2014 Summer Series

The Most Important Lesson I Learned at AHS, by Erik Dagen

Dagen, ErikThe number one thing I learned during my time at Allendale is the importance of working and communicating well with others. Being able to communicate calmly and effectively with people is important because it will be easier to get your point across to them. In my AP English class, for example, we sometimes held debates. When debates become heated, simply raising the volume and using louder voices only makes the people who are trying to communicate grow less and less likely to really hear what is being said. When people focus on listening, remaining calm, and using a more calm and soothing voice, real communication can happen. We are all more likely to hear others and to be heard, to be able to think about what others are saying and have them think about what we are saying.

Working well with others also affects group projects. In high school, many of the projects assigned in classes are group projects, and in order to do well on these projects, people need to communicate with each other so they can relay ideas.

Good communication skills and being able to work well with others can help people throughout life, even after high school. When I go to college, get a job, and get married, being able to communicate will make life so much easier. Without communication and “people skills,” we become frustrated can’t make a good impact on those around us. This is why I believe that communication and being able to work well with others are the most important things I have learned in my years at Allendale Public Schools.

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The Most Important Lesson I Learned at AHS, by Audrey Bergquist

Bergquist, AudreyThe most important thing I’ve learned in Allendale Public is schools is togetherness. I moved to this school when I was in fifth grade. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do in a new school, and I wasn’t the best at making friends. I was kind of shy, but if there’s one thing that Allendale has taught me since those days, it is how to support one another and experience togetherness. This school comes together for everything from football games, to plays, to fundraisers and everything else.

Allendale comes together at football games. Even if that isn’t our best friend out there on the football field playing or marching during the halftime show, the students and staff show our support and pride in the stands. I’ve never watched so many people stay in the stands for a half-time band performance and show as much respect as Allendale does. Staying in the stands and wearing our school colors shows our togetherness.

Allendale is also a school that supports the students in our plays. Again, even if it isn’t our best friend on stage, the student body, the teachers, and the community all come out to see and support the hard work that everyone has put into making a great show.

We support each other in the tough times, too. I’ve watched our school go through the experience of classmates dying twice now since I moved to Allendale in the fifth grade. The first happened when I was in eighth grade: we were shocked to learn that two APS students, brothers Daniel and David Aguilar, were killed in a car accident while visiting family members in Mexico during Christmas vacation. I was a student at Allendale Middle School that year, and we came together as a whole school to remember and honor this young student who had to leave us way too soon. Then, just this past year, an Allendale graduate in the Class of 2013 passed away at Western Michigan University. Alyssa Olafson made such a positive impact and difference in the lives of so many people who knew her at  Allendale Public Schools, and because of her, we came together — students, teachers, administrators, and community members — to show support to each other and comfort one another as we mourned her passing.

My experiences at Allendale Public Schools have taught me a lot since I moved here in fifth grade. Each lesson I’ve learned has had a different impact, but the power of togetherness is something that always will stick with me. Whether it be through sports, music, drama, other school activities, or just through the power of friendship and mutual support, Allendale Public School students stick together. We are always there for each other, especially through the hard times. This is a lesson I’ll never forget.

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The Most Important Lesson I Learned at APS, by Zach Bekkering

Bekkering, ZacharyWhen asked the best thing we have learned at AHS, many might think the fundamental theorem of calculus, the great men who made our country what it is today, or even how to write a good essay in English class. I think the best thing that I have learned at AHS, however, is to work hard no matter what. Hard work is something that not everyone does and that not everyone will learn during school, but is something that is taught in every class here.

Hard work was something that was very elusive to my younger self, which was evident after my first year ended with an under-3.8 GPA. This may not be bad, really,, but to me it was like a dagger to the heart, and it still is to this day. Because I did not have the hard-work ethic that it took to be the best, I was left to make up for my faults in the next three years which taught me what true hard work really is. I learned that I should work hard no matter what I am doing and always strive to be the best that I can be. After my first year in high school, I worked as hard as I could to get my GPA up as high as I could, doubling up on classes, taking summer courses, and studying as hard as I could, but now in the last trimester of my senior year, I have fallen short. After fighting, scratching, and clawing to reach the top, after getting above a 4.0 GPA every trimester since junior year and even getting a 4.5 GPA once during my senior year, I have fallen to 12th in the class.

Working hard no matter what is the best thing I have learned in AHS. I am not saying that everything else that I have learned is insignificant, but hard work is something that applies to everything in life, no matter what I do or where I go. Knowing to work hard will make me successful in anything I try to do. It is the best lesson because I have seen from personal experience what can happen when I don’t try, when I don’t give it my all, and I have also seen what amazing heights I can reach when I give it my all and truly work hard.

 

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