Lifetime seniors reminisce as they prepare to leave Mid-Pacific

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Kamm Kojima

Mid-Pacific senior lifers sing at Leave Taking, the ending of elementary and entering of middle school ceremony. These seniors will be graduating on May 28.

By Kamm Kojima

Staff Writer

Once preschoolers at Mid-Pacific, now lifetime seniors reminisce as they return to the elementary school where their journey began.

21 seniors from the graduating class of 2022 finish 13-16 years of their education at Mid-Pacific as lifetime seniors. They and their families made the uncommon decision to stay at Mid-Pacific for all their K-12 schooling.

“At the moment I actually do feel really prepared because I know how to talk to people, how to interview people, how to write essays and how to manage my time,” lifetime senior Rose Matsunaga said.

Matsunaga and her mother agree that Mid-Pacific has been the best school for her.

“Recently, I talked to my mom about it and she said ‘I’m glad that you stayed at Mid-Pac, because I don’t think you would be the same person you are now,” Matsunaga said.

However, even with all the experiences Mid-Pacific provided, these seniors do not know what other private or public schools look like.

“I dont know if the environment is any different. If the teachers are acting strangely here or everywhere else. It’s hard to really understand that,” lifetime senior Wyatt Jones said.

By not facing the transitions of entering a new school, going from high school to college might be more challenging for a lifetime senior than your average student who has switched schools before.

“I’m definitely a little concerned about going to college and meeting a bunch of people I’ve never met before because all throughout my high school experience I’ve known at least one person,” Alexa (Lexie) Stoebenau, lifetime senior said.

Yet with graduation coming up, seniors are gathering all that they have learned in their time at Mid-Pacific to comfort themselves in an intimidating new world. Stoebenau was taught to stand up for herself.

“If I’m not getting what I need, I should ask for it and that really my learning experience is my own,” Stoebenau said.

Jones worked on and learned to be aware, manage time, and stay organized.

“In Mid-Pacific we get a lot of workload so you have to be aware of what we have. So, I’m always aware of my surrounding and how we affect other people,” Jones said.

Looking at the differences from when lifetime seniors were in preschool and now, some have noticed changes at school. Jones is more aware of the problems Mid-Pacific has in comparison to when he was young and incomprehensible.

“There are a lot more problems that I was blind [to] back when I was a kid in middle school and elementary, but now I can see them fully. There are problems with this school and it has to fix them before we can really move forward,” Jones said.

Seeing a change in teachers, this has resulted in Mid-Pacific providing more learning styles.

“A lot of the high school teachers that have been here before I was in preschool, they are more resistant to change. That being said, there have been some really great teachers that I’ve come across that have been really adaptive to how the world works now,” Stoebenau said.

Stoebenau adds how she liked that Mid-Pacific is accommodating to students.

“They paid really great attention to the artistic needs of students. There were a lot of opportunities for experimentation and the type of projects you were doing, there was a lot of flexibility…. everything felt negotiable and that you can tailor it to whatever your interests were,” Stoebenau said.

After many projects, presentations, tests and teachers, seniors feel graduation slowly approaching.

“A couple years ago it’s over three hundred days or it’s over 600 days left, but now it’s getting closer to less than a month then we’re done,” Jones said.

Although Mid-Pacific will be missed, lifetime seniors are ready to depart.

“I’m going to miss the regular routine of it, but I’m definitely itching to get out of a little bit now, 15 years is a really long time,” Stoebenau said.

In less than five days over a decade of learning at Mid-Pacific will come to end as the class of 2022 become Mid-Pacific alumni.

“Now, that it’s April it’s going to be the last full month of school that I’m ever going to have at this school because in May we’re going to graduate at the end of the month, so I’m starting to feel it now,” said Stoebenau.