New year, new struggles, new mindsets


Alika Gusman

The track, locker rooms, and gym are located at the entrance to Kalani High School. This photo embodies our school because it showcases sports and athletics, which are vital to Kalani as many students participate. This photo figuratively represents the athletic department, which you could consider to be Kalani’s pride.

Grace Won, Feature

Alarms from 5:00 to 6:00 am, rushing to classes, deadlines, and loads of work. 

That’s right; it’s that time of year again! The new 2022-2023 school year has begun. Most Hawaii schools started this past early to mid-August, another year for students to enjoy new experiences, make new memories, meet new people, and feel various emotions ranging from excitement to serious concerns.

New school years can be nerve-racking, especially for students entering new levels of education. This year especially is memorable for freshmen, as it is their first year of high school.

“High school so far is pretty fun,” Qian Chen (9) says. “The reason being is that I met new friends and teachers, and I can also expand my knowledge in general.” 

Despite the thrill, many freshmen like Chen consider what they want to do or become in the future. She wants to get good grades throughout high school, go to a four-year college, and graduate with a degree in medicine or law.

Some students enter high school with a focused goal, but high school is also about discovering your passion.

“I’m concerned about figuring out how grades, classes, and other stuff work,” Melinda Lun (9) says. “It’s very concerning that I didn’t find anything I’m passionate about and what I want to pursue. I think I want to do something that betters the world and move somewhere else for new experiences, but I’m not sure yet.” 

Not everyone has their goals figured out yet, and that’s just fine, according to Coach Racer, a social studies teacher and Kalani’s wrestling coach. 

“It’s okay if you don’t know now what you’ll do for the rest of your life,” he says. “I think a lot of people feel that pressure of going to a 4-year university in an environment where many students do. It’s not the same path for every single person.” 

Coach Racer advises trying new things, things that won’t leave regrets. Even if you make a mistake or fail, it’s always best to try, no matter the outcome. 

Teachers also play an enormous role in students’ stability. However, some students are intimidated by their teachers when asking for help in classes they struggle with, creating a barrier between the student and the learning environment. 

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your teachers,” Biology teacher Ms. Pang states. “I think every teacher is understanding of their students, and you should always be honest with them to get the help you need.” 

Teachers try to be as understanding as possible. Students shouldn’t be worried about that either. It may be hard to open up, but being honest will do more good than bad in the long run. 

It is another year of the same processes, routines, and tasks. However, every path is different, versatile, and unique. Freshmen should embrace their choices and begin to explore who they are. 

“No matter what it is, do what you want to do, what makes you happy, and do what makes you believe in yourself,” Ms. Pang advises. “Put yourself first.”