a great time with Mr. Bishop, Mrs. Keyes and Mr. Brown in MSU and the Multicultural Experience class. This was also my first year writing for the Uproar, and I have to say I loved every moment of it. Being able to express myself and talk about issues that were important to me was a fantastic opportunity, and I thank Mr. Morris and all of the Uproar staff for that chance.

As for any advice for upcoming seniors, I would say make sure you apply for colleges early, so it’s not as stressful throughout the year and you can just enjoy it. Get all your work done, but don’t worry too much about everything or you will be too stressed.

Thank you to everyone who made my high school experience so memorable, and I am excited to use what I have learned in the future.

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