The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Senior Year: Through Retrospective Lenses

College applications are the ultimate melting pot. Over the course of a few months, seniors are asked to compile together components from the last three (or more) years of their lives to present to colleges an appealing and worthy applicant. Yet amidst the hectic and stressful first semester of senior year, we found that there was an uncanny sense of clarity. In gathering all these pieces of information and juxtaposing them with one  other, there exists the potential to determine certain things that you may have liked to change, add or remove.

Senior year, on the whole, served a valuable purpose in helping us look back at our high school past as a sum. As senior year begins to wind down from an entire last year to the final few months, we have taken the time to look through these retrospective lens at things we could’ve modified.


One of the first things that stands out is electives, i.e,  courses that students can take which are not necessary to graduate. The school is distinguished by the number of diverse courses it has available, but taking advantage of this wide range can be difficult.  There are core courses required to graduate, and even though elective space may free up as students progress through high school, the number of electives made available by the school is expanding at a fast rate.

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As a result, students should keep in mind this academic growth when selecting courses and try to narrow down possible electives to the ones they enjoy the most. From our perspective, two of the most rewarding electives are AP  Computer Science and AP Statistics (Statistics will also be offered at the non-AP level next year). The material in both have many real world applications and are connected to the subject matter in other courses as well. For example, statistics is useful when analyzing data from science labs or when creating a poll. Even if neither align with what you want to do in future, the knowledge is helpful just to have on hand.


In addition to the variety of courses the school offers, there are also plenty of clubs for students to join. Club Day is a market for this diversity, and the mentality of most incoming freshmen seems to be to sign up for as many clubs as they are interested in. The resulting tendency then is to narrow down the list and focus on a few, if not one, of your original choices for a majority of high school.

However, students should still try to make an active effort to visit other club meetings and walk around following Club Days, even if they have already anchored themselves to certain groups. In our experience, feeling certain that you have narrowed down your interests can actually become surprising limiting, and many of the newer clubs are just as important and fun to join as those that have already become well-established.

All these realizations come from seeing that our four years here have gone by incredibly quickly, yet in this short time we discovered much about the direction we want our lives to head. From becoming doctors to engineers to mathematicians to lawyers, there were many avenues available to us at this school. However, rather than simply settling on a single idea, we have learned it was much more important to explore around in the many facets made available to us by the school.

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