My cousin Jessica just graduated from high school, and I thought she would be the perfect candidate to jumpstart the “Chum Chat” interviews again. She talks a little about her time in high school, her worries about leaving her comfort zone, and the possibility of becoming a social worker. Or a photographer. Or a chef.
JOAQUIN: Hey there, graduate! So how many kids did you graduate with? Were there a lot?
JESS: My graduating class was actually (from what I heard) kind of small. It was 436 students…
JOAQUIN: Woah! Woah! Woah! You call that small? I graduated with like 36! Now that’s small! Ha ha… How did you feel graduating?
JESS: The fact that I was graduating didn’t actually hit until it was the turning of the tassels. When I had turned it, then it was like, “Oh my gosh, this is for real.”
JOAQUIN: Were you a good student in high school?
JESS: Depends on what you consider a good student! Ha ha. From the behavior idea of it then yes, I would say I was a good student. I always did my homework and wouldn’t talk back to the teachers. Sure there were some I didn’t like. To tell you the truth I was no different than any other kid when it came to complaining about them behind their back… Ha ha.
JOAQUIN: Oh, I always complained too. It’s like a student’s favorite thing to do!
JESS: But when it comes to grading… well that depends. See, tests were never my strong point. I could study for hours on end and still not do too good. I always had to do my homework in order to pass.
JOAQUIN: I got good grades in school, but it came from lots of hard work as well. I wasn’t naturally smart. I had to do the homework too. But hey, even if your grades weren’t perfect you got your diploma!! That’s the important part!
JESS: Yeah. The changing of the grading scale helped. My freshman and sophomore year it was a 5 point scale so it was harder to get A’s and B’s. Even though I would be doing A and B work it would count as a C or a D. I could be doing just as well as kids in other schools but seem like I was doing worse. After the grading scale changed in my junior year my grades jumped tremendously. I would get all A’s and B’s with an occasional C.
JOAQUIN: That’s interesting. I’m glad they changed the system!! So were you involved in any activities in school?
JESS: When it comes to activities I didn’t really participate in much. For me, taking on too much was just too big of a step. I needed to take on one thing at a time instead of adding on too much.
JOAQUIN: Oh, I see. So you just focused mostly on your homework? That’s good. I probably filled my high school life with way too many extracurricular activities!! I never had time for anything it seemed like. Ha ha. So what are you going to miss most about high school then?
JESS: A mixture of things actually. Friends are a big one. I had the best of friends who always supported me and were like sisters to me. I never want to lose touch with them and I hope I never do!
JOAQUIN: I hope you don’t! I hate to say that I don’t talk very much with friends I had from high school… even though most of them I’ve added on Facebook. Anything else you’ll miss?
JESS: I was used to the everyday schedule which I had. Monday - Friday get up at 5, go to seminary at 5:45, leave for school at 6:25, be home at around 2:45 (or 1:30 my senior year), sleep in on the weekends and go to church on Sunday. I like that I am done with high school but scared that I am going to be out of my routine and my comfort zone that I have adapted to.
JOAQUIN: You’ll be fine, I’m sure of it. Are there any things that you won’t miss?
JESS: The drama and the environment is probably what I will miss the least. All throughout high school it seems that I managed to get in the middle of drama that really had nothing to do with me in the first place. I will definitely not miss that. Also, I hated the cussing and inappropriate jokes… I would always be thinking in my head, “Are you for real?”
JOAQUIN: Well, some of those things sort of continue on… but they do get better as people mature. Much less drama, that’s for sure. So now for the question every high school graduate gets asked: What are your plans for the future?
JESS: Job over the summer most likely then college in the fall… nothing really set in stone. Once again, when it comes to me I have to take one thing at a time.
JOAQUIN: Any ideas at all for a future career?
JESS: I am leaning towards being a social worker. I love to help out others and want to be able to do that in everyday life. I believe that being a social worker would give me the biggest opportunity. I have also been thinking about other things that I love like photography and cooking… I love to do all of those things, but I think overall I am leaning the most on being a social worker.
JOAQUIN: That’s cool. You still have plenty of time to decide what you want to do anyway. Just look at me… I’m an old man and I’m still not done with school! What do you think will help you most to achieve your dreams?
JESS: Family is a big thing because I know that they will always support me in what I choose to do for the long run. Also not giving up and believing in myself will help me to achieve my dreams.
JOAQUIN: That’s terrific. You have a great family and I just know that your life will turn out just the way you hope. Congratulations on your graduation.