I had the chance to transfer to Ateneo Senior High School when I graduated from grade 10. Though I’ve stayed in my previous all-girls school my entire life, I wanted to explore miles and miles away from my comfort zone so I can grow. When I found out I passed the ASHAPE, my mind was made: I would transfer to Ateneo and explore every opportunity I could find.

Two years and a postponed graduation later, here’s everything I learned about Senior High!

My last official school morning as a Senior High student.

1. Strand Requirements

For the first time in my life, I couldn’t ask for help from trusted peers outside my classroom. Sure, in Ateneo, we were lucky to have multiple sections for each strand. However, when it came to learning about my strand-specific subjects like UCSP, I couldn’t relate at all with my best friend from another school, who couldn’t ask for help about Pre-Calculus from me.

If you only trust a few friends to ask for help from academics-wise, then your world is about to get a lot smaller, especially when you’re not taking the same strand as they are. 

2. More Opportunities

In Ateneo, we had a lot of committees, organizations, varsity teams, and even a student council that we could join. These extracurricular activities were composed of students of all strands, so we could befriend students from different strands. That was one of my biggest worries as a transferee, so I was glad to find out that friendships just naturally formed when you continually work together.

Through exploring these activities, we eventually found something that piqued our interests and allowed us to learn skills we wouldn’t be able to in a classroom setting. 

So, look around for flyers, Facebook posts, and DP blasts, because there will always be an event, a project, or even a contest that needs your much appreciated presence!

3. Grade Components

This one definitely took the wind out of my sails. In my Junior High, a big portion of the grades was dedicated to projects, and because of that, each subject would have a minimum of three projects to submit. There was always room to pull up your grade so I had quite the easygoing experience.

But when I transferred to Ateneo, hoo boy! Suddenly, there was only one project to do for each subject, and a big portion of the grades was dedicated to tests. Each subject then had a minimum of six (6!) quizzes per semester, which all added up to your final grade.

However, I found that I had a lighter workload in senior high as compared to junior high, but the catch was it was a lot more important. After all, your grade 11 evaluation will be submitted to various universities when you start taking up college entrance tests. 

You just need to persist throughout the troubles senior high will throw at you because honestly, it will pass. Two years later and it won’t matter anymore. Five years later and you will forget about it. Try your best to live through each day and come out of it 1% better than you were when you woke up in the morning.

4. Friendships

Senior High was a weird period in my life because it only lasted for two years, but the friendships I’ve gained deserved to last longer.  I think that was what made senior high a lot more special for me though. When you end up in the strand that you love, there’s a high probability that you and your peers are a lot more like-minded than in junior high. Friendships will be far easier to make and strengthen, because you already have similar opinions! You just need time to further develop them.

I’ve met a few people that I surely wish I could bond with more, but as college life approaches, we’re once again separating our own ways to pursue our dreams. But that’s okay, because I know it will feel nostalgic when we eventually find ourselves in the same room again.

Senior high goes by fast, for it can seem like you started yesterday. Despite that, the lessons I’ve learned with the people around me will stick. After all, this is the first time that I’ve truly felt responsible over my decisions and it will last for the rest of my life. Senior high is a good trial period, but we’ll continue growing beyond these two years.

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