What an Experience it Was!


Jovencio Daguio Jr., Staff Writer

Graduation is fast approaching and it’s that time of the year where senior students finalize their choice of college. While the process of applying to college was stressful, many seniors are celebrating their accomplishments by signing-off to a community college or university.

Before getting into what college I decided on and what my fellow peers did as well, I would like to look back on my 4 years at Hillcrest High School!

The statement “High school is the best 4 years of your life,” is truly not what it says, well in my situation. I personally didn’t feel the real high school experience at Hillcrest. I felt like I was brought back to middle school but with more rigorous courses. A high school is a place where one can develop a stronger character, learn from what is right and wrong, gain strength from weaknesses, and be truly prepared for the “real world.” While at Hillcrest, I was able to be myself and grow out of my comfort zone with the help of many amazing advisors such as Mr. Fitch and Mrs. Cardinal, just to name a few. From the beginning of high school, I have completed many accomplishments that made me sweat, cry and work hard for.

Freshman year was a stress-free year and just getting to know the ways of High School. I came into the doors with a nervous face, wondering if I would survive for 4 years. I participated in a couple of clubs just to test out my social skills and gain experience while at it. I did make multiple friends and had built great connections with the teachers. However, I was not smart enough to talk to my counselor to have all honors classes.

High school was intimidating at first but I came to realize that it wasn’t that tough during Sophomore year. I made such memorable moments from winning in a competition for Mathletes to creating s’ mores from a self-made microwave in science class.

I did want all honors classes and eventually regret making that decision. Though it was tough, I was able to create a balance between school and my personal life. I hated my Junior year because of the amount of stress that was put down on me. It felt as if I was carrying 60 pounds of homework on my chest on top of everything else such as preparing for the SAT’s and applying to college. However, I had amazing opportunities such as planning the carnival event for homecoming to performing at the musical, Hamilton, which was very nerve-racking and exciting for me, even with the amount of stress I had.

Senior year finally came and at it hit me hard, really hard. I should’ve learned from the previous year to not overwhelm myself but I decided to take a risk and take 5 AP classes which I don’t regret making the decision at all. I have learned so many things from writing creatively to creating art pieces that speak a strong message. I knew that the decision I chose to make would be worth my pain and struggle at the end. I am truly prepared for what’s to come because of my struggles.

Now moving on to my college decision! I finally decided to choose LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO as my next home to further my education. The reason I chose Loyola was because of the positive vibes that the students and staff put off while I went to visit. The undergraduate admissions counselor was so friendly and were willing to help set a plan to make sure I have a strong chance of applying to Med School. I based my decision on plenty of factors but the liberal arts and science program is what caught my eye.

I have asked a couple of seniors at Hillcrest on their next steps after graduating high school. Ruz Nono, an aspiring dentist, mentioned that she is “continuing [her] education at South Suburban College for 2 years on a full scholarship” then is planning to “transfer to a university in preparation for dental school.” The scholarship and location are what made her decide to go to South Suburban.

Furthermore, Tatyana Turner mentioned that she wants to “become a veterinarian and is planning to get [her] education at Iowa State University” to get her bachelor’s in Animal Science. She went on to say that Iowa State was “a more inviting environment” than the other colleges that she visited.

Lastly, Johnae Hilson is looking forward to completing her bachelor’s in marketing at Bradley University with a full scholarship to attend there. She mentioned that Bradley “would meet all her personal needs” and that the campus size is “right for her.”

All in all, I somewhat enjoyed the high school experience and look forward to having a great time at Loyola and hopefully everything is going to work out in my favor.