X-ray’s 2022 Seniors…sign-off!

Below, our senior staff members, who graduated in May, take time in their last days at East to share their final thoughts….

Senior Salute

by Chloe Ladines, Editor-in-Chief

The End?
The last walk around.
The last test.
The last dance.
The last look.
The last day.
The end is something that most fear, it’s the feeling of it all being over when in actuality it’s not. It’s rather- -the dawn of a new beginning.

But it hurts knowing that it’s the end. All the memories made, self progress, new friends, the obstacles, the heartaches, and all those late nights are only in the past now. Thischapter of our lives is finally coming to a close, and it’s coming sooner than we think. The sense of closure to it all is something we seek for to be ready to move on.

But what if we never get that clo- sure? What if the end doesn’t satisfy us? What if we fell asleep during that last page? What now? How do we move on?

It’s our final task as seniors to prepare ourselves to open that new chapter of our lives whether there is closure or not. There’s a certain bit- tersweet thrill about what comes after this.

Whether you’re going to univer- sity/college, the military, or working, there’s bound to be something to look forward to.

We’re only 18 years of age. Even if this ending wasn’t the way we planned it, there’s still hundreds of more chapters to open up. Maybe some cliffhangers here and there anda sprinkle of page turners to unfold. Maybe a dash of romance and some action a chapter or five later on. Imag- ine all the potential mysteries and plot twists that you’d miss if we stopped right here, right now.

We’d never know unless we move on. We shouldn’t let the “end” of it stop us from keeping us from looking forward to what’s in the future.

Sure, it’s not a bad idea to look back on the previous pages or go back and reread a long loved chapter of the past. But what’s bad is if you never choose to start the beginning of the new chapter. It’s alright to delay mov- ing on for a little while if you know you’re not ready to take that step yet, we all are moving through life at a dif- ferent pace, after all we’re not all the same. So it’s understandable that we’d each turn that page at different times.

Just don’t let this last page be the end.

Senior Salute

by Faith Piercy, Staff Writer

Every year at the start of the school year students hear one thing over and over: “You can join a club at East”. While I took the advice in small amounts my freshman year, joining just one club and continuing with it for all four years of high school, I nev- er really considered other clubs when sports were so heavily promoted here. I ran in cross country and track for

three years, becoming a member of a close knit team. However, when I decided to part ways with sports my senior year, I realized that I suddenly knew nothing about other opportuni- ties at East. I had to face the daunting task of joining clubs my senior year, where everyone already knew each other. I searched the school website for information, and talked to past teachers who had promoted clubs they were a part of. My senior year I ended up joining the school newspa- per, creative writing club, and a few others surrounding topics I was interested in.

Recently, a new club was started in the East called Club Empower. At the first meeting, I was shocked to hear that so many students had never been to a club meeting before, or had never even heard of what clubs our school has to offer. Finding a group that matches your interests, and pro- vides a new activity outside of classes is extremely important. While not everyone may be into dance, or swim, or tennis, maybe they are into ping pong, or writing, or coding.

Even though you will hear “you can join a club at East” a million more times throughout your high school experience, please try and let it sink in the first time and take action, as you might discover your new favorite thing.

Senior Salute

by Serena Thakkar, Features Editor

Dear High Schooler,

As I reflect on my four years of high school and think about the whirlwind ride it’s been, there’s a few things that I would’ve done differently. Without further ado, here are my top five pieces of advice. Although you’ve probably heard some of these before, I promise you that you’d much rather take the advice than learn the hard way.

1.) Only take an AP class if you’re actually interested in the subject. No hate to history lovers out there, but choosing my first AP class to be a subject that I have no interest in made the class that much harder. I’m not saying that I loved going to AP Psychology everyday, but it’s much easier to learn and succeed in a class where you find the material interesting. The class doesn’t sound that bad when you’re signing up for it and the end of your previous year, but trust me when I say the stress is not worth it just to look good for a college admissions officer.

2.) I know everyone says this, but I have actual evidence to back it up: that one bad grade won’t ruin your future. My friends with higher GPA’s and those with lower SAT scores got into the same colleges I did. That .2 difference in your GPA will mean nothing, and please, for goodness sake, don’t get obsessed with your percentage in your class. 89.5% and 100% are both A’s.

3.)Don’t be afraid to make new friends. Sometimes it’s easier to hang out with the same people you have since middle school, even if you don’t vibe with them anymore, just because it feels safer than venturing out and making new friends. However, those you surround yourself with have such a big impact on who you become as a person. Whether it’s finally talking to that one person at your math table or getting to know that person in gym you walk with so you don’t look alone, spread your wings!

4.) Define what success looks like to you, and create your life around that. When you catch yourself com- paring yourself to others, this helps a lot. Write down what you value and what your idea of success looks like, and identify the steps you need to take to get there. Anytime I start comparing myself to someone who I think is prettier, smarter, and more successful, I think back to what I value. If my actions reflect my definition of success then there’s no need to compare myself to others, because I’m living my ideal life.

5.) To my fellow people pleasers: It’s impossible for every single human to like you, so there’s no point in living your life for others. There will always be people who criticize you. This should be liberating. There is no point in being someone you’re not when you can never win the game, so you might as well be your unapologetic self.

Senior Salute

by Harry Graham, Entertainment Editor

As seniors depart high school for their post-secondary education and current high schoolers move closer to the thoughts of life after high school, questions about people’s futures are ever present. Questions of “what do I major in?” or “what can I envision myself doing as a career?” run through students’ minds as they vision off into the future.

One of the biggest dilemmas faced by students today is balancing a “feasible future” with a “dream future”. Should you venture down an economically stable path in a field that you have minimal interest in or should you go full force ahead into your dream career that happens to be a more economically unstable path?

Many people happen to be fully interested in these economically reliable positions and fully intend to pursue certain studies in pre-med, engineering, or computer science fields, along with others. But so many other people are presented with the difficult decision to balance their mind and heart when deciding what next steps to take after they leave high school.

For example, students that have always been drawn to the arts, whether it be visual art, music, or drama, may have spent their childhood years dreaming of a life career spent doing what they love, making art. But so many of these students make it to high school, and, when faced with the question of “what are you majoring in?”, they can’t help but ponder about pursuing an “economically stable” path far away from the artistic passions they always had.

But why is it like this? As high schoolers should we be faced with these questions of financial stability in our later careers? It seems irrational for high school students to fully comprehend and envision the monetary situation they will be in with whatever career they wish to pursue.

Additionally, is anything ever really the end all be all? Deciding your major as a high school student doesn’t necessarily cause an irreversible path for the rest of your life for which you can never go back on. There is always room for your mind to change, whether that means changing your major, or changing your career post-college.

All of this considered, why should our music students, art students, theater students, and many others have to be bombarded with thoughts of financial consequences when deciding their next steps after high school? The answer is, they shouldn’t be.

When you picture what you want to spend the rest of your life working for and you can only picture this one passion that you have had your whole life with nothing else even coming close, worrying about your economic success later in life should not be the factor that sways you towards another path.

Instead, you should jump straight into the career that excites you and encourages you to work hard, perhaps considering how much more you may need to work, but not letting the financial stresses deter you from your dreams. Besides, as mentioned before, nothing is ever the end all be all, and you can always track back later in life if your dreams don’t pan out the way you had hoped.

Overall, I think the world would be a better place for everyone if people gave valiant efforts towards pursuing their dreams, and that starts with deciding your post-secondary plans. Far too many people are unhappy, living their lives in positions that other people encouraged them to go into and that their cautious brains encouraged them to go into, rather than the positions they encouraged themselves to go into and that their hearts encouraged them to go into.

Senior Salute

by Allison Ollie, Staff Writer

Dear STCE,

You and I have been together for four whole years (more like 2.5 if we’re counting our Covid-19 era.) We’ve had our good moments, but let’s be honest, we didn’t see eye-to- eye most of the time. This relationship was destined to end, but that doesn’t mean we need a misty-eyed goodbye.

If you’ve been paying attention this entire time, then you know that I am not adept when it comes to sappy moments. I am fluent in song lyr- ics, however. From the music genre theme during freshman homecoming, to Post-Prom’s “Driving-Through- The-Decades”, our couple’s playlist features hits from every genre and era. So, to honor that, I’m saying goodbye to you with a little help from some classic break-up songs.

Let’s begin with an oldie. Fleet- wood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” will be my farewell to you. As I plan my next journey, I know that you’re plan- ning for incoming freshmen. I know that my time for joining a club at East has passed and it won’t be my friends who do the Morning Announcements anymore. I’ll go left, but you’ll have topick a different road. It’s time for me to see what else is out there.

No breakup soundtrack would ever be complete without Whitney Houston. Between buttons, pins, t- shirts, and never-worn ID lanyards,

bittersweet memories won’t be the only thing I’m taking with me. Don’t expect me to come back with a box of your stuff either (Although, I won’t mind if you want the heart rate strap back.) Like all the seniors that have come before, “If I should stay/I would only be in your way.” Just know that “I Will Always Love You,” or at least reflect on this situationship with a fondness.

I can’t say I was never mad at you. Am I a little sour because next year, you’ll just move on? Sure, but Olivia Rodrigo’s got me covered. Because of all your finals weeks and AP seasons, “I’ve lost my mind/I’ve spent the night crying on the floor of my bath- room.” It always bothered me just a little how unaffected you were “but I guess good for you.” Every couple has their fights, I just wish ours weren’t over schoology and sleep schedules.

Even though I have a bone (or two) to pick with you, right now I believe it’s more important to say thank you. Thank you for the teachers who dedi- cated their time to supporting me aca- demically and emotionally. I will take all that I learned from them as I con- tinue to grow up. Thank you to Taylor Series, GABA, Rosalind Franklin, andthe dreaded monomyth for satiating my curiosity, but I’m ready for the next challenge. I guess my gratitude can be packaged into one sentence: “Thank You, Next.” My years here have taught me love, patience, and pain. As Ariana Grande said, “Say I’ve loved and I’ve lost/But that’s not what I see/So, look what I got/Look at what you taught me.” I would not trade my final year here for anything, but it’s about time we ended things.

I’ll remember it all too well, Allison Ollie, ‘22

Senior Salute

by Katie Kempff, Editor-in-Chief

The other night, I had half an hour to kill before picking up my friend on the east side of St. Charles. After driv- ing aimlessly for a bit, I found myself – almost without realizing it – in the East parking lot.

All alone in the senior lot, I played some music, looking at the lights still blazing over Norris stadium. I didn’t have a real reason to be there – but it gave me a moment to consider every- thing that East has given to me over the past four years.

Since I was in Kindergarten, school has been my safe space. No matter what was going on in my life, I would always be back on Monday morning, able to control my day.

East was no exception. I threw my- self full force into every opportunity offered to me, joining clubs, sports, and activities until I had no more room in my schedule. Often, I was at school from 5:30 a.m. for morning practice until 7 or 8 p.m. for X-Ray production nights. It was exhausting, erratic, and often overwhelming; but I would not trade my East experience for the world.

I am so grateful for the opportunity East afforded me to forge my own path. If I had to give advice to future Saints, I would probably tell them to embrace the home that East can pro- vide for you if you let it.