Advice from the Red and White Staff

As tradition goes, here are words of wisdom from the graduating senior staff members

Have fun!

Senior Amaya Rothrock (Submitted Photo)

By AMAYA ROTHROCK, Editor in Chief

High school is a time that quite literally flies by. I have always heard “you will be graduating before you know it,” but I never took that seriously until my senior year. I strongly encourage you to make the best out of high school, and do not take anything too seriously. That is a lesson that took me a bit longer than most to learn, and I am still working on it today.

A bad test grade really does not matter at all in the end, and you have the rest of your life to stress. One bad grade will not determine where you go to college or what you intend to do after high school. I wasted so many of my high school years trying to maintain all As while working at a job, going to the gym every morning, and spending as much time as I could with my friends. From doing all of these things, I learned how to manage my time, but I also realized I was missing out on things (to give you a better idea, I skipped my senior trip to do homework). It took all four years of high school to finally realize that it is okay to take a step back from schoolwork and just have fun.

I also encourage you to join new clubs and take as many classes as you can that spark your interest. I joined journalism my freshman year not knowing a single thing about it, and now here I am, four years later, still doing it as the Editor in Chief. Journalism even turned out to be the one class that I looked forward to every day all four years of high school. But I didn’t stop exploring my interests there. I additionally took a lot of science classes just for fun and to learn about things I have never really learned about before. From this, I discovered a passion for science that I didn’t even know I had, and I will be taking this passion with me to Washington D.C. to study Biology. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to leave my passion for journalism behind because I also plan to write for the student newspaper at the college I will be attending. I wouldn’t have these opportunities if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone and try different classes. It is so so important to use your time at high school wisely and discover things you’re passionate about and may not know it yet, because you never know what could happen.

My final piece of advice is that high school is not all there is. A common misconception is that high school is the best time of your life. Obviously it is a lot of fun and definitely makes some of the best memories, but there is so much more after high school. Make the best out of your time at Bellefonte High, but always remember that high school is just the beginning and there is so much more you will do and accomplish during your life after high school. Use your time at Bellefonte High to grow and build a foundation of who you are, and understand that there is still so much more out there that you will learn.


Advice from a senior

Senior Lily Wichert (Submitted Photo )

By LILY WICHERT, Copy Editor

As I recall back to sophomore year, I can’t believe that I am now three years into journalism class, graduating high school in just a few weeks. At the beginning of my high school career, I remembered believing that I would be so ready to leave after four years. Now that this will become my reality, I am suddenly realizing how much I took for granted.

Don’t get me wrong – focusing on school is great, and important. I get that you probably want to get into a good college, or do something else that requires maintaining certain grades. But grades are not everything. I have spent so much time in the past four years crying about a grade or being disappointed by small things, like my class rank or getting a B in a class. But in the end, things will work out for themselves no matter what. Don’t take time for granted by overwhelming your mind with school – you can only handle so much. When I stopped continuously stressing about school, I had my best academic year, and grew so much as a person. I found a group of friends that I am graduating with, and am the happiest I have ever been.

Focusing on your passions is so important – I cannot stress this enough! When I began journalism class my second year at Bellefonte High, I had no idea what it would evolve into. After spontaneously picking up an internship reporting for Western Pennsylvania Football (I didn’t even know the difference between a touchdown and a down), I found myself growing a love for reporting on topics and learning new things as a journalist every day. Now, I am going to make being a journalist a reality for me in New York City.

It’s crazy how much one decision can make the biggest difference, so do things outside of your comfort zone. Looking back at my own reflection on this, there are so many choices I wish I would have made, but I never did because I was afraid of failure. Don’t do this to yourself. You need to fail in order to find success in whatever that may be.

Overall, whoever you may be reading this, take care of yourself. Focusing on maintaining control over your stress and being happy are the most important things you can do for yourself. Be sure that you dedicate days to yourself when you need it and are overwhelmed with a busy schedule – this is not a sign of weakness, but is sometimes necessary! I hope that you find happiness in your passions in the same way that I have in the past four years. Completing my senior year in high school amidst a pandemic that literally requires us to separate ourselves from each other, all I ask to is to spend time with those who you love.


It’s the little things

Senior Allison Ivicic (Submitted Photo )

By ALLISON IVICIC, Photo/Graphics Editor

Walking through the high school halls freshman year to walking through the halls as a senior, you learn a lot. When you are a freshman, you are eager to start the new chapter in your life. You are in a new place, with new teachers and people. Being the little fish in a big pond is an adjustment. But, bigger and better things are to come.

Looking back at my four years in high school, the biggest change that happens is growth; not just in height, but as a person. You find out who your friends are and you surround yourself with people that make you happy. As you grow up you see people’s true colors. Your friends might change and that is okay. As I grew over the years, my friends have changed and I have had to learn that; that is what’s best for me and my happiness. You never want to have friends that bring you down. Always have someone in your life that supports you and is always there for you.

To help guide you through high school, it’s not a bad idea to be friends with your teachers. Being close with a teacher and having a close relationship with them helps tremendously. You can always count on them to be there for you and understand the drama that goes along with high school. I would not have been able to get through my four years without having a close relationship with my teachers.
As a little freshman it can be hard to try new things. It might be hard to put yourself out there and join a sport or club, but never be afraid. Getting involved is so important to meet new people and to see what you like and don’t like. You never know what you like until you try it.

Do not sweat the small things. One thing that you have to learn is that it is okay to fail. I never realized this until my junior year, and that was a mistake. When I took AP Biology, I failed my first test. This was an upsetting moment for me and I couldn’t believe it. But, Mr. Freidhoff told us that it’s okay to fail. One or two bad grades doesn’t mean you fail the class. This is a very important lesson that builds character.

Another lesson that was learned over the course of my four years was never take anything for granted. You never know how fast something will come to an end. I feel that just yesterday I was walking the halls my first day of freshman year, and now I am here completing my finals in my senior year. Especially with the COVID 19 pandemic, you never know when something can be taken for you. You never know when your last time will be cheering on the football team from Raider Nation or sitting with your friends at lunch.

Going through struggles only makes you stronger. You don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I did that,” because you need to be present in time. You only get one high school experience, so do big things with it. Go on that field trip, fail that test, try a new sport. Give everything you have because it’s the little things in life that make it complete.


Enjoy the ride

Lia Miner (Submitted Photo)

By LIA MINER, Entertainment Editor

I am sitting here reminiscing on my last four years of high school and I realize my experience went in phases. I experienced different groups of friends. I have seen who was really there for me and who was not. I have also realized how important family is and when things get tough they are really the only people standing next to you, so do not push them away and do not take them for granted.
One of the most important things to remember on your journey through high school is being comfortable with who you are. Your peers, social media, etc., can all influence how you see yourself, and most times it can be negative. It is okay to have a small circle of friends (in fact, sometimes better) or even to be alone. It took me a long time yet learning to be okay with being by yourself can help you navigate through life with confidence. At the end of the day, you only have yourself. So taking care of yourself and your mental health is important.
Grades are not everything. Your grades do not define who you are. At the beginning of high school I had the idea that I needed all As to even get into college. However, I soon realized that high school is the last few years before you face the stress and responsibilities of college and having a job. Enjoy these years, live your life, make new friends, and do as much as you can to have fun. Do not use these years to stress over grades and spend every second working on assignments. Yes, grades are important and something to prioritize, however, they are not everything. There is much more to life than a bad grade on a test.
One of my biggest pieces of advice is to not let people get to you. People will hate on you, go out of their way to mess with you, and of course use social media because no one can do anything face to face in the modern day. Try your best not to let it get to you. As long as you are doing what’s right and taking care of yourself, no one else matters.
Being a senior during a global pandemic really opened my eyes. It made me appreciate the normalcy of going to school and my daily routine. Many dread going to school and consistently hate it, however, when it was all taken away from us due to the pandemic it made me miss going to school, seeing all my friends and teachers, assemblies, and football games – it was all stripped away in a second. Therefore appreciate every second of it and enjoy the ride.


Always be yourself

Senior Keri Carroll (Submitted Photo )

By KERI CARROLL, Opinion Editor

They always say that high school goes by in the blink of an eye. I never really understood nor believed that, because how are four years of your life just supposed to “fly” by? The number of ways you change from when you’re a freshman to a senior is unreal. Growing up, everything always seemed so far away. When I was in kindergarten, fifth grade felt so far away. In sixth grade, eighth grade felt so far away. Then being a freshman, graduating high school felt light years away. I never thought I’d make it to where I am because I always felt like it was too far away.

As a small freshman, I was insecure, unsure of myself, and scared of the future. I had no idea who I was or who I wanted to become. I struggled a lot with finding myself in early high school and I relied on friends and validation from others to bring me any form of happiness.

Looking back, I regret the amount of time and energy I spent caring about what other people thought. In reality, no one is thinking about you as much as you think they are. This was a concept that took me so long to wrap my head around, because I was always so overly conscious of what I looked like and how I acted.

After knowing most of my peers for six years now I’ve realized that everyone has their own personal issues and insecurities. While we may not all be in the same boat, we are all in the same storm. Everyone else around you is also trying to figure out who they are. Spending so much time caring about what people think consumes so much energy that can instead be directed toward just loving yourself and living in the moment.

Writing this now as a senior with only a few weeks of high school left, I can finally say that I’ve started to accept who I am and love myself for it. I regret not making this realization sooner in school, but I am happy to finally be experiencing it now.

My biggest advice I can give to not only high school students, but anyone in general, is to do what makes you happy. Wear what you want, do your hair how you want, and try to find complete peace with yourself. No matter what happens in life, you will always have yourself, so you might as well have the best relationship with you. Enjoy high school and live in every moment. Even though everything seems so far away, it’ll come before you know it. If you dislike high school, you still have your whole life ahead of you. Nothing is guaranteed so be the best version of yourself that you can be.


If you ain’t first you’re last

Senior Maddie Morelli (Submitted Photo )

By MADDIE MORELLI, Sports Editor

High school sucks at some points. And I really mean that. There is so much happening constantly, and sometimes it feels like everything is just closing in on you. You’ll cry after a precalc quiz, you’ll have friend drama, you’ll feel like you played a terrible game, and so many other things will happen. Every single one of these things will probably feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. I’m not just saying that to try and make everyone feel better, but I truly mean that. The biggest takeaway from my high school experience is that it’s all the memories, and the people around you that mean the most, so why stress the small things?

Personally, my biggest example of this are my four years spent playing soccer. I have played that game since I was about three, so playing high school soccer was a huge deal for me. Looking back on those four years playing, my biggest regret is freaking out before the games because I wanted to play well. Or, crying after a loss. Because honestly, none of that really mattered. My favorite memories from all of those seasons are messing around at practice, or laughing on the bus rides. It sounds cheesy, but spending that time with my teammates, and just playing the game I love is what I wish I had focused on more.

Also, I would like everyone to remember that you’re still growing. You have no idea who you want to be in your freshman or sophomore year. It’s okay if your dreams change. It’s also okay if your friends change. Personally, I didn’t find my closest group of friends until my junior year. Not everything is constant, so don’t try and keep everything as a constant. Allow yourself to grow, and to change. After all, you need to focus and pay attention to what you need. Do not be afraid to put yourself first.

Finally, I want to give my cheesiest piece of advice. High school goes by in the blink of an eye. Everyone tells you that when you’re a freshman, and four years feels like forever. You want to be a senior as quickly as possible. But, when you become a senior, and you’re a few weeks from graduating, you wish you had cherished those four years just a little bit longer. Allow yourself to enjoy the stupid little moments that don’t seem like a lot, because when you graduate, those are things that you’ll remember the most.

Enjoy all four years at BAHS. Some of it sucks, but most of it is fun. Learn about who you want to be. And don’t take anything too seriously.



It gets better, I promise

Senior Connor Bernier (Submitted Photo )


Senior year: something I saw as a far away thing, and a thing that I still had “a lot of time” to prepare for, and now it’s ending in a few weeks. As I sit here on a Tuesday morning during finals week of my senior year, everything feels so surreal. I remember the first day of freshman year, when I was beyond terrified and didn’t have many friends. I was at one of my lowest points and it was very difficult for me. Now, I have an amazing group of loving friends, I have a support system, and I am fully the person who I never thought as a freshman I would ever be able to become.

The message I want to share with all of you is that no matter what you come from, no matter who you want to become, and no matter what struggles you face, it will always get better. As you grow and as you learn you will face some of life’s hardest challenges and you may feel like you want to give up, but it is important that you never do. The day you accept your negative feelings and let them overpower you is the day you lose – not only yourself, but the people around you. It is important to allow yourself to grow and allow yourself to change; that is what saved me. If you just let life happen and push through there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

I bet most of you reading this know Morgan Goodman – my best friend who I never shut up about. We were not friends until the beginning of junior year. Before that I was at my lowest point; I had no true friends and I felt alone, I was going through a lot mentally with myself, and I felt like it would never get better. But as life does, it moved on, the storm passed, and a light was at the end of the tunnel. Now as an almost high school graduate I can look back and see that the life I have built for myself now is what I had always been longing for.

You may be thinking to yourself that I was just lucky, and there is no way you will find that happy place, but if you surround yourself with good thoughts, and good people, and if you most importantly just be yourself, you will succeed. I promise you it will get better, the laughs will come, and the memories will form.

So go out there and show the world that you are here, and you are here to be yourself. No matter who you are – gay, straight, non binary, or anything in between- you are loved, valued, and you have a purpose. All you have to do is allow yourself to find that purpose. Peace, love, and blessings forever.

Not the end and just till we meet again,

Connor Bernier


Change of self 


When I was in middle school, I had all these plans and expectations. I was going to have so many friends, the best grades, and I would be super involved in school. Well… if I were to give some advice: plans change. The world changes. YOU change!  Struggling with your identity is perfectly okay and is a very normal experience.

I changed so much over the years. I used to be very closed off and anxious when it came to people. I thought that everyone hated me, that the world was against me. I was not in a good mental health space for the first two years of high school. I was…a mess. A literal mess. But I still love the person that I used to be.

My mental health improved a lot during my junior year. I got rid of someone who was bad for my mental health, made some real friends, and really just… found myself. I found my interests, the things that I am passionate about. That is the year that I really got into theater. I felt like I finally found myself. I used it as a creative outlet and really let myself come out of my shell.

My family helped me along the way. I want to thank them too. Mom, Dad, Raven, Cadence, thank you. Thank you for dealing with me. For helping me when I needed you. Through the good times, back talk, tears, and more, you guys were always there for me when I needed you. You guys helped me to grow into the person that I am today, the person that I continue to grow into. I guess I could have been a lot worse, huh? Thank you for everything. I love you all so much.

There have been so many people who have helped me get to where I am today. I mostly blame my best friend Jace. When we met, I was not my best self. I felt alone, and you came around and changed that. You were always there for me and I can’t thank you enough. Seriously, I am tearing up just writing this; you mean that much to me. So, three years and plenty of inside jokes later, I am a changed person. Thank you for that.

Throughout this experience, I struggled with myself. Who I was, what I liked, it was…it was a lot. But I wasn’t in it alone. I had my friends and my family to help me. If you feel like you’re struggling with yourself, I want you to know that you are not alone. You change, life changes you. And that’s okay. Go wherever life takes you! You will find yourself eventually. It just takes time. I haven’t even fully found myself, but I’m still trying. It’s a process and it takes time, but it’s worth it. Trust me.


The risks that made my high school experience


The year is 2017. The freshman class has arrived at the high school. Except, not Bellefonte Area High School. I am talking about Milton Hershey School (MHS). As a freshman, I think that because many rules are lifted and we have more freedoms and responsibilities, high school would be smooth sailing. Man, was I wrong!

I am an athlete. I run track and field and cross country, and during freshman year I ran baseball at MHS. I thought everything was good. I was a star athlete and I had a girlfriend. People liked me and to me, everything was good. Then, the dreaded call came. I am sitting in my final class, and my teacher gets a call. After multiple “yeses,” and a simple, “I will send him down,” the teacher hangs up the phone, looks at me, and asks me to go to the office. I went to the office and the baseball coach was there along with the principal. A look of disappointment flooded their faces.

“Sir. You are ineligible to play for me this season. Your grades are awful and there is no sign of you improving,” Coach said.

No baseball for me. I was going to get those assignments done. I guess I just waited too long. That very same baseball team nearly went undefeated and made it to the second round of the District 2 playoffs. What I am trying to say through this story is to make sure you get your work done on time. I know it sounds like a cliché, and as students, we hear it consistently, but if you wait too long, you will miss out on things that may never happen again. Remember, you only get to live through high school once.

This leads me to my second piece of advice: Take risks! As a junior, I was still at MHS. Things got awry for me and I chose to come home to Bellefonte. This was a huge risk. I left my friends here when I chose to go to MHS. When I got back, I had to rebuild bridges with my friends. Another big risk, I had things set up for my future and by coming home I put all that in jeopardy. However, I made it home. I rebuilt a lot of friendships and even gained some new ones. Bigger than that though, my risk paid off. Now that I am on the verge of graduating, in the fall I will be attending Lebanon Valley College. I will be the first in my family to go to college. So yes, taking risks may be scary, but you are in high school. Take risks and enjoy your experiences.

Okay, I have made myself clear. Take it as you may. Remember, high school only comes once. Take advantage of it. Get your work done. Have fun with your friends. Most importantly, take risks. Things can change in an instant. Make the most of what you have and hold on to it. As I finish high school, I look back and realize that I never truly enjoyed my high school experience. However, you can enjoy it. Be you and have fun. High school will be gone in the blink of an eye. It’s your choice with how you experience it.


Don’t wish your time away

Senior Emmalee Sim (Submitted Photo )


So this is it. I’ve spent 13 years in school, and 4 of those in high school, and this is finally it. This is what I dreamed of when I was a freshman. And although I said that I hated it and couldn’t wait to leave, I’m honestly going to really miss it. The high school became my second home.

I remember being a freshman and looking at the seniors and thinking they were terrifying. They seemed so confident in what they were doing, they knew so many people, and they were just intimidating. And here I am, a senior, wondering how I ever thought the seniors were terrifying.

Here I am, four years later, not able to sleep in late because my body is so used to getting up at ungodly hours of the morning. Here I am, looking back at the times I met my closest friends, joined my first clubs, and found myself. Although there were a lot of times where I was struggling and didn’t think I would make it, here I am, two weeks away from graduating. Two weeks away from taking my final walk out of the school. Two weeks from saying goodbye to the last 13 years of my life.

What’s my point? Don’t rush high school. Don’t wish that your senior year would come faster, because believe me, it will come in the blink of an eye. Enjoy your last few years of being a kid. Although it is exciting to finally become an adult and go off to college, you will look back and think about how much simpler it was in high school. You will miss the lunches where people would yell random things across the room, you will miss the ridiculously uncomfortable desks, you will miss hanging with your friends at your locker while waiting for class to start, And although high school may suck at times, the nights of staying up late doing homework, and spending hours sitting in the uncomfortable desks will be worth it. You will have finally reached your last day in school and realize that you made it. The last 13 years of your life flew by, and here you are, saying goodbye to your favorite teachers, your least favorite teachers, your friends, and starting a new chapter in life. So enjoy the time while you have it, and don’t wish it away.