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A new mindset

By Kaitlin Sharpe

With the stress of college applications, finals and junior year a distant memory, it only means one thing. I am a second semester senior. And with early acceptances from my top choice colleges, I have a hard time even remembering what the pressure felt like.

Now, that may be an exaggeration, as I have to keep my grades up and score well on my AP tests, but the fact that the next four years of my life are solidified takes a large weight off of my shoulders. It is still hard to believe that I only have about four months left of my high school career, but more importantly, it helps me to see and experience La Jolla High in a way I never could before.

Instead of studying and application essays, my afternoons are filled with club activities, mid-week basketball games, and Airband practice. Last year, taking three hours out of my Wednesday afternoon to learn the choreography of a dance to “Ice Ice Baby” would have been unimaginable, but this year, it is a nice way to spend time with friends and show school spirit by competing in “La Jolla High School’s Best Dance Crew.” School is no longer something I do because I have to; it is a part of my life that I legitimately enjoy.

My teachers, having spent many years with senior classes, also realize the new mindset that comes along with second semester. They make sure that school is more about lectures, learning and hands on experience than tedious busy work. The tests are still prevalent, but the competitiveness is not. Students, no longer fighting for those coveted spots in top colleges, are spending time helping one another in study groups. It

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is amazing how much more enjoyable learning is when we choose to do it together.

Though hanging out with friends and attending school activities are great pluses, I believe there is something more important for second semester seniors to set their sights on. Second semester is often looked at as the time to slack off, but it should be the exact opposite. I cannot stress enough how much power the teenage population has to make a

difference, and with all of the extra time on our hands, we can truly make our communities a better place.

My pledge as a second semester senior is to make caring and service in my community a priority. I want to look back at my senior year as a time that I had fun, learned a lot, grew as a person, and helped those around me. After all, once I go off to college or the workplace, I may never have another opportunity to commit so much of my time to doing something that I care about.

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Kaitlin Sharpe, a senior at La Jolla High School, is a co-editor-in-chief of the High Tide.