Lia Tondeva- Senior Reflection

Lia Tondeva, Staff Writer

When I came to Warren my first year, my first thought was, “how am I going to get around this maze!!??!,” both literally, and figuratively. I had never been left alone without people I didn’t know and situations which I hadn’t been in before! The class schedule made my brain dance in circles around my skull! And college! These grades actually mattered for college! To my eighth grade self, this was an atrocious tragedy, but looking back, I must say, it went much much better than I imagined. 

Freshman year I was pulled into joining the girls cross country team by one of my close friends. Mind you, I had never ran more than the required mile at gym class before. During tryouts, I was convinced that my legs had magically transformed into wiggling spaghetti noodles with a mind of their own, but I continued to train, and by the end, I somehow ended up falling in love with the sport and the team. I created bonds on the trails behind Oplaine that one could never make at school, created memories with girls who I can all call my bestest of friends, and discovered inside me a passion that will last a lifetime. 

Most of sophomore year was spent half awake, on my bed, staring at my chromebook screen. Covid-19 was so fun. First semester, I barely got to know the kids in my classes, and I can’t say I learned much through zoom meetings either, but as the second semester approached, I took a leap. A survey came out asking if I would like to be sent in person, which was scary at the time, but I clicked yes. I clicked yes because I knew the impact that going in for my classes would have on preparing me for my future. 

Fast forward to last year when I ended up winning the JV conference for XC. This was proof to me that my effort had paid off in the long run (haha) not only for my sport, but for my personal development too. My new friends pushed me every single day to become better than I was the last, abide by the schedule put forward by my coach, and create a wire of understanding between my mind and my body. This is important, not just for me, but for everyone here reading this. By creating a barrier to keep out the flow of negativity in your life, you can focus on the aspects of yourself that are determined, willing, successful, and that will push you to great things. PS. I also ended up joining the most amazingalicious club this year- Scratch Paper!! 

Like everyone says, there’s a bittersweet feeling at the end of these four years, and senior year proved to me just how conflicted I could get. I’ve committed to UIUC for next year, but I will forever be a part of WTHS. If you know me, each one of you has shaped me into who I am today.  Thank you to the teachers that gave their time to help our future. Thank you to the staff which looked out for our wellbeing each day, and thanks to everyone who filled my classes for making me feel accepted and successful; I know I am lucky to be having such a hard time parting with such wonderful memories. 


So here’s my final advice I leave you with:



  • FIRST YEAR GRADES MATTER. Don’t get in the mindset that college is still “so far away” I promise you, you can start now with small things for your own future. 
  • Get involved with something. Literally just join anything out of school and you will create a friend group with people who share the same interests and hobbies as you. It’s amazing to see how far you progress if you end up staying with it for all four years too! 


  • Take it from me, everything is not as big of a deal as it seems. They’re not going to remember you tripping over the carpet in a month. You’re not that important. 
  • Remember that most downs are temporary, but the success you get from working lasts forever. 


  • Stressful year! For me it helped creating a schedule of what I have to do and going to google for all my questions about SAT prep and college next year.
  • Become besties with your teachers too! Them getting to know you better will help them bunches if they have to write you a recommendation letter in the future. 


  • Mrs. Mcgahan will become your best friend in the college application process. She has helped me so much, and I could not be more grateful for all the encouragement she’s given me. Don’t be scared to go visit her. 
  • Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships!!! 
  • Have fun with the classes you pick this year:) you’ve been working so hard for three years, so take the course that captures your interest or maybe lets you lose track of  time when you enter each day. For me that was AP biology, and it made my last year a bajillion times better. 
  • Pleaaaaaassse also don’t leave your college applications for the night before they’re due! I promise from watching everyone freak out, it’s seriously not worth it.