Dr. Arnel speaks at Senior Awards Night. The seniors have worked hard the past four years to be recognized at this ceremony.

Senior Synopses

9 seniors share final sentiments about what college has been to them, underclassmen advice, and how they feel to be graduating.

Kenzie Morris:

“I will never get tired of this.”

How naive Freshman Me was. I loved my classes pretty much all four years, I began and ended my theatre career with a lead role and made some of the best friendships of my life. Even until this year, I dreaded graduation. I still felt like a freshman and was reluctant to accept the inevitable. Who knew how much a year could change?

I have loved going to FHC. These past four years I have prepared me well for my future and shown me my true passions. (Eighth grade me would be shocked to find out I was a math enthusiast now.) I would not be where I was without the teachers and friends I have had these past four years, but oh boy am I ready to get out of here. I realize now this is what I have been working towards the whole time. I was just along for the ride, but now it is time to get off, and I am so lucky I had people to make sure I was ready for what is to come.

Cameron Olea:

Some quick thoughts:

Everyone, pick your battles. We’re all just trying to get through the day. Most of us (a lot of us) don’t want to be here. Please don’t make pointless drama or start fights about something as stupid as wearing the same yoga pants twice in a row. (I actually saw that fight happen firsthand) Please just try and make your day, and everyone else’s day as quick and easy as possible.

Mouthing off to the teacher is no longer as funny as it was in middle school. Other kids will hate you. Like I said, we’re all just trying to get through the day.

You will make a lot of mistakes. Like A lot. Bad things will happen to you. You might fail a class. He/She might break up with you. Rumors might get told about you.  None of this is the end of the world. This is the best time for things to happen to you because high school is such a small part of your life, but nonetheless they can have an impact on you. Important thing to remember: You are only as good as how you handle the situation and consider every mistake a learning experience.

If I had one regret in high school (aside from eating sushi from that japanese buffet) would be that I didn’t try hard enough. I get it. I totally do. Slacking off is so easy, and sometimes school can get overwhelming, but because I slacked off there are so many doors closed off to me after high school. If you come from a family where school really wasn’t a priority, then be the one to change that. Be the best one in your family. If your excuse is that “I’m just not a good student. I’m not smart enough.” and that’s the reason you’re not trying, then maybe you should give trying a try. Yes, it takes time. Yes it’s difficult, especially when you’re in a habit of not trying because of your “What’s the point?” mentality, but you’d be surprised by what you’re capable of.

Liz Gerger:

Being one of a few coming from Bryan middle school, I didn’t have many friends freshman year. Everyone already had their cliques, their teams, their friends. I was quiet and low key, just trying to skate by until graduation day. Growing up I thought I would meet my high school sweetheart and be successful right off the bat. Man, was I wrong.

After sophomore year I realized that I needed to just reach out and be the outgoing person I really am. Junior year was easily one of the best years of my life. I started making more friends, studying harder, and getting more comfortable with teachers. I started being more friendly- saying hi to peers in the hallway instead of pretending to be busy on my phone. If all I am is nice and pleasant, people can’t talk bad about the girl who smiles and waves all the time.

That attitude carried into senior year. I would never have had the same high school experience if I never crawled out of my shell. People that hear this story now can’t believe it, a completely 180 rotation.

FHC has not only taught me how to get out of my shell, but how to break it and stay out. I went out for new sports, reached out to new people, went to sporting events alone- so many things I would have been scared to do if I was still a freshman. I can’t say I won’t be sad to graduate- a huge chapter of my life is over, it’d be crazy not to be a little phased- but I’m so excited to go out and see how I can take all I’ve learned at FHC and make a difference in the world.

Veronica Zieman:

High school has been a very important time for me. I did more growing over the past four years than I did in middle school and elementary school combined. I have grown into a more mature person than I was before. I learned to respect others, and that hating everything doesn’t make you cool; it just makes you angry. I learned that sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is cut toxic people out of your life, and that doesn’t make you a bad person. I also learned to let the little things go. Not every offhand comment needs to turn into a fight, but if someone really hurts you, you need to stand up for yourself.

High school is where I really decided what I wanted to do with my life. I learned that the path to where I want to be is going to be hard, but I also learned that I am capable of putting in the hard work that it will take to do it. High school is where I stopped being able to just skate by. I had to learn how to study. High school is where I first walked into a test, sat down, and realized I had no idea what I was doing. I failed a test for the first time in high school.

High school has been a humbling experience, but it also inspired me to try harder in everything that I do. I don’t want to skate by in life and only do what’s easy. I want to feel pride in doing what I do because it was hard, and I did it anyway. High school is what made me realize that.

Elisa Swanson:

Man, I never saw myself as the person as I am today. I actually came into high school as the girl that just wanted to fly under the radar; I had the perfect older sister and I was a little shadow. I dreamed of growing up and being out of the brick school that I felt walled me in.

Turns out the only person that walled me in was myself. It may have taken me more than a year, but I found out more about myself and where I fit in the last four years of my life than in the first 13. I learned to play tennis, I learned to take pictures and write and design, I learned to manage basketball and I don’t regret anything I learned to do. My only regret is not learning to embrace what life has given you sooner.

Specifically on my senior year, I overcame a lot of obstacles. I had to make some tough decisions and the thing is I can’t decide what to wear some mornings let alone what I want to do with my life. I also had to overlook the expectation of people; I needed to choose for myself and make decisions that would make me happy. Overall, I will super miss high school, but I also know it is time for me to grow and take what I learned in high school and bring it into the real world.

Alyssa Mitchell:

  Being a senior, I believe has a lot of pros and cons. The saddest part about is that your high school career is ending and all of the memories there stop. Memories are what make high school the greatest milestone of your life journey. Whether the journey has been good or bad there is always something positive that comes out of it in some way even if it isn’t clear right now. To me being  a senior is unbelievable because I would always think this year would never come as fast as it had.

  Throughout my high school career I have learned so many things and senior year is like the time where they all connect together into one big lesson. Even though I was never truly involved I feel like senior year is the last year to really make an impact at your school. Being a senior is truly exciting knowing that graduation is a big event, but also nerve wrecking when you are walking across that stage in front of thousands of people and the class. I am excited to see the smiles on my families face and them saying “You did it!” because I never would have thought in making it this far. I can’t wait to take the next few chapters of my life and see what the future awaits for everyone.

Raina Carter:

Well my high school experience was definitely different from most kids. I moved to this district in 8th grade and most of the kids from my middle school didn’t come to this high school.

While I do have some good memories from this school I’m more than ready to graduate and go on to the college. After working so hard for five years just to get where I am I’m definitely pleased with the outcome, and excited to start the next chapter in my life.

There isn’t really anything I’d change about my high school experience, but there are some things I wished were different about the school in general. For example I wish our school recognized the high achieving students differently. I think the way the top ten students for each grade were announced during the spring pep assembly was plain disappointing. Other schools go all out for these students, letting the top ten seniors walk out onto the gym floor repping the college they will attend in the fall, whereas we breezed over the students and possibly got the order wrong.

I will say I had high expectations for high school based on what everyone has said, but the only true thing people have told me is that these four years fly by.

Caleb Harmon:

Well this is the last year. After four years of being in classes and being with friends, high school is ending. Leaving my freshman and sophomore years here at FHC I have always thought that summer meant that I was free from an institution that forced me to wake up at 5:30 in the morning pretty much every weekday. After Junior year, it started to set in that the next year would be the last of a great high school career. And while attending my Senior year,  a truly great bittersweet feeling about graduating and leaving all the familiarities behind began to set in as the year progressed. The next step for me is college.

College is actually a little scary to think about for me because going to college means leaving my mom and dad, many friends, and a home behind. When my college is in San Jose, California and only easily accessible by a plane flight, it sets in a little extra that I am entering a whole new independent phase of my life. Although it is a huge step that will provide experience for the adult world, an incoming college freshman can’t help but feel a little too independent. High school was always an outstanding learning experience and an extremely fun part of my life, but I know that leaving it is the best step forward in life.  I don’t think I have peaked in my life and I can’t wait for what the future holds. But even though I am full of anticipation and excitement to take the next major step in my life, I can’t help but feel like a major piece of my life is being left behind.

Elaine Mallon:

With two half days of high school left, I find myself a little disappointed.  High school wasn’t the John Hughes movie that I expected it to be, and I’m rather angry at myself for not making the most out of high school.  It wasn’t a bad experience, far from it.  From spending a weekend at Lake of the Ozarks for DECA to visiting Hannibal for AP Lit, Francis Howell Central has provided me with so many amazing opportunities, and has given me some pretty good memories.  Despite this, I still find myself unsatisfied.  Unsatisfied with the many times, I didn’t give a hundred percent to my school work, to my friends.   Unsatisfied with not always living in the moment.  Unsatisfied with the many times I wished class was over.  I just wish I wasn’t always so impatient with getting school over with, and possessed more passion for where I was.  

I’ve made some of my best friends my senior year, and as happy as I am that they are in my life, i just wish they could have come sooner.  I wish they would have been there when I was struggling my sophomore year.  Now as I reflect on all of high school, I only have one take away.  The little things in life matter.  The most ordinary things in life can be some of the most beautiful things, so just cherish it.  I didn’t always fully appreciate everything. And now that it’s almost over  I can’t help but find myself a little empty.

Abbie Bartell:
Four years ago, I was a tiny little freshman that would get lost on my way to the bathroom, ask teachers dumb questions, and walk the wrong way in the hallways. Well four years later and I still do most of those things. Unlike a decent amount of the high schoolers, I have loved my four years in high school. From the spirit weeks to sporting events, I have loved all of it. I am so thankful for all of the teachers and people I have met and I am even thankful for the hours on hours of homework, the not so amazing teachers, and the people that sometimes made me think evil thoughts. I am thankful for all of it because it will all help me in the future and most of all in college. I made so many great memories in highschool I couldn’t (and won’t) list them all. But now that highschool is QUICKLY coming to an end, I am really appreciating all the many first lasts I have had this year. People ask me how i feel about leaving high school and I still haven’t been able to conjure up a good enough answer and when i try to explain it, the only other people that understand my answer are other seniors because they are feeling the exact same way. A combination of Happiness, sadness, and almost a weird kind of fear of being done with such a huge chapter in our lives. I am certainly excited to be graduating but I am going to miss high school and all the memories i have made but really all i have left to say to the people and friends of FHC is thank you. Thank you for all the memories and friends i have gained and all the lessons I have learned and all the hardships i have faced. Because of those things i know I am ready to leave Francis Howell Central and be prepared for what the future holds for me.

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