Before I Graduate: The End

This DIY project has come a long way hasn’t it?  What first was created by an idea, eventually sprouted and became something bigger than it was originally planned to be, also known as my Before I Graduate.  Initially, I thought of a couple of things I wanted to do before I kicked the bucket of high school and graduated.  I dreamed of those ideas, never realizing that I would eventually form these ideas into actual events.  The items on my list that I were able to accomplish were to play Hide and Seek at IKEA,  crash a wedding with a friend, host an assembly or an event, and go to a restaurant in hopes of receiving a free meal by pretending to get stood up.  Yes, all of those things happened and are true!  Pics or it didn’t happen?  I’m glad you asked!!!

Hide and Seek at IKEA was the most fun probably because I was able to spend time with some of my friends and to roam around IKEA as if it were our own playground.  Illegal? Yes.  Fun?  YES.  Funny story to this, we actually met another group of kids our age who were doing the exact same thing!  Their group had around 20 and we had 13, so we decided to combine forces and play one big round.  Except, a Swedish manager (I swear she was) came up to us and told us to stop or we wold get kicked out.  We left.

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I crashed a wedding with a friend of mine, which was surprisingly easy.  I simply called my local church, asked for the dates of the next few weddings and the times, and boom.  With easy access to information like that, you’re basically asking to get your wedding crashed.  Okay it wasn’t a Kim-ye caliber wedding, but it was still awesome sitting with people I did not know and and ended up being invited to the reception later that night.





I’ve always wanted to host an event at a school function.  So when I was presented an opportunity to host our male pageant, Mr. Baron, with my best friend Matt, I took the offer in a heartbeat.  It was fun as I got some public speaking experience, script experience, as well as a bunch of laughs from the audience.



Lastly, my attempts in receiving a free meal by pretending to get stood up was most likely the most popular and received the best feedback.  I went to our local Island’s and ordered for a table of two.  I waited for about half an hour and acted sad and very distressed.  After multiple melancholy conversations with the teenager waiter, Johnny,realized that I was rejected and was stood up.  He sat down and gave me pointers in life and tried to comfort me.  Although I did not receive a free meal, Johnny gave me a free basket of fries and a long-lasting friendship.

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This DIY project was truly wonderful.  I was able to jump out of my comfort zone and try many new things.  From this project I was able to become more adventurous, daring, and spontaneous.  I wish to continue my efforts of doing the top things that I want to do Before I Graduate since I did not finish many tasks this year (street perform, create care packages for the homeless, Before I Graduate chalkboard wall @school).  It was a great year, and I know that this is just the start for Before I Graduate!


– Nick




DIY: This is the end

That’s it. We’re here. After such a long time of working on this project, we’ve finally reached the end of the school year. It’s time to take a good look back at all we’ve done in creating our DIY documentary.


We could not finish the actual documentary, which was ultimately the final product we were aiming for. There just was not enough time to edit all the footage that we got. I think part of the problem was the fact that we had five people in the group, and we insisted on doing everything together, so we couldn’t really find much time for that.

In addition, we did not do much publicizing for our project, even though we had initially attempted to do so. We started an Instagram account, and although I personally tried to post on it when I could, only six total photos were posted. We didn’t follow anyone on our account, and we did not have  followers. Our slack on the Instagram was probably due to the fact that none of us really used this type of social media, so we didn’t know what to do with it.

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However, despite the fact that parts of our project did not turn out as intended, I would say that the project was not a complete failure, because we did get stuff done. We spent many hours filming, and probably approached about 100 different people for interviews. Although we did not finish editing the documentary, we did manage to make a shorter trailer for it, just to have  a product to show. The trailer isn’t perfect, but my group members seem to be very content with it, because it does show that we’ve done work all year.

Furthermore, this entire project in itself was a huge learning experience. I’ve learned more about filming and editing, which will help me a lot in my video production class. I’ve also developed my interview techniques, and became more comfortable approaching strangers for interviews, skills that are valuable to me because I will be editor-in-chief of my school paper next year. I have also learned a lot about working with other people, as well as time management from this group project. I discovered that time is something that can be easily lost if you do not work efficiently, by dividing the jobs and sharing responsibilities.

At the end of it all, I am very glad I tried to do this, to make this documentary. In all honesty, since the beginning, I have had doubts about whether or not we’d be able to get it finished. Even though my doubts have more or less been confirmed, though, I do not regret taking on this project. I’ve worked with and met some great people throughout this process, and it was worth all the stress and the time spent.


– Karen

So What Do You Say…Prom?

With the school year coming to a gradual close,  there are still plenty of thoughts flying through all of the students’ minds.  Relieved Seniors are packing their bags, saying their goodbyes, and are moving on to bigger and better things in college.  Stressed Juniors are still coping with the fact that they will be the big fish in the pond and that they too are soon leaving high school.  The underclassmen are moving forward and have started to think of what they want to do in life, as they work in school in addition to balancing their social life.  But most importantly, PROM IS COMING UP.

All of the upperclassmen are frantically finding prom dates, swerving to several malls and buying their dresses and suits.  Wait where are our corsages???  ARE WE GETTING A LIMO OR ARE WE CARPOOLING?  WHAT ARE WE EATING?  WHY NOT DRIVE-THRU?  Pictures?  I totally forgot about those oh crap!

Spectacular Now

These Seniors and Juniors are simply striving for that perfect night.  Seniors view it as their last opportunity to make an impact and leave a footprint at high school as Juniors see Prom as the night of initiation into becoming the top dogs.  As all of my other friends are planning the “perfect” agenda for May 31st, I’m putting my chair in recline.  It’s not that I’m lazy, but it’s just that whatever happens during Prom, I know that I’ll have a great night no matter what because I’m surrounded by the friends that I love.   I’m not looking for the perfect night with everything to be in order and right.  I’m simply searching for the memories.  Just absorb everything and enjoy the experiences.  You won’t get these again.

The Life of an AP Student

Advanced Placement courses do not make a student any better than those in normal classes. However, being an AP student myself, I can say that they are definitely much harder and include a lot of rigorous course work. A night without sleep wasn’t uncommon over the course of the school year and I would often find myself falling asleep in class as a result. However, despite all of the challenges of taking not just one, but three AP courses this year, I’m glad to say that it was well worth it. Seeing as how AP testing has just recently wrapped up, I can say that the challenge I took on by taking three AP courses was rewarded generously through the intensity of the courses and passing scores as a result. Although, I won’t go into too much detail about what went on within the parameters of the testing area, (because College Board won’t stand for it!) I can say that I was well prepared due to my countless hours of studying and worksheet upon worksheet. I’ll make this post quick but I want to give a big shout out to all of the teachers and even students that supported me throughout my journey as an AP student. Thanks College Board for giving me an opportunity to receive college credits and thank you reader for reading about this subject which I am truly passionate about.



What are you, like twelve?

The last book we are reading in English class this year is The Catcher in the Rye. Although we are not very far into the book right now, I find Holden, the main character of the book, to be  very. Despite his efforts to come off as mature, and older than he actually is, he is really just a child on the inside. His level of maturity is much too low for him to be considered an adult. For example, he does not even understand his own feelings, regarding the girl that he likes, and his beloved brother who has passed away.  He also sees himself as suave and sexy, completely oblivious to the fact that no one else agrees with him. This is probably due to the fact that to him, everyone is “phony” and “stupid”. The way he interacts with others and his general mindset about himself shows that he does not have the capacity to maturely deal with situations and other people.


The importance of maturity is something that I’ve come to understand throughout the course of this past school year. A lot has happened within nine months, and I’ve managed to interact with a lot of people. In some cases, I’ve met people, some  who are younger than me, who have been able to fully demonstrate their ability to handle people and stressful situations very well. Although conflicts may arise, they know how to resolve the issues and get things done. I have come to deeply respect these people. On the other hand, there are those who simply cannot seem to handle a problem in the best way possible. Too often do they inflate petty conflicts, or like Holden, they point out the flaws in others but not in themselves.

Everyone grows and handles situations in their own ways and at the their own pace. However, in my opinion, it is important to at least try to mature. The way I see it, you can’t expect people to ever take you seriously if you don’t prove to them that they can take you seriously.




Just Be Yourself

I recently started reading Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and was immediately intrigued by the sassy attitude of the main character, Holden Caulfield. Holden is getting kicked out of his fourth private high school and has a particular “I really don’t care what you think about me because you are fake” type of attitude. While many people reading the novel will see him as snarky and rude, but I find myself identifying with him.

High school is a place to really find your passions and who you are, so why should you pretend to be someone you aren’t? Does fitting in really mean that much? I think finding friends who accept you for who you are is more important because 30 years from now, I don’t think you will be remembering how good it was to go along with the supposedly in crowd and hide who you truly are.

Holden doesn’t believe in “phonies” and berates them for being someone they aren’t, and on some level he’s right. You shouldn’t have to pretend to like something because everyone does nor should you have to act a certain way to be considered worthy of friendship. True friends will accept you for you, and if they don’t, they aren’t true friends.

Why would want to be ordinary, when you can be yourself and be extraordinary?

Life is too short to pretend to be someone you aren’t. Embrace yourself and be the person you want to be.


Idea Fm: The Journey

Seeing as how I haven’t really kept anyone updated on the progress of my DIY Project, I feel as if one is in order. So here it goes. As the year comes to a abrupt end, I realize how much progress I’ve made on my project and how much more progress I could have achieved. Now I managed to achieve a relatively respectable amount of progress in that I was able to complete four of the six songs I was originally going to come out with. (Quite possibly five if I can work some more of it out) But I’m writing about this now, not to tell you how far I made it, but to tell you about the experience as a whole. This whole year has been a crazy year for me as I’m sure it has been for a lot of my other classmates and I know that it’ll only get crazier next year. Working on my project this year, writing songs about the experiences and things I’ve learned this year have really taught me how to value everything I have, even if it might not seem so big at the time. Everything relates to a bigger picture and writing has really helped me to realize that. Every little experience of high school, whether bad or good has contributed to my year as a whole and made me who I am to this day. I’ve learned lessons, reached new highs that I thought I would’ve never been able to reach, met new friends, and established new relationships. And as I put the rhymes down on the paper, I think about how I wouldn’t want to change any of it and wish that I could do it all again. I’m going to miss everything and by writing about it, I was really able to appreciate things along the way.

Until next time,