Advice for the Journey

A letter from the Class of 2020


via Class of 2020 Twitter

Car Wash volunteers from the Class of 2020 at Baileys Garage, May 2018. Left to right Jarib Cole, Will Klein, Steve Pizzi, Mikaela Littman, Jarae Cole, Colby Chryssicas, Victoria Donahue, Rob Stephens, Grace O’Donnell, Tom Furness, Bubba Gendreau, Leo Magnasco, Colby Augusta, Jake Bennett.

Meagan McCadden, Staff Writer

Dearest Friend,

If you are reading this as a high school senior getting ready to graduate, I bet you have seen those movies about high school. You’ve become familiar with the idea that high school students are living a coming of age film.

I also bet you walked into the doors of Abington High School your freshman year and realized this is not what high school is like at all. There was no random outburst of musical numbers and scripts to read from. There was no quick cut transitions like a movie would have. High school is the real, raw, and uncut footage.

To those in middle school  preparing for high school, you will form connections with people that you may not have ever seen coming. You will also fail here and endure devastation. You will feel like you have reached rock bottom.

Likewise, you will also succeed here and feel like you are on top of the world. You will test your morals here. You will choose if you want to stand up and pierce the silence that needs to be broken, or quietly keep your thoughts caged.

You will see and hear things that will change your mind. You will learn here. You will make memories here. Memories you would not trade for the world. And through it all, inevitably, you will grow.

Best of luck on every magical moment yet to come,”

— Meagan McCadden

Freshman year: A completely new phase of your life begins. Walking to Dunkin Donuts every Friday has metamorphosed into participating in your after school sports or clubs. You likely will miss some of your former teachers that you had a connection with in middle school.

Academically, you will feel a heavier weight on your shoulders when you realize that everything now counts towards your goals in the future. You are warned multiple times “freshman year matters” when talking about grade point averages, and ranks, but you never really understand what they mean.

You will be anxious to meet the new faculty and staff at the school because in middle school you were taught to presume that they were strict. You will feel unusual in a new environment, walking the same hallways as 18 year olds. You also cannot wait to grow up. During my freshman year, I was already counting down the days until graduation.

Sophomore year: Now that you are not at the very bottom of the food chain, you will feel better. You will know the school and the teachers remotely well and will not be as nervous as the previous year.

You will not be told to sit down at the pep rally, and that will feel good.

Sophomore year is when you start to realize that last year they were right, freshman year is important for your GPA. You will realize that procrastinating about your work really does take a toll on you mentally and physically. You will start thinking about if you want to take AP classes the following year, or if you want to keep pushing for that lead role in the play.

You will also start to realize what you do not want to do in life. If not what you do want to do.

Junior year: You are officially an upperclassman. Now you will really feel like you know the school. Everyone tells you “junior year is the hardest one yet.” The seniors are not scary 18-year-olds anymore; they are your friends.

You will finally make a varsity team.

You will decided to accept a challenge and take an AP course. You will start to really think about colleges and where you can see yourself in a few years. However, you still have a mindset that next year will be the most epic one yet.

You will go to prom. You will finally build up the confidence to step outside of your shell and to take risks.

You will take your SATs or ACTs and then understand why people tell you to study for them.

You will also realize that high school is not scary anymore. And that it is going by a lot quicker than you originally thought.

Senior year: You blink. You realize that the countdown you made freshman year is making you more sad than happy. You will finally feel like you know who your true friends are. You will finally realize who you are and who you want to be.

You will tell yourself, “I can’t believe it’s almost over when it feels like it just started.”

You will be filling out applications to your dream schools. You will not get into one of them and you will feel suffocated. You will get into another one and feel accomplished.

You will not have to take history anymore because you will already have done your three years of time.

You will become captain of the sport you have been passionate about for years. You will take the initiative in your clubs. You will win PowderPuff because the seniors are always better. The seniors will be the loudest at pep rally because once again, they are always better.

You will feel like your grade seems so young and so much less scary than the seniors did during your freshman year. You will be excited for senior reception and the senior activities at the end of the year. You will feel like all the hard work you put in paid off.

Unless a pandemic begins and your senior year ends just as it was starting to get good. If so, you will not realize that the last day of sitting in your classroom with people who have become family to you would be on March 12, 2020. You will then wish you could have done even more before it ended.

So my advice to you, Class of 2024, is to really take it all in. Every moment of it. Don’t try to grow up so fast. So please, take a moment and appreciate all the small moments while they last.

Best of luck on every magical moment yet to come,

Meagan McCadden

Advice from Some Members of the Class of 2020:

“My advice is to never give up and try again. When I had a bad experience freshman year, I thought I was done. But not doing cheer for the next two years was one of my biggest regrets. I ended up doing it my senior year and was glad I did it. Just because one thing goes wrong, doesn’t mean it can’t get better.”- Erin McDermott

“Time management is key; it’s not always a good idea to wait until the last minute.”-Sophia Villano

“Even though everyone says it, high school really does go by fast so try to make the most of it”-Liberty Woods

“My advice to underclassmen would be to try new activities and join new clubs. You are only in high school once. You don’t want to look back and have regrets.”- Yazan Zaidan

“Talk to people outside of your friend group! Try to be friends with everyone because you learn so many things from different people.”- Kylie Roberts

“While keeping your focus on your future goals, don’t forget to spend time with friends and make memories because that’s what you’ll remember most. Spend your time doing what makes you happy!”-Emily Dankese

“Whenever you feel like you can’t do something, don’t be afraid to ask for help. People will for the most part listen to you and help you.”-Seana Phillips

“You should always go to school taking advantage of how exciting it is to be with your friends, learn new things in your classes and form bonds with people you may not know so well. Because after high school is over, you are going to regret not making these years the time of your life.”-Drew Wilson

“Live life spontaneously because the best high school moments are unplanned.”-Lyndsie Roberts

“Go watch and support your friends at their games. Have school spirit and embrace GWP. Participate in spirit week and do all the little things in high school that may seem stupid or corny to you. One day when you no longer have the option to do all the little things you’re going to wish you took advantage of the memories you could’ve made”-Mikayla Littman

“Try not to worry too much about your grades, while they’re important, they’re not as important as your mental health. A bad grade won’t ruin your future.”-Trinity O’Connor

“High School doesn’t last forever. Make as many friends as possible and be a good friend to all of them.”- Andrew Roy

“Don’t try to be someone else to be “cool.” Colleges don’t look at who your friends are; they look at what you’ve accomplished.”- Ailey Riddick

“Even though it might be hard to get out of bed in the morning, do your homework, or even go to class, do it.” –Jessica Rix

“Get out of your comfort zone, try new things, and don’t be afraid to be who you are or make mistakes because sometimes you learn the best lessons from those mistakes.”-Lauren Keleher

“I think the obvious piece of advice is to not take any moment for granted, but definitely make time for yourself and enjoy the high school years as much as you can.”-Colby Augusta

“Just treat others the way you would want to be treated.”-Vianne Shao

“Make every day a day to remember because I don’t even remember the last day we were in school physically! Make all the memories you can, try to get along with everyone, and be respectful to your teachers and friends! Also if you play sports, be a leader no matter how old you are because you will get your recognition in time and the team needs you no matter what!”-Corin Mahan

“Form bonds with teachers, it will make the whole experience easier for you to get any extra help you may need.”-Abbey Odell

“I went to high school thinking I would absolutely hate it. I always thought people were exaggerating when they called it the best four years of your life. Yet, they were not wrong. High school was a time where I could socialize and it built my work ethic. Enjoy high school while you can, and trust me, it’s worth putting in the work.”-Daisy Littlefield

“Embrace the learning process and keep pushing yourself to your potential. Remember the obstacles you’ve experienced and most importantly, how you’ve overcame them.”-Kayla Larkin

“After high school you will disperse in the world and go your own ways, so cherish what you have now and make what you have count.”-Brady Therrian

“Live in the moment. Live everyday like it’s your last because it very well could be, and you don’t know what incredible things you’ve lost until they’re gone.”-Manda Riddick

“Life goes by too fast. Our worries are irrelevant. High school is the time to make friends, be adventurous, explore new activities, forgive and be kind to others, be yourself, work hard. You will never get these four years back. Make the most of it.”-Erielle Amboy

“Get as good as you can at the things you really like. That way you can feel like it is a viable career option going forward. Also, enjoy the time with your friends.”-Cam Curney

“When you look back everything that you stressed over seems to fade away and you’re left with the good times so make sure you have as many of them as possible. Take every opportunity you’re presented and step out of your comfort zone and friend group because you’re not guaranteed another opportunity.”-Sam Johnson