Graduation Editorial: Appreciating the Beauty of Malden High

Hadjar Yousfi, Nathan Dean, Zachary Nedell, and Ryan Coggswell also contributed to this article.

As we go off to college ready to start a new life, we are reminded of the many freshmen starting their new chapter at Malden High. Not too long ago, we were among them, albeit virtually. 

The fresh start, the opportunity to start your life anew is something you only get to experience so many times. We just hope that those of you who will become freshmen next year, whether in high school or college, realize the weight and importance of this opportunity and decide to take advantage of it. So often we are too shortsighted to realize the impact our decisions will have on ourselves a year, five years, or even 20 years later. It is so easy to get lost smelling the roses and forget your end goal. And, I’m not saying don’t stop to smell the roses, of course not. No one deserves to spend the rest of their lives constantly worrying about the future, but set goals for yourself, create plans, and work towards those goals; it gives meaning to life. 

Part of the reason the issue of realizing the long-term impact of your actions is so important right now is that we feel like that skill has been lost in the moment. Current life feels too focused on the now: the fast-paced, short-lived excitement and dopamine kicks. Nothing better exemplifies this than TikTok. TikTok and its other short-form video counterparts like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are a way to procrastinate, forget about the future, and just take our minds off things. This is all fun and great, but things catch up. Work piles up, and we find ourselves in a slump; it is all a loop that leads back on itself.

This issue affects more than just students. Politicians, people in power, and the wealthy have also become more shortsighted. This, paired with a lack of empathy and social awareness, makes people care only about themselves in the here and now. 

Our advice is to find a happy medium. Realize that your actions impact more than just you right now, but don’t get too caught up worrying about every possible outcome for every possible decision. Embrace the increased freedom that comes with entering high school and college, but don’t lose sight of the end goals.

Four years at Malden High School have also taught us something important about educational institutions: while there may be flaws and imperfections, the reputation and status of the school depends on far more than that.

Of course, the school faces plenty of challenges that refuse to go away. Bathrooms had to be closed because of recklessness and a lack of respect. Hallways are crowded and some students disrupt class. Sometimes, there are difficulties with language barriers in classes. Urban public schools often face these problems and there are never ways to completely resolve them.

For that, we think it is unfair to judge Malden High School on where it struggles. Instead, we should value what it offers for student success.

This building has incredible, caring staff that are always on the lookout for their students. The administration is understanding and accepting, handling conflicts very well. The guidance department is experienced and knowledgeable, bringing valuable assistance to students who need it. On top of all of that, tons of Advanced Placement classes are offered as well as plenty of electives and extracurricular activities.

The truth is that with almost 2,000 students in an urban public high school, it is nearly impossible to provide adequate resources that fairly support every student. Difficulties arise with staffing, a huge reason for the issues in hallways and bathrooms. Many students speak languages that are vastly different from the schoolwide curriculum and could also benefit from more staff to help them catch up.

However, Malden High School is a lot more than those imperfections. There are plenty of things here that put students in a position to succeed. The staff cares just as much about student success as the kids do. They offer tons of classes and opportunities for career exploration. There is no shortage of school events, clubs, sports, and other extracurricular activities.

When you think about the school, it is easy to think about all that is wrong. But, sometimes, it is important to take a step back and value the learning experience Malden High School provides.

With that in mind, we offer some things that would benefit Malden High School going forward:

The learning environment would benefit from more open bathrooms, fewer kids in the hallways during classes, and more student resources.

Many of our immigrant students lack the support they need—that’s not to say that an effort isn’t made by wonderful staff members, but a community as great and diverse as Malden could do so much more to ensure our students feel supported. Students should not have to trudge through classes lower than their levels because of a language barrier which could be easily fixed by providing more linguistic resources and staffing, which would encourage more academic and social success. 

Finally, other schools in Massachusetts have implemented cell phone bans that we think the high school should take note of. Current students reading this will probably hate this being said, but it’s true. If we eliminate the primary distraction for students, then they will engage more in the classroom and feel a lesser need to leave the room and wander the hallways.

Malden High students, you all deserve not only a great education but an environment that promotes excellent learning that will prepare you for life after high school.

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