Valedictorians reflect on school year
By Isaac Escovedo, Editor-in-Chief
As seniors celebrate finishing their final year of high school, VHS has also announced the year’s valedictorians: Ella Yarkin and Roslyn Bellscheidt. In the hopes of discovering secret studying tips and valuable life lessons, The Riptide sat down with these valedictorians to figure out what makes them tick.
Do you have any plans beyond college?
Yarkin: “I don’t want to be too specific, but I’m really interested in renewable energy development and also the aerospace industry. I want to work in Antarctica at some point in my life.”
Bellscheidt: “I hope to go to medical school after college. I also hope to become a certified nursing assistant in the next year, so I can start working in the medical field early.”
What are you planning on studying in college?
Yarkin: “I am going to Cal Poly for mechanical engineering.”
Bellscheidt: “I’m planning on studying neurology or neuroscience. The brain fascinates me and I think it would be really interesting.”
Did you always know that that is what you wanted to major in, or has this been a pretty recent realization?
Yarkin: “I wouldn’t say recent. I feel like in middle school, I didn’t realize what engineers were, but I was like, ‘I want to design things and figure out how wind turbines work.’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, I would be a good engineer.’ And then recently I decided on mechanical engineering.”
Bellscheidt: “I think it’s been a pretty recent realization. I don’t think I realized how much the brain fascinated me until around December of this year. I was like, ‘wow, the brain is amazing.’ ”
What is your best memory from high school?
Yarkin: “Running cross country. I’m really enjoying it.”
Bellscheidt: “It would probably be the junior year homecoming dance. That was the last time that I really remember us all being together and having fun. That’s the most vivid memory of all of us in my mind. That was my favorite memory.”
How did the shift to online school change your experience?
Yarkin: “I’d say the amount of work that I have to put in has been easier, but wanting to do the work and enjoying myself has been a lot harder.”
Bellscheidt: “I will say that online school has personally been harder for me because a lot of the reason I like school is the connections that I was able to make in class and with others. There’s a lot to be said for being able to learn together and grow together. It’s a lot harder to do that through a computer screen… I really underappreciated the connections that I was able to make during the school day surrounding learning.”
What advice do you have for other high school students?
Yarkin: “I’d say if you don’t complain about things then you don’t stress about them in your own head. The same things will just feel a lot easier if you don’t make a big deal out of them.”
Bellscheidt: “What I’ve learned the most this past year is that you really need to find a balance between school and yourself, and you can’t let one take precedence over the other. Mental health is so important, as well as being able to further your education, and I would not sacrifice school for my mental health. It can be extremely tempting to do so and just push through, but balance is so much more important. Yes, put in the hours, study, further your education, but don’t lose yourself along the way.”