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What Santa Barbara High Means to ‘23 Seniors

The end of the year is approaching, and with it, seniors are preparing to take the train to the next station of their lives. The future looks different for each person, but our high school experiences are something we will always share. It’s bittersweet to think about what the seniors are moving on from: what they could have done differently, and what mark they made at SBHS in the last four years. So, what does SBHS mean for seniors’ lives? What will they miss and what are they ready to move on from? To explore these feelings, a google form was sent out to seniors to reflect on what they will leave behind when they graduate Santa Barbara High. 

Many seniors are grateful for the classes, programs, and pathways that SBHS has to offer. West Figgins states that, “I have really enjoyed being part of VADA and The Forge. Both have been great ways for me to stretch and express myself artistically, which I haven’t felt I’ve been able to do in prior years.” Sebastian Meza-Salcido says that he will miss “…theater more than any other class.  It was fun, and everyone was pleasant to be around.” MAD was not left out either. James Sanchez states that, “All my MAD classes and all my MAD teachers had the biggest impact on me, they guided me into the passions I have today and things to pursue as a possible career like photography and videography.” The creative side of SBHS has made a positive mark on many students, allowing them to have the space to express themselves. 

Some students admitted that they wished they could have joined more of the programs offered at SBHS. “I wish I would have joined more clubs and participated in more school activities,” Fiona Donohue says. With so many opportunities to be involved with the school like the Computer Science Academy, Wood Shop, Yearbook, and more, it is reasonable that there are some regrets about missing out. On another note, many seniors expressed their gratitude for their teachers and the things that they were able to do in those classes. SBHS teachers have supported students and have brought fun and new perspectives to seniors’ lives. 

Many Dons have forged achievements that made all the work and time worthwhile. James Sanchez illustrates his legacy for us: “As a first-generation Don, I think I am leaving a good name for myself and my family as I have done multiple activities that I hope made the school a better place.” Many of us have a lot to be proud of as seniors have learned, and gained valuable experience while making the school environment more valuable to those around us. 

High school can be a challenging place for every student, and the seniors share that you are not alone in feeling this. Fiona Donohue advises underclassmen, “Focus on yourself and avoid people who aren’t genuine.” James Sanchez advises students, “Take risks. It’s better to fail and learn than rather have remorse for not doing what you want to do.”  Have fun in your own way, seek out people that make you feel welcome and know that everything will work out in the future for you. Whether it’s the weight of schoolwork or the pressure to fit in socially, just know that someone has been there before and understands. Finding the bright moments of joy in your years is a great way to celebrate high school and what it has brought to your life.

Friends Pose For a Picture at the 2023 Prom: Under the Stars

[Images Courtesy of: Lia Garcia]


  • Ella Bailey

    Ella is a VADA Senior here at SBHS. She was born and has roots in Sweden and moved to Santa Barbara when she was young. She chose to become a contributor to The Forge because she enjoys writing creatively and analytically in her free time. She loves to write about arts and culture, and hopes to bring her artistic passion to The Forge.

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