Wally Hill: advice from a SENIOR


My name is Wally Hill and I am a SENIOR walking among watching, listening and taking in everything at WHHS.

SENIORS, our time is coming up. Isn’t that fun? We are officially reaching the endgame. April, as we all know, is filled with testing and block scheduling so I can say that we are done.

As we are nearing the end with school after my six years of being here, I am now ready to relay more information about my time here. There should be nothing else that comes up that would be of vital importance so it’s best to write about my time now.

(Let’s have a brief interruption because as of March 13, big things have occurred. We all have not been in school for a long time and that has impacted my SENIOR year. Now I have to rewrite the ending of my article because who knows what these times will bring for us. Let’s begin.)

I departed my elementary school after seven years. While I was there, I had all intentions to graduate with the people I called family. After all, I did only have a few years left. But in October, I took the fated TerraNova test and up until this day, I can remember it vividly. How long it took, where I sat and the ache of my temple going over the grammar section.  I never particularly did well with grammar but I did pass.

Suddenly, graduating with my friends since kindergarten did not seem important. I got to have something new and that was WHHS.

After my six years of being here, here is my SENIOR advice:

Find a good group of friends. My very first friend at WHHS is still my friend now. One of my closest actually. And I am lucky enough to have the same friend group. Choose right. Make sure they stick with you through thick and thin. Make sure they never make you feel guilty for being yourself or doing your own thing. Real friends grow with you.

Out of the 10 dances that I had the chance to attend, I only went to four. Do I regret it? Not at all, but I do recommend that all of you attend. My friends talk about memories that I missed out from not going to dances, but they have relayed it so many times that it feels like I was there.

Grades are important. I felt good when I made the A Honor roll each quarter. It felt good when my GPA went up .5 in an entire semester because in 9th grade, I slacked off. It feels good that I get to graduate with a diploma of honors. But don’t think that that is all that matters.

Joining the Chatterbox mattered to me. Writing and being able to be an editor mattered to me. I’ve been in the club for a few years now and now that my time is ending, I have to find something else. Grades are important but clubs and hobbies mattered.

Set goals for yourself. Not academic goals, like I want a 4.0 GPA, or I want to be at the top of my class. Those are great and all, but when you walk across the stage in May (hopefully), those all wash away. Make real goals. Life goals. “I want to attend a summer program for my major before I graduate,” or “I want to foster a dog before the age of 25.” Dogs need fostering too. Those are the goals that sit with you for a longer period of time than six years.

Don’t just pick classes because your friends are in them. Or because your parents or siblings told you too. Take classes that you want. If you are smart enough for honors and the rest of your friends aren’t taking it, take the opportunity. You can still see your friends at lunch or study hall.

Get a detention at least once. They don’t go on your record and it’s a humbling experience.

Let Mr. Perdrix know your name. I know that it is scary sometimes walking the halls without a pass and we all find ways to avoid him, but don’t. He is a nice guy and it makes you feel special when he can pick you out of 3000 students.

Teachers try. They try and sometimes you get a bad experience. Trust me, I know. But in the end, these teachers that give hard instruction are people too. If you don’t feel comfortable getting help from them, there are other teachers in the school that teach the same subject that can help you. Get help. And don’t complain if you haven’t gone through all the channels of help.

Go to a play, a musical, or a concert at least once. You probably have a friend that participates in one of these and it would mean a lot to see their hard work. It’s a new experience you don’t want to miss.

Ask for help when you need it. There are many resources that the faculty and district has given us and if you are in need, get help. There is always someone around. Trust me. And along those lines, thank you. Thank you to everyone who helped us try to keep sane. Thank you to the students who found other ways to cope. 

Try at least one year in Gym. Try lifting weights, try running the track without stopping. Try, just try.

And last but not least, make your SENIOR year count. It’s sad that this SENIOR class isn’t getting the ending that we all want. I think that you should remember that. Go to all dances. Participate in the costume parade. Have fun at SENIOR sendoff. Remember that this is the end of your high school career. Value it.

Adiós for the second to last time,

Wally Hill