Pavni Jagpal is a senior at Washington High School and has been playing on the Washington Girls’ Tennis team since she was a freshman. Jagpal started her high school journey by leaving her childhood love of basketball behind in order to branch out and discover more opportunities for herself. When the pandemic hit, Jagpal faced many emotional setbacks such as stress and anxiety. Partly because of that, Jagpal and her family decided to adopt a dog, Neela. Taking care of Neela was an awakening for Jagpal, because it gave her one thing many teenagers don’t have: responsibility. Jagpal, however, does not look at this responsibility as something to be dreaded, but more as something that serves as silver lining in her life. Jagpal finally feels as though “things are getting back to normal.” She has learned to love these changes by proving to herself that one day Neela and her more positive outlook will pay off. “It will help me with controlling my stress and anxiety to make sure that I’m living a happy life. Additionally, I am so grateful for Neela,”she said. Some future advice Jagpal had for herself is to “always be positive and never lose my kindness.”
Images provided by Pavni Jagpal
Now a freshman at Colorado State University Pueblo and majoring in media communications (with an emphasis in journalism), Ashley Tosh has knocked it out of the park. Throughout her four years at Washington, she loved being on the varsity softball team. Receiving scholarships was another important issue for Tosh, and she is ecstatic that she received a softball scholarship to CSU Pueblo. In her sophomore year, Tosh had Mrs. Karantzalis for English, which inspired her to join The Hatchet the following year. As a staff reporter, she served as The Hatchet’s political columnist, which pushed her to run for Editor-in-Chief, which she received. Being The Hatchet’s EIC during distance learning was “definitely not the year” she imagined since she had to teach a new class of journalists online. By the end though, she stated that she was “proud of the work [they] put into [her] last year.” Tosh’s hard work at Washington paid off when she made it into CSU Pueblo, and she is excited to see where she’ll go next.
Image provided by Ashley Tosh
Successfully having made her way to San José State University, Anika Shah, a Business Management major and Washington alumnus is paving her way in the world. She described her experiences at Washington as very “debate related,” since she was part of Washington Speech & Debate from her freshman to senior year. During her time in WSD, Anika learned from her coach, Mr. Raskin, how to break out of her shell and improve her public speaking skills. From her extracurricular activities, Shah learned that “Being part of a club or organization is a big part of [the] high school experience.”
Image provided by Anika Shah
Going into distance learning, she lost the senior year experience which all high school students highly look forward to. The transition was both “good and bad.” She felt as though there was very little communication between the senior class and the faculty. Shah felt it was better that her senior year faded away slowly since “COVID was already a ‘slap-in-the-face.’” However, near the end of the year, she was glad that seniors were able to join back together for Grad Nite (a Great America trip) and Graduation. Though her past year was rough and she is still trying to figure everything out, for now at SJSU, Anika is happily “going with the flow.”