The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Four years later

Seniors share their feelings about graduating from high school
Lindsay Hwang
Trying to go out in with a bang, seniors Nabeeha Areeba, Lauren Hwang and Lauren Woody pose during the Blackout Homecoming game. “That was our last high school Homecoming game, so we went all out and it was really fun,” Hwang said.

The Class of 2024 is preparing to leave the school that they have spent four years immersed in. After spending their freshman year online, they missed out on things that would be considered the freshman experience such as making connections with friends.

“It was definitely disappointing at first. Having virtual school freshman year can make it difficult to make friends. It’s also harder to explore all the clubs, because they were virtual as well,” senior David Cao said. “But I was still able to make my closest friends through sports, specifically track and field.”

The Class of 2024 also missed out on the robot project and faced practical constraints on their Integrated Biology English and Technology (IBET) project.

“We didn’t get to do the robot project. With the IBET project, the whole research was based on some experiment, but we didn’t go out to the streams to collect samples. Overall, I think it worked out,” Cao said. 

Holding a H-sized motor High Power Rocker rocket, senior David Cao celebrates becoming Junior Power Rocket (JHPR) certified. “My most memorable moment was watching my rocket successfully launch with my friends,” Cao said.

Even after an unexpected online freshman year, the Class of 2024 is finally graduating this year and making the most of meaningful traditions, including club-hosted events and Prom.

“This year has been really fun. I don’t think a lot of us are getting senioritis, and most of us are putting in a lot of effort into this year because it is our last year to do anything at TJ,” senior Lindsay Hwang said. “For all of our spirit days, like Homecoming and Prom, we’ve been going all out.”

However, other seniors admit that they have developed “senioritis,” which usually comes during the second semester of senior year due to burnout.

“I do feel a little bit of senioritis, but overall, I try to keep a positive attitude at school,” senior David Wei said. “I have tried to be more chill about my classes [while] maintaining decent grades and work ethic.” 

As Wei reflects on his experiences at Jefferson, he encourages underclassmen to maintain an open mind when exploring their interests. 

“One thing that I regret is not exploring more clubs, because it would be a great opportunity to branch out instead of focusing on a few clubs,” Wei said.

For Hwang, hosting school-wide events through clubs was a highlight of Jefferson, offering the meaningful experience of sharing her love for STEM. 

“I’ve been part of HackTJ for four years, and it’s cool to see all of us TJ kids coming together to create an event where people are coming in and trying out computer science for the first time or the 100th time,” Hwang said.

Beyond HackTJ, Hwang also serves as a supervisor for Techstravaganza and finds fulfillment in introducing younger students to the joy of STEM.

“For Techstrav, my favorite thing was being able to see the little kids come and learn about science through a STEM fair,” Hwang said. “Knowing that we were the ones that created it is something to be proud of.”

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