The Senior Experience Here At Benicia High School

By Dominic Hernandez

This article contains some information from your fellow students that are graduating from Benicia High School highschool. They will voice their input about their experience of high school  and tips for your next year or your senior year. 

Lorenzo Miguel Morales says that his year was “eye opening”,  it was different from his junior and previous years. “We were behind the screens the entire time.” due to the virus his junior year was at home learning. Lorenzo says that his highlight of the year was his time joining the wrestling team. He liked being a senior because that allowed him to go to tons of the school events. His senior year had him participating in the wrestling team and the track team. Lorenzo’s tip to underclassmen is to join all the school events since they help shape your high school career. One negative fact about being a senior from him is “The amount of AP’s he had.” At the end of this year Morales is going to DVC.

Keith Holbrook explained how his year was full of ups and downs,”but all of it was fun in hindsight, mistakes were made but life wouldn’t be boring without a few accidents every once a while.” Keith’s highlight of their year was to learn and develop themself and work into what they want to become. One of the things Holbrook liked is the Gov and Econ classes, “interesting things to learn about, how this society works is always going to be interesting though.” Keith did not do any extracurricular but did mention, “I do wish I had done some. I would have done track if I wasn’t so lazy, I should have been hard on myself tbh.” A tip from Keith, “doing your work is worth it in the long run, but don’t bite off more than you can chew, you might go insane.” One thing Keith wasn’t happy with was missing prom. They didn’t have the funds but wished they had the experience. This says that if you are an upcoming senior be sure to save up money for next year’s prom. The school gives everyone a heads up when the event is coming.

Keith had a story when they had a grand plan for a teacher. One of Keith’s companions had Mr. Day before lunch and had him after and they thought it would be “funny” to change hair colors while school was in session. During their lunch they had a hair dye salon in the all-gender bathroom. “In hindsight I don’t know how we didn’t get caught, I guess they let just about anything go down in the all gender bathroom.” Keith after high school is going to work, visit his hometown, then move to Oklahoma with his grandparents. “But that’s immediately after, I have yet to find out what I want to do as a career.”

Sid Sphan’s senior year started slowly, but warmed up by having friends’ company, supporting our fellow Panthers at home games, and “skipping on ditch day to go to Bodega Bay.” “On the way to the beach on ditch day, I started to run out of gas so we had to drive farther north to the closest gas station.” Sid’s highlight of the year was prom. “I had a good time with my friends at the venue (Yin Ranch venue Solano County) and we hung out afterwards.” Their favorite thing about being a senior is that they got to leave early. They would once a week take time to focus on homework or other important tasks. The scheme Sid uses is “Do whatever you want. Yes you need to prepare for the future, but the reality is, you only have these 4 years left to do stuff. Skip school to hang out with friends, fill your schedule on the weekends, do whatever. Just keep up with your homework as best you can and take care of yourself.” Sid’s plans after high school is to attend community college then nursing schools after.

Francisco Tapia, his only in-person year  at BHS was his senior year due to COVID-19. His year had a rollercoaster of emotions, having fun times and that being the “. . . band competitions and concerts because they are  what made me enjoy my time at this school despite this year being my only in person year at this school.” His highlights at school were the musical events and band events he participated in. Francisco enjoys the school, but “it sucks because of all the money needed for things like cap and gowns. It is also just expensive due to all the money required to do some of the senior events to the point where it feels like the cost of these events and items are overpriced” For extracurricular activities he is in marching band and the drama production class which was the school musical. Francisco’s tips for underclassmen is “Don’t take AP classes to make yourself look good because at the end of the day you are hurting yourself and if you fail it comes back to bite you during college applications. If you genuinely like the subject and have the time to spare for the class, take it but just know it’s not your ordinary class.”

 A negative experience at the high school is the “mood killers” He is talking about the people that are there just to be the opposite and ruin the mood or the day for you and he would get those people from time to time. But learning to not let what others think or have to say is a great lesson to learn in high school. A story Francisco has is when he would prepare for a show. “The cast in the musical did a kickline as a warm up before a show. The amount of fun that the energizers bring to you before the show is very helpful because it lets you have fun on stage knowing it’s all going to be alright.” After high school Francisco is going to college and after college is planning to become a band director or a teacher.

Gwendolyne Chambers had a stressful year,  but was able to get through her year. Gwendolyne was in musical theater and that made her highlights of her year.  Through her time as a senior, she said “I liked the idea of leaving and  growing into an adult.” Extracurriculars were the plays, musicals, and the improv team. All of these things can all be seen on the school campus for a low price. A quick tip from Gwendolyne is “ Stay on top of your work, it is so easy to get distracted and do other things but if you get into that habit you will start failing and classes will get a lot harder and it’ll be a lot harder to graduate.” A negative from school is building all the stress from the school then the classes government and switching to economy. A story is that in her sophomore year (2019-2020) “during mid finals my friends and I, every day after finals, walked down to Starbucks and we all sat and studied together. I have some of my best memories with my friends there on those nights.” After high school Gwendoylne is going to DVC to gain her associates degree and then to a college afterwards

Elliott Garske believed he had a better year than his junior year. Elliott says he didn’t really have a highlight of the year but, “Prom was really fun though.” He enjoyed his senior year even though he didn’t have any extracurricular activities, but had the experience of feeling like an old man. His tip to younger grades is “Don’t procrastinate as much as I did, get in stuff the second it’s assigned so you have more free time.” After high school Elliott is going to get into engineering and music as a side gig. 

Lucas Garske had an interesting year. “With it being our first year back since COVID happened, I think the whole school year there’s been this sort of optimistic tiredness in the air, like everyones hopeful and excited to be back but no ones used to the monotony of school. It’s been an interesting year for sure.”  His highlight was prom, he decided to hang out with  his close friends for possibly the last time in a long while so I was just having fun and doing stupid stuff with them.” Lucas had a breezy senior saying this: “It’s going to be different for other people of course, but the whole year I only needed to pass 2 classes this year to graduate so I’ve been taking it easy and embracing senoritis in its fullest,” and so he didn’t do any extracurricular activities. Lucas does have a message for younger grades, saying “It’s very important to stay organized. Set reminders, keep your papers neat, don’t rush things. One thing I always learned is there’s always more time than you think you have, there’s no need to rush things and get a worse product out of it. Another thing I learned is if your grades aren’t too good, study the hell out of the final cause in most classes I took I bumped my grade up a letter because I aced the final.” The negative is something that Lucas answered when asked about what he liked about being a senior. “ I was talking about senioritis a little bit a few questions ago, so I would say that my lack of caring has definitely made me struggle a bit in my classes, senioritis is a double edged sword.” An interesting story from Lucas takes place in access. “For some reason specifically in access is when I have the weirdest dreams. I once had a dream where I was in my access class browsing websites on my computer, and when I woke up I was very confused because I didn’t even have my computer out. I had another where I dreamed I was in my access class and next to me there was this girl who had to take specifically 50 sips of water from a cup, and I offered to do it for her. As I was like 20 or so sips in I fell asleep again and had a dream inside my dream where I was in a different classroom playing Rust on my chromebook. When I woke up I was hella confused after that one.” After high school Lucas is going to DVC, and also has an interest in data science and audio engineering.

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