With graduation upon us, seniors are reminiscing on their past four, bittersweet years of high school. From being the “annoying freshmen” to the seniors that got to rule the halls of Niles North, each has a moment that they find profound in their high school experience. Some were even willing to share these moments… Let’s take a look.

Isabella Castro

“One small moment I remember was in freshman year. One morning on the third floor someone threw a banana peel on the floor expecting someone to slip on it. In reality you wouldn’t think a situation like this would be any more cartoonish, but someone actually slipped and fell on the banana peel.”

Bushra Amiwala

“It was the first day of GAWAPUSH, junior year, and little did I know I was in a room with the people whom I know, and will continue, to call my best friends. This moment itself is rather anticlimactic, but it is the event of meeting people who now mean so much to me makes it so memorable. Now we often bake cookies together, go to multiple Dunkin Donuts in a day, and always send each other “dank memes” in our groupchat: Seen by Emily Moy, Hiba Ahmed, Mariya Amiwala, Omer Malik, Reanna Herwitz and Chuck O’Kane; the names of our siblings. Shoutout to you wonderful people for making high school so great for me.”

Brian Cua

“Every moment, good or bad are blessings in high school. Because we laugh and rejoice from the good as well as learn from the bad. Both shape who we are as people and lead us to something better in our lives ahead. Every single person in this school has a story to share, even though we are one, we still have different lives and paths we desire to journey upon. Even if your actions weren’t noticed by the body of Niles North, don’t get discouraged by not having fame. Just stay true to yourself and your wants in life shall follow. These are the things I learned after attending Niles North for 4 years.”

Raihan Ahmed

“My most memorable moment of high school was when my friend Zayaan and I got suspended for 11 days, which was then cut down to 2 days, for “stealing” free chocolate milk during breakfast time our junior year. Unfortunately, this was on the day of Zayaan’s 16th birthday, so we celebrated it in the BAC. We also had friends who got the hashtags “#freeraihan” and “#freezayaan” trending on Facebook and Twitter. Eventually, we made our case to the principal and deans, and had our suspensions removed from our record. We became the topic of our weekly Current Events session in GAWAPUSH class. We were watched by the lunch ladies every single day for the rest of the year after this happened. We became the laughing-stocks of the junior class, and our lives were forever changed. Most importantly, we became memes. Got Milk?”

Daniel Teague

“The most memorable moment has to be either doing that silly dance for Cross Country during the 2015 Fall pep assembly or dancing around in a mattress costume for the Boys Track mattress sale my freshmen year.”

Dacey Lorraine R. Maglaque

“Hmm. This is a really hard question. There are so many great things to say about Niles North that are so memorable to me. I guess one of my most memorable moments was during my first Dance Marathon which was Dance Marathon 2013. Our charity of the year was Rustic Falls Nature Camp. I came to the night of as a a freshman, and I was so amazed of how the night of DM was like one of the biggest dance parties of District 219. I was so happy to be with my friends to celebrate our hard work for our first DM. After the grand total was shown to everyone, I promised to myself that I will strive to work hard for the rest of my high school years to continue the success of Dance Marathon. Today, as a senior on the Dance Marathon Executive Board, I have made the right choice to stay involved with our school chest. I have learned so many different things about multiple non-profit organizations, and in the future, I hope to become involved in one as well.”

Renee Drase

“My most memorable moment of high school is definitely meeting my best friends aka. SQUAD. We all became close sophomore year after multiple hangouts in my basement! I also enjoyed getting involved with the Special Education Department and the PALS program. Working with the students in the classroom inspired me to become a Special Education teacher. For the next four years I will be attending Illinois State University to major in Special Education. I leave my dog, Amber, to Alex and Andrea who try and steal her every time they come over. To my PALS I leave my sense of adventure.”

Dani Brown

“The most memorable part of high for me was the people I met here. I’d like to take this opportunity to leave them all some gifts. Maddi, I leave you my glee karaoke game, the box of takeout menus above your fridge, the friendship box, and a marble cake with buttercream frosting from jewel. Also, I’m keeping your Hulu logged in on my tv. For Lizzy, I leave you a box of stickers, cafeteria French fries, my thousands of pages of writings, and a roll of pink spike tape. I am officially pardoning you from paying back all those dollars I lent you at lunch. Hold down the fort for me, my love. Sean, I leave you some cat ears, McDonalds, access to my closet, and half of my heart. Katie, I’m leaving you a giant gold star. You can give it back to me when you get to broadway. Kylie, I leave ,all my stage management paperwork for to use, and a million hugs. Jessica, I’d say I’ll give you some gas money, but I probably won’t. Sorry. I love you. Stacey and Kati, I leave you tons of snacks and the costume shop. Please take care of Mrs. Ripley for me. To the rest of the theatre department, I leave you my legacy. (Legacy, what is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.) See if you can find my name on the wall of the scene shop. It’s there somewhere.”

Jennifer Goodfriend

“My most memorable moment was junior year on the service trip. One night during reflection, when it was silent, I glanced across the room and was overwhelmed by happiness. Every single person in the room gave up their spring break to volunteer and every single person was incredibly dedicated to social justice. At that moment, I knew that I had found my place in high school and I thank everyone on that trip for making it my most memorable and impactful high school moment.
Christine Slater- I leave you with all of my knowledge of SIRS and health careers notes to get you started on track to be a surgeon!
Lani & Spencer- To you guys I leave the XC team. Thank you for making the past three years amazing- I cannot wait to see all the amazing things you accomplish!
Carol Garcia- I leave endless stomach slaps to you because you never failed to scare me with a slap at practice. I’ll definitely miss hearing “Jenn Very Good Friend!” down the hall.
Noelle and Shani- I leave outreach to you girls! Be as creative as you want to make it a successful DM 2017!
And, of course, to Hawk Sown, what would I have done without all of you in high school? I leave all of you my boots that have never dried from when we were trapped in the marsh. Thank you for being my squad and pushing me to try new things.”

Maryam Shaikh

“My most memorable moment of high school would be the day I decided to join the cross country team my sophomore year. It made me closer to my teammates and really helped me manage my time with school and activities. Without cross country I don’t think I would ever admire excercising nor learn what it means to push through the difficult times because at times cross country became very difficult but I learned to get back on my feet and push through. Or you can use this : my most memorable moment of highschool would be when I decided to take AP physics and had Mr.K as my teacher. He was one of the most influential teachers I’ve had in my highschool career and never failed to make me smile. He would always be there to listen to any problem I had and gave me advice on ways I could improve. His lectures in class were never boring because he always taught physics using his cheesy stories that made it interesting. Even though I didn’t have him as a teacher my senior year he still asks how I’m going through in life any time he sees me around which shows he’s always caring for his students. Thank you Mr.K for being such a memorable teacher.”

Nikko Torres

“My most memorable moment has to be winning Regionals. We had won our first Regional game against Niles West at home. The game went into overtime and then into penalties. We won in penalties and all I can remember is storming the field after the last penalty kick was shot. Then we had our next game which would be against the big Maine South. We studied their tactics and came to the game prepared. Again, we went into overtime, then into penalty kicks. We were winning in penalty kicks and all we needed was for our goalie, Zac, to save this goal. He saved it and we stormed the field once again and so did the people in the stands. Definitely will always be one of the greatest memories from my entire high school career.”

Hannah Brown

“My first day ever working on a show for the Niles north Theater department is something I will never forget. It was the summer before my freshman year and my friend and I decided to take a leap of faith and try it out. As we walked through the doors of the drama performance centre we were overwhelmed with the smells of fresh paint and newly cut wood. As we toured the many different shops, storage rooms, and stages, the sophomores, juniors and seniors welcomed us with warnings and advice. They told us what to wear to crew, who to ask about what, where to find things and “if the seniors send you looking for wood extender, don’t listen to them”. Then finally we were sent to one of our technical directors, Ms. Ahlam to get job assignments. On our very first day we got to work up on the grid helping out with lighting. We were led behind the seating platforms, through a huge set of doors, up a dark narrow stair case, to a ladder that led us up onto the lighting grid above the black box. At first it was a bit nerve wracking standing on what feels like, and sort of is, a bunch of wires strung together to make a grid, and even after 4 years it still is. My friend and I sat there for the next two hours sorting different colored gels and putting them into lighting fixtures, but it wasn’t boring at all. I also spent those two hours laughing and talking and getting to know some of the people with whom I would spend the next 4 years sharing the thing that I’m most passionate about, Theater.”

Callie Folke

“Taking my final bow as Verena Talbo in the production of “The Grass Harp.” She was my favorite character I’ve ever played and leaving behind that production was really emotional because I had such a good time with the people I met and the character I played”

Diana Navarro

“After four years here, I’m happy to say I have no regrets. Dedicating my first two years to volleyball, killing my grades with all the AP classes I took Junior year, and just spending as much time possible with loved ones all of Senior year was definitely worth it. I’ll miss the long black choir dresses, intense review games in Chinese, selling DECA shakes, and everything in between. But what I’ll miss the most is the amazing and unique people that came into my life. I wouldn’t want to have spent my time here any other way”

Abu Bakr Malik

“Choosing just one moment from over a million memories I have made in high school is difficult to say the least. I’m so happy to have met people who have changed me into the person I am today. High school has taught me not just the regular Math and Science, but also how to be myself and reach outside of my comfort zone. Through these past 4 years, I’ve found my passion, met friends for a lifetime, and gained countless memories. Shout out to my McCracken day ones, Zach, Wasim, and Haris. Shout out to my favorite juniors, Ajmal, Steve, and Billy. To Mr Chung, I leave my Pogils and dead fruit flies. To Mr Jazz, I leave the cardio minutes I never had. To Mr K, I leave my struggles with Webassign. To Mr Metallo, I leave ABM. To Mrs Erickson, I leave the chillest teacher award. To Mrs Richards, I leave Dr. Franck just like she did for us. And lastly, to all my fellow seniors, I leave our destiny at Niles North. I know that all of us have a long ways ahead. Good luck to everyone on wherever the future takes us. I’m counting the days till our paths collide again. One last time, We Are One Niles North. Thank you for all that you’ve given me.”

Megan Hennessy

“My most memorable moment of high school was going to Lake Geneva with the tennis team. This was very memorable because we lost two people in the lake while paddle boarding (a little scary, but we later found them at a camp). This day was unforgettable and I will miss this team more than anything.”

Sara Grosse

“My most memorable moment would have to be my senior year Springfield tennis tournament. From Naatz dancing in the car to watch me whip, to eating at a fried chicken resutauant in the middle of nowhere. It was definitely an unforgettable trip. The creepy hotel with a long fake finger nail added to the fun.”

Trisha Gandhi

“With graduation being so close, it is crazy to look back and think about how much has happened throughout high school. Through every Indo-Pak night opening ceremony, with the curtain opening, and my name being called to sing the Indian National Anthem, I realized my huge pride for being an Indian. Through every DM, I realized how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such loving, passionate, and caring people. To Emi: I leave you that sky blue Prius, that potbelly bench where life just seemed to click at once, the summer bonfires and sleepless sleepovers, and our obsessed crazy fangirl and boy crazed stages.To Ada: I leave you car rides late at night, midnight winter break visits/ facetime calls, and most importantly BAPUJI and butter chicken. To Andrea: I leave you food and movie dates, fat tuesdays, bike rides, shopping sprees, and Austin Mahone heart attacks. To Ankit: I leave you endless movie nights, raspberry mango bubble tea, and long life talks. To Shlok: I leave you HIMYM binge watches and firsts. To Ben: I leave you being my homeroom buddy, orange traffic cone, and best friend. To my brown girls: Aditi, Komal, and Brianna. I leave you with the three best Indo-Pak night performances we gave. I leave you lit group chats and hangouts at Dunkin. The dance floor will forever be ours. To Reshma, Sheryl and Sumona, keep Indo-Pak alive and fun! To Niles North: Thank you for giving me a home and an amazing family.”

Jissmaria Karickal

“The last four years at North have taught me the importance of staying close to true friends and family. Every moment spent with my friends has been one of the best. To Mr. Sharma: APUSH field trips were the craziest and most delicious. It almost makes up for all the late nights reading Zinn. To Mr. Joshi: the class outdoor walks were so much better than solving derivatives. To Mr. Kretsos and Mr. Klamm: I thank you for using wackiness to introduce the world of chemistry to me. Stoichiometry for life. The mole is the soul. To Claire and Bush: I give you Happy Hour iced coffee when I don’t spill it in my car. To Jaz’s 7th period freshman boys: Nikhar and I give you back all your points. To my DECA state squad: I give you all the contraband. It was lit. #2615 To Jeff/Mongoose: I give you back the passenger seat of your car on the ride to school every morning. Goodbye Niles North. #weareone”

Sara Zengoska

“My most memorable moment would probably be the homecoming pep assembly freshman year. It was one of the first really big pep assemblies and I was on the cheerleading squad. It was the first time I had performed in front of such a big crowd and it’s something I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget the adrenaline and the rush of performing in front of all those students and staff.”

Alex Guidarelli

“Wow Niles North,you sure have thrown me some curve ballz, but in the end I survived. I gotta say the best part was bass fishing. Who knew being a 2 time sectional champ and 2 time state qualifyer would give me such popularity. Oh wait, it didn’t. Swimming was also a huge part of my life. I spent so many hours in that pool. Too many at times. But in the end getting 6th place at conference was worth it (?). Overall I wouldn’t have done much different.”

Jackie Ehrlich

“Leaving North means no more QODs in the Klamm’s room each morning, no more sharing my love of poetry (and sarcasm) with Mr.Kretsos, no more of Mr.K’s clicky labs, and no more yelling at Sharma to call Ed.
Leaving tennis means no more Swahili prayer sessions in sketchy motels or late nights at Kaffine and hockey games.
Leaving DM means not being able to see Sammy, Nohara, and Jake take over Corp and not being able to see the Sophomores finally become Execs.
Leaving Aerobics means no more Zumba with Marty.
Leaving Science Olympiad means no more late nights spent with Matt and Sarah Ly melting lead and breaking airplanes.
Leaving Skokie means no more deep conversation filled bike rides and sleepovers with Abby.
Leaving my English class means not being able to solve the world’s problems with Becca while we are supposed to be writing essays.
Leaving my homeroom means not being able to sing along to musicals with Mrs. Holman or be surrounded by people who get irrationally excited about bread.
Leaving Hawk Sown means leaving behind my best friends and no longer being able to impart my old-man practicality on people who think walking on half frozen ponds in the middle of night is a good idea.
Graduation is about endings and leaving things behind, but it doesn’t mean losing the memories, inside jokes, and – most importantly – the relationships formed over the past four years.”

Nikhar Merchant

“I have had 4 amazing years at Niles North that I wouldn’t replace for anything. Almost every moment helped me become a stronger individual. It is so bittersweet to leave. To Take One, I am so blessed to have had an amazing year with you all. You allowed me to grow as an individual and a musician. Also, Mexico was great with y’all, even though we took L’s at Sbarros. To two of my best friends, Diana and Joy, I cannot describe how much love I have for you in my heart. I leave you all my love and money…jk no. It is going to be so difficult to be away from you in college. You are truly amazing girls. I love you. Jacobo- you are the best. To my freshman boys, you all will go on to do absolutely amazing things. JM and I couldn’t have been more pleased to have you a part of our lives. To my Euro and Apush struggle squads, we may go our separate ways, but the struggle will never leave us. To my teachers Mr. Sharma, Chu, Kretsos, and Mrs. Scott, teachers like you are so rare. I am so blessed to have had you teach me. To Danielle, Stephanie, Patricia, and Patrick, I am so glad to have made incredible memories with you in yearbook. I’ll never forget you. I will miss you Niles North. Without you, I wouldn’t have ever figured out who I am. Thank you.”

Ankit Gandhi

“The final moments of my high school career have commenced. So much will be missed, and lost and forgotten, however so much will be remembered. To Trisha, I leave you late nights, staying awake and watch watching movies. On top of that, I give you all the stressful nights of Indo-Pak dance practice. To Andrea, I leave you the great discussions about cars we had and how much we disapprove of Emi’s blue Prius. To Aditi, I leave you the constant injuries I’ve given you; one day you’ll look back at it and know that you miss it. To Shlok, I give you all the ALC jokes and our terrible percentages on free throws. I’d give you Matthew Mcconaughey, but since it’s impossible, I’ll just have to leave you our love for Interstellar. To Ada, I must first thank you for entering this squad and making everything better. You’ve allowed our friendships to grow closer and stronger, and I am eternally grateful. To you, I leave the best car rides downtown with the best jam sessions possible. And lastly, to my love, Emi Kanda, I leave you everything. I leave you the greatest friendship I’ve ever had with someone. I leave the greatest and deepest conversations possible. Also, I leave you the long walks around our neighborhood when the vibrant colors of the autumn leaves are falling and the air is crisp. You have all changed and bettered my life and I could never appreciate it enough.”

Heeah Banerjee

“Being a part of the musical Hairspray during my Junior year would have to be my most memorable moment of high school. It was such a great experience being a part of an amazing group of people and being a part of such a wonderful show! I was able to meet so many wonderful people including alumni that graduated for Niles North. I learned so much from really talented people and it really gave me a lot of confidence. I am so thankful for everyone who helped me and supported me. It was a time and experience that I will never ever forget.”

So, to you, Seniors, we bid you farewell. It’s been an amazing run, but you all left your mark. High School left you happy, bewildered, angry, sad, excited, hopeful, and sometimes even confused… But, you got through it. And that, in itself, is an accomplishment.