What Alumni Wish They Knew

Caroline Lewis, Staff Writer

Second semester is well underway, and while everyone is patiently (or maybe not) waiting for summer, for seniors, that means plans for next year are as well. This time can be scary, especially with all the changes occurring and unknown plans ahead. Whether you know where you are headed next fall or not, it’s extremely stressful and exciting at the same time.  Thankfully, LFHS alumni can pass on what they have learned and share what they wish they knew as second semester seniors.


Everything works out

College is a really big decision, but people often forget that it’s okay to be unsure right now. For those who are still on the fence about where to go, you’ve probably heard to not stress a million times before. Although it’s much easier said than done, it is worth a helpful reminder.

“Everyone is on their own path and you will end up at the right place even if you have doubts at first,” Class of 2019 member Bella Bogdanowicz said. 


Enjoy the little things

As cliche as this tip is, it proves that things are often cliche because they’re true. 

With all the hype around college next year, it can be easy to get lost in the excitement and forget about all the little moments we still have at LFHS. 

“My advice as cliche as it sounds is to just stop always wanting it to be the future and live in the present and the time you have with the people around you,” Class of 2018 graduate and Mizzou sophomore Caroline Kozera said.

There is so much to do and it often gets hectic and too busy, but you have to “take it all in” Ashley Alghini, who graduated last spring, said. 

Alghini is not the only one who thinks so, as others cite it as the first thing they could tell their second-semester senior selves given the chance.

“Take any advantage of any time you have with your friends, family, and teachers,” Kozera said. “Because soon you will be miles away from them and it could be months before you see them.” 

While the four years of high school can seem never ending, the long days, student section, and your favorite teacher can make it fly by in the blink of an eye. 

“I know we all hate waking up early to go to school and sit in classes that may not be your favorite but I promise you will have moments where you miss messing around with your friends in the hallways or hanging out in your favorite teacher’s room,” Kozera said.

There is also a lot to look forward to in order to keep those woes away. 

“Senior year is super fun so take up the last moments in a positive way but don’t be too sad about leaving because there a lot of fun opportunities that open up once you get to college,” Bogdanowicz said.


Be true to yourself

One of the reasons the college process is so difficult is the underlying struggle to figure out who you will be outside the walls of this school, but this process is important for more than just what school you’ll be repping on May 1st. 

“One thing I wish I knew about this stage of my life was just how much you grow and learn as an individual in such a short period,” Kozera said. “There will be times when you feel uncomfortable, awkward or lonely, but those moments are important and okay because they teach you how to step outside of your comfort zone and grow as an individual.”

Alghini noted that it is also important to “not be afraid to initiate new or awkward conversations,” once you get to school, because everyone is going through the same thing you are. 

Peer pressure, status quo, and even parents may try to take over this process, but remember you are the only one who knows what is best for you.

“Your college experience is your own and what you make out of it. You have a chance to be anyone, do anything and learn from your mistakes so use it,” Kozera said.


Apply for scholarships

College is expensive. That is nothing new, but there are so many ways to help offset the tuition and cost of attendance.

Jennifer Gleason, a Department Assistant in Educational Services, sends out the Scholarship Scoop, which houses a number of different scholarships for all ages and all types of students. It is an easy and reliable way to find outside scholarships.

“The high school gives away multiple local scholarships every year, so apply for any or all scholarships,” Caroline Kozera said.


What to expect:

College is not what it seems in the movies. Although almost everything that is seen about the next four years is through a TV or phone screen, a lot more can happen than one may believe, both good and bad things will come your way. 

“College is not perfect and will be hard at points but there will always be many amazing moments that make it all worth it,’” Kozera said. 

Maeve Lewis, who graduated in 2018, added that there will be times when college doesn’t meet your expectations, but that it’s okay as it happens to everyone. She encouraged all rising college freshman to go into school with no expectations and to embrace the change. 

“You will find yourself questioning whether or not you’ve made the right choice because it’s one of the biggest decisions you’ve made for yourself,” Lewis said.

Both Lewis and Kozera stressed the importance of learning as you go and to “let yourself grow” because there will be times where it’s difficult and stressful, but that it’s important to take chances and deal with things as they come. Lewis said “college is what you make of it” and “you will have some of the best times of your life.” 

Kozera summed up the amazing time that college can offer perfectly, adding that “you will find people you can’t believe you spent your whole life not knowing, make memories you will remember forever and so much more!”


For juniors and underclassman

While you still have a little ways to go, it doesn’t hurt to get ahead in the college game. LFHS offers so many amazing opportunities to do so. 

Taking the AP exams in May may be a burden, but scoring well on the test may help give you some well-earned college credit. 

“Take more AP classes and gain college credits before college,” Kozera said. “Because not only will it save you a lot of money, you will have a more free schedule to either take more classes, higher-level classes or extra time to sleep in.”  

Most universities will have a list of AP credits and scores needed that will transfer over as well the class it will replace.

Since day one, everyone’s always been told that high school goes by in a blink of an eye, and now it is up to you to decide how you want to spend your last couple of months in the halls of LFHS. It is such a special and important time in life that shouldn’t be taken for granted. 

Spend time with loved ones, do something you’ve never done before, and enjoy everything that comes your way. It won’t be long until we’ve said goodbye to high school on the front lawn and we’re packing up to prepare for a new chapter of our lives.

Until then, SCO!