“Never take the easy way out,” Mohonasen High School student Ismail Jalwaj-Soubai encouraged his younger peers as he sat on a panel of fellow MHS classmates to share words of wisdom with Draper eighth graders.
On June 2, just weeks away from graduation, Mohonasen High School seniors took time out of their day to reflect on their experiences in high school to better prepare Mohonasen’s Class of 2021 for what lies ahead. From academics and extracurriculars to tips on preparing for what lies even beyond high school, the panel shared meaningful suggestions, words of caution and encouragement to better shed light on the life of a high school student.
“It’s good to have a teacher close to you that you can go to for anything — about school work, stuff going on at home, friends. I’ve met really great teachers who have been there for me,” Julia Zadrozny said.
Academics, the students emphasized, were going to be important throughout their entire high school career.
“It sounds simple, but do your homework,” Ismail chimed in, quickly followed by a chorus of agreement from his classmates. “Grades matter, even from freshman year, so it’s important not to procrastinate.”
While the tips the MHS students shared were particularly useful to the soon-to-be ninth graders, much of their advice spoke to something larger — about stress, time management and well-being in an environment that would inevitably challenge them.
“Find something that makes you happy, and make sure you devote time to it,” Taylor Lupi said. “It’ll make you happier in the long run, and it can help you manage stress.”
The Draper students were also left with positive messages and things to look forward to in high school, with many students calling out prom, sports, themed spirit days, clubs and the Anchor Room as pieces of their high school experiences that they now look back upon with fondness.
“You’ve only got four years with your classmates,” said Brandon Kruzinski. “In class, on your sports teams, with your friends, you only have a limited time. You’re going to want to make it count.”
While high school can be a difficult time for anyone, the students cautioned, they shared that they felt Mohonasen provided them with an opportunity to reach out for help, challenge themselves and, ultimately, grow and develop the skills they needed to succeed in high school and for many years beyond.
“I moved here from the Dominican Republic five years ago, and I didn’t really speak English well,” Estheisy Cruz shared. “It wasn’t easy. People might give you a hard time — it happens. You won’t get along with all of your teachers, but deep down, just know they care about you. They want to show you how to be independent, and they want what’s best for you.”