Malden High’s Senior Athletes Parting Advice for Underclassmen

Malden High is proud of the work of the seniors at MHS in academics and sports. It doesn’t take long to realize how many students are deeply involved in the school’s community through their sports and have immense academic success.

Cross country captain Rolando Mejia strikes a strong pose during a meet. NATHAN DEAN

A good example of this is senior Rolando Mejia, one of the captains for the cross country, indoor, and outdoor track teams. His words of advice for picking your classes for next year are to, “choose classes that you're interested in and think would be fun. Sports and school do leave you drained but there is still time to complete your work.” Students may be hesitant to pick classes that would build their GPA for fear of forgetting to think about the amount of work and time that could be taken up from the class.

Senior Belen Quespe Almendro (#7) huddles with her team during a timeout during the 2023 season. RYAN COGGSWELL

Senior Belen Quespe Almendro of the girl’s lacrosse team has done amazing in her academic standards. In her experience, “Obviously you have to take the four core classes, but with the electives, you have more freedom to explore things.” For Quispe Almendro, it is not just about taking the class students can do their best in, but also the amount of freedom the school gives students in class selection can help students discover what they want to be in the future. 

Quespe Almendro followed up, saying, “I always knew I wanted to be an engineer, but that doesn't mean all my classes have to be STEM-oriented. I took some art classes that sparked the creative side of me which I encourage, especially if you don't know what you want to do after high school.”

Senior Makeila Scott hoists her first-place trophies from the Poetry Out Loud Competition. DANIEL O'TOOLE

Throwing captain for the indoor and outdoor track team Makeila Scott echoed the sentiment that students should enroll in classes that fit their interests, rather than focusing on others’ opinions to guide their decision. “Don't rely on others' opinions on certain classes because everybody enjoys different things and learns a certain way, meet the teacher beforehand, ask about the class, and think about what is going to work best for you as a student-athlete. Some classes may be more time-consuming so it's up to you to reflect on what your priorities are.”

She suggested talking to a close staff member and understanding how, “when overwhelmed by work, don't be afraid to express your feelings to a trusted teacher like your advisory teacher, and with proper encouragement you can ask a teacher for an extension. We all have our things going on but don't be afraid to speak in the moment. Do not wait for the last moment.”

 “Also remember to take a break, whether it is scrolling on your phone for a bit or eating a snack it's important to recognize your stress and give yourself a break. Not too long of a break! It's important to get your work done as well,” remarked Scott. Always have faith in your ability to do well in school, but also understand that it is okay to take a break and express yourself to someone you trust the most. 

Scott’s best advice for the rising seniors is to “start strong and remember it is your last year. Try new things if you haven't already and make sure to make the best of them. It's better to graduate with no regrets than to have looked back and wished you had joined some club meeting or tried a new sport.”

Mejia's advice expressed that students shouldn’t be “afraid to step out of your comfort zone to see what’s out there for you.”

Quispe Almendro suggested, “If you plan to go to college, prioritize getting leadership roles by the end of this year, and don't get too stressed about college apps but start brainstorming a college essay topic. Make a good relationship with a teacher who will write a letter of recommendation! And finally, have fun! it's your last year of high school don't take that for granted. Trust me everything will play out in unexpected ways but at the end of the day you'll be fine!”

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