Changes in life for graduates

With the end of the year upon us, major changes are coming for the class of 2023


Rommel Salazar

A photo of a distressed senior in a graduation cap

Jonas Corliss, Staff Writer

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — With the school year ending, seniors have many changes coming towards them. Whether it be leaving high school, going away to college, moving out of their parents’ home, or getting a job, a new scene is approaching. Due to that incoming change, many students are beginning to feel the stress and anxiety of leaving the place that they’re used to.

Mostly, though, seniors feel excited about finishing high school. However, what comes after high school causes students the most stress. Personally, the concept of leaving high school has been nerve-racking. Leaving a place that I have known for so long makes me uncomfortable and anxious. Likewise, many students feel nervous about the massive change in responsibilities and daily patterns.

“I am happy about leaving high school and becoming an adult, but I am a bit anxious about going into the outside world and adult life,” Chason Bytel, a senior, said. After over a decade of grade school, the leap into true adulthood seems exciting and intimidating. Bytel is attending community college and plans to transfer to a four-year college afterward.

Some seniors gladly take on these changes. Exploring the world independently is exciting, and the opportunities before them provide ample opportunities to grow and change.

“I’m honestly thrilled to be leaving high school and starting a new chapter,” senior Adalie Landa said. “While it has been a ride here at Los Al, I am looking forward to focusing on my personal interests in film and writing.” Exploring your interests and pursuing a more focused education is a major factor of life that many students look forward to. It gives them more control over their lives to grow into the people that they want to be. Landa is going to a four-year university to major in creative writing.

Another factor adding to the feeling of major change for students is preparation. The COVID-19 pandemic had a major effect on the graduating class of 2023 and how prepared they feel for the adult world into which they are being released. The loss of 1.5 years of “normal” high school is a major hindrance for students. I heard many different levels of preparedness from students. From confident no’s and yes’s, to “prepared but not confident,” to “kind of,” students have plenty of responses to how prepared they feel.

One response stuck out to me as incredibly relatable.

“No, and yes,” senior Vivian Tsai explained. “While I don’t feel prepared necessarily for what I’ll face, I have the confidence that I’ll grow and improve as needed. I think this is an important part of my journey, and I’m grateful for those who have supported me along the way. So while I feel nervous, I’m excited and ready to take on the future.” Tsai is going to Cal Poly SLO as a microbiology major.

No one is truly prepared for the future. Certainly, there will be obstacles that we will face that we aren’t ready for, whether they are academic or social. While we might not be prepared for these hardships, what is important is that we can grow and overcome these challenges.