15 Things To Do Before You Graduate JAHS

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Emma Shepherd, Sports Editor

As this epic senior year and my time at JA comes to a close, I want to reflect on The Class of 2021’s experiences as a whole as well as my own. From The Class of 2021 to you, here are 15 things to do at Jonathan Alder High School before you graduate. In no particular order…

#1 Participate in sports, band, a club or any sort of group! 

–  Throughout my time in high school, I was a part of many sports teams, and it was seriously what got me through everything. For me it was the best way to make friends that will last a lifetime and memories that never get old! Also, if the group you join competes competitively you will get to represent not only that group but also the Jonathan Alder on such a bigger scale!

#2 Go to as many sporting events and school productions as you can!

– I promise you that football games are definitely worth the hype, basketball student sections are a thing, and all in all, any game has a spot for students to go! Beyond sporting events, buy a ticket for the musical and support your friends and classmates. I PROMISE you that they will appreciate it more than you could know. For me, I remember senior night and our district final game for volleyball so many of our friends and other students came out to support us. They made signs and they yelled and screamed at the other team and for us. Looking in the stands and seeing them all was truly so encouraging.

#3 Participate in the themes^                

– Don’t think that you are “too cool” to wear a hawaiian tee shirt or a coconut bra to a sporting event… The games will have themes for the student section and it is always 10x the fun if you participate in them.

#4 Join “The Arts”

– Jonathan Alder has many different clubs and programs surrounding the arts,  including art class, the musical, show choir, regular choir, and band/marching band. Take advantage of these opportunities! So many people that join these their junior and senior year often say “I wish I would have joined sooner.”

#5 Take college credit classes!!

– At the high school, they offer so many courses that give you college credit. TAKE THEM! This will make college a little bit easier, less stressful and you will be ahead of everyone! You also will save a ton of money! This year, I took college credit English through Columbus State and it was honestly the best decision ever. At first I remember being intimidated by a “college class,” but it was seriously so easy (if you just pay attention) and it was a super helpful class that prepared me for college and life beyond. 

#6 Participate in a Pep Rally

– Over the course of my four years, we had several pep rallies, school competitions and games. One time there was a volleyball game and one other time there was a dodgeball game. The teams that play in the game will be representatives from each grade (4 teams) and then the teachers will get together and form a team. There will always be a sign-up list for each grade, so anyone can play if you want to! Because who wouldn’t want to beam Mr. Deeken with a ball in front of the whole school?

#7 Go to the Homecoming dances and Prom!

– You absolutely do not need a date to go– get your best friends and make a group with them! Or, get the courage to ask the girl or guy to the dance, I’m sure they will 100% say yes! Dances are always so much fun and it is a great way to make so many memories with your best friends. 

#8 Go on a hike

Take some friends, get in your car and drive to a pretty, aesthetic place to go hiking! You can always take food and make up a little picnic, too. Some great local places to go are Glacier Ridge Metro Park off of Hyland-Croy or Prairie Oaks Metro Park down Plain City-Georgesville. Some other great places to go that are a little bit of a drive would be Rising Park in Lancaster or (my personal favorite) Glen Helen Nature Preserve and Gorge Falls which is in Yellow Springs, aka the cutest little town.

#9 Eat at Jim’s Diner

– It’s local! Right in front of the fire station, downtown. As awful as the outside looks, I promise the Texas French Toast will make up for it. It is for sure a diamond in the rough. Just look past the mustard yellow walls when you pull up and then embrace the characters that work on the inside. 

#10 Take a class with Mr Hughes, no matter the class

– Whether it is AP Lang, English 10 or even Film Studies, take one with him!! Mr Hughes is a for sure favorite teacher of the 2021 class. 

#11 Have a sleepover on a school night

– Bachelorette Mondays were a huge thing for my friends and I. After we would watch the final rose be given out we would all just stay the night together and go to school the next morning. It’s a great way to make memories in high school–we still talk about our Bachelorette Mondays all the time. 

#12 Make as many friends as possible

– Highschool can be so stressful and hectic but it can also be the best thing ever, and it is truly the people that make it that way. Surround yourself with people that will have your back no matter what. Also, make as many friends as you want! Have friends from one sport and then another sport and then maybe some friends from class but don’t stop there! Do not limit yourself to just 4 friends because when you have so many friends there will be so many more memories, great times, and love. 

#13 When it comes to applying for college, don’t hold back. Shoot your shot!

– Do not over-complicate applying to college; if you are interested in the school then apply! Even if you don’t think you will get in, you never know! It is always good to have a backup plan if things don’t go the way you wanted them to. And by applying to many schools will help this. Plus when you have tons of “Congratulations! You have been ACCEPTED to…” it makes you feel so good about yourself. 

#14 Thank your favorite teacher!

– Teachers have really been put through the ringer this year. They have gone above and beyond to make this school year feel right and “normal.” Don’t only thank them for that, but thank them for everything they have taught you. Maybe the most important thing you took away from their class wasn’t necessarily from a textbook, maybe it’s about life or how to treat people. Whatever it is, I am sure they would love a little message from you. 

#15 Take journalism!!!! (Or whatever elective you’re even a little bit interested in)

– For me, joining journalism has impacted me in more ways than I ever thought possible. It is without a doubt the best decision I have made. This class taught me to step out of my comfort zone and to do something, even if it scared me. I have grown from a meek and timid writer to a writer that stands up for what she believes in and isn’t afraid to make a statement. It is for these reasons why I have fallen in love with journalism, writing and reporting. I am so, unbelievably proud of the students on this staff and I can only hope that more people will join to be a part of this amazing little family.