The Talon’s declassified school survival guide

Class of 2019 gives advice

Dear readers, this is your 2019 Senior Editorial Staff writing to you — one last time. After being students at Oak Park High School for four years, we’re ready to provide a guide for everything you should experience in your years here.

To aid your journey, we have comprised a list of suggestions for activities you should try at Oak Park. We can’t enforce you to follow them, obviously, but we do implore you to read them over and figure out what works for you. It worked for us.

We know that school is rough and that you probably have 42 extracurriculars and seven AP classes, but being a student here is worthwhile if you really put your energy into Oak Park and everything that it has to offer.

Not everyone’s experience in high school is the same, and that’s completely OK. These are just suggestions on what we think could possibly enhance your experience.

We couldn’t be more content with our high school experience here at Oak Park, and we hope that you will feel the same.

Freshman year to-do’s:

  1. Go to homecoming: You’ve grown up watching movies like “High School Musical” and “Sixteen Candles” that don’t accurately depict what the high school experience is like. Therefore, go to a homecoming dance at least once. The music is loud, the lights are raging and it gives you an excuse to dress up.
  2. Rage in the birdcage at a football game: It can intimidating at first — being a puny freshman in a sea of upperclassmen — but it’s absolutely worth it.
  3. Scream as loud as you can at your first rally: People are going to yell at you. It happens. It’s Oak Park culture. But, you need to embrace it and just roll with it. Maybe even tell the seniors to go home.

Sophomore year to-do’s:

  1. Julius Caesar: Depending on the teacher you have, this may even be extra credit! Regardless, dressing up in a toga to school is arguably the most iconic part of English II.
  2. “Go Home Freshmen”: Sure, you were one of them not too long ago, but you’re now one year closer to being an upperclassman. That’s a dark time that we don’t talk about.
  3. Park in Sophomore Circle: For those fortunate individuals who were lucky enough to get a driver’s license sophomore year and even had a car to transport themselves, you know the routine of parking in the cul de sac and trekking up the driveway to class each morning.

Junior year to-do’s:

  1. Powderpuff: Who says fighting over a small ball and risking concussions is only for guys?
  2. Get your license and your freedom, too: Don’t procrastinate, just do it. Trust us. You’ll be so glad that you did.
  3. Go to the Bonfire: Fair warning … the OP upperclassmen bonfire gets shut down roughly 45 minutes in.

Senior year to-do’s:

  1. Prom: Spend the money and go. Don’t worry about having a date — it’s 2019! Hang with your friends, dance the night away and enjoy one of the last few moments of high school that your entire class will spend together. It truly is a rite of passage.
  2. Go off campus for lunch: Just don’t be too late for your 5th and 6th period classes, especially if you have Coach Hall for your last period (love you, Coach Hall!)
  3. Life Skills retreat (spoiler free): Be honest and emotionally vulnerable – what you put in, you’ll get back. Be open, make friends and, while you’re there, find out how to “live the fourth.”
  4. Become a Tik Tok legend: Embody the spirits of seniors Daryl Naranjo, Max Lippel, Elika Parab and Joshna Jude Jose.

As we graduate in the next few weeks, we can’t help but think about all the memories we’ve shared, the memories that will last us a lifetime. Yes, we’re all headed in different directions, but we will always remember where we came from and the times we spent together.