Emily Boydston’s Senior Column

When I first joined The WEB staff during second semester of my junior year, it never crossed my mind that one day I would have to write a senior column. Needless to say, I was slightly panicked when I realized that I did in fact have to write a column. As writers block set in, I was left with the question of what do I write about or focus on. Should I be reflective and discuss my four years at Ames High, or should I try and give advice to freshmen? In the end, I decided that it would be most appropriate to reflect on my experience at Ames High and give some advice to freshmen. Here is a list of the five things that I would recommend doing during high school, other than writing for The WEB (this is, of course, a given). 5.Get involved in the community Volunteering in the community will make you a member of the community and allow you to make a real impact in the world (whether on a small or large scale). While you should become involved based on sheer desire, an added bonus of volunteering is that is looks very good on college applications and resumes. This is vital because being accepted into college is becoming more difficult every single year. Also, volunteering is required for all government classes so why not start early. 4. Play a sport Sports are a great way to stay in shape and meet new people. Also, the life lessons gained while playing sports, such as determination, perseverance and teamwork, benefit people later in life in various settings. The sense of accomplishment I felt after finishing a cross country race translated into school and other aspects of my life. If you are not a serious athlete, I would recommend cross country or another non-cut sport as a way to learn those lessons gained in sports without having to be the best on a team. 3. Be creative and artistic The fine arts are essential to a balanced education. Whether it is music, art or theater, becoming involved in the fine arts enriches the lives of those involved by exposing them to the world of culture and art. The fine arts opens a door of endless opportunity later in life. I cringe to think about where I would be today if I was not exposed to music, art and theater in elementary school, and unfortunately this could become a reality if the new budget is passed. 2. Experience the world Experience the world while you are young by taking advantage of the various school related trips available at Ames High. The Europe Trip offers a fun filled, nonstop tour of parts of Europe. The three language trips to Germany, France and Spain offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in a language while experiencing everything a foreign country has to offer. The last trip is the one I was fortunate enough to be a part of. The Africa Project offers immersion in a foreign country, but it is a service learning trip. In short, one travels to Uganda, a developing country in Central Africa, to work on a worthy project for three weeks. I am biased toward the Africa Project, but the four other trips are indefinitely worth becoming involved in. 1. Get the most out of your academic career in high school Do not be stupid and goof your way through high school. High School is the stepping stone in place to being accepted to college and determines many of the opportunities you will have later in life. Unlike in middle school, grades do matter in high school so do try and get the best grades possible. A late night party only lasts for one night, but your grades in high school affect everything after high school. Those are the five things I would recommend for freshman or sophomores to do while at Ames High. Take advantage of all of the opportunities present at Ames High. Also, be smart and engage your common sense when you are out “having fun.”