Senior Spotlight: Rida Kadri


Rida Kadri plans on majoring in journalism and political science as well as having an interest in education.

Rida Kadri is a senior at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School and is an active member in many clubs. In this interview she talks about her plans after high school and recalls some beloved memories

How have you seen yourself grow and improve as a person from freshman year until senior year?

Rida: I think a lot of my values have stayed the same and have only grown since I was a freshman. Being a typical high school student, I knew I always wanted to get involved, but I was only a little involved when I was a freshman. I really, really devoted a lot of time to doing things I was passionate about and doing things that I think would have many an impact on my life, not only in school but also outside of school. As a freshman I think I was pretty grades oriented, because I grew up that way. I grew up very academic heavy and I didnt do things that were outside of what was necessary to succeed. Now grown, I only do things that I enjoy doing and bring value to my life.

What are your plans after high school, what careers you’re looking into?

I am going to major in political science and hopefully double major in journalism as well. I have done so much in the past few years in government and I really do love it, because I do want to have a government job. I have tried out a couple of internships and legislative offices, so I don’t know what I want to do exactly, and I am hoping to find that clarity in college. Recently, I have been interested in education and teaching,  but since I am so political and government oriented, I don’t want to do teaching entirely. I would like to work for a board of education, because I think that would be really cool.

Who would you say is an inspiration to you? Like someone in pop culture, a family member, teacher, etc.

I have so many, but I definitely think my family is one of them. I know everyone says it, but my family did really leave their whole lives behind and I can’t imagine leaving my entire life behind and restarting in a totally different country.  They definitely have inspired and encouraged me to do a lot, but I think a more objective inspiration really comes during high school. My teachers have been a huge part of my life, like I didn’t think I would become so close to my teachers. But from freshman year until now, there have been a handful of teachers that I will forever value and forever love, because they really push me to do things that I would have never done on my own.

How do you like spending your free time?

Oh so many things, I love singing, I do that in my free time. I play tennis too, I have played tennis all four years, my family plays too, so I would go out and play with my brother. I like doing that. I really like writing, journalism, so I would write occasionally. I’m super organized and clean, so I would literally clean my room in my free time. I also like cooking, if I’m really bored I’ll just cook for fun.

 What was the hardest part of high school and how did you get through it?

You know what was really hard? The transition from covid. Obviously covid was very hard and I never want to go through it again. I think even harder than that was going from low energy, like my body and mind were not adjusted to it, and then going straight to junior year, which is such a vital year in high school. I was taking like five A.P.’s that year, and it was going from doing the bare minimum when I was at home, to starting the school year with tennis season immediately. Having to adjust back to a schedule was so hard and that was also the year our choir teacher just switched [transferred].

Do you think your expectations of what high school would be like were met?

I think they were exceeded. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but I feel like high school is a glorified version of middle school in a way; I did not think I would get attached the way that I did. I am having such a hard time graduating, I’m just so sad that I am graduating. There’s so much to do here and so many people I got so attached to, so many teachers and friends that I’m not going to see. So my expectations were definitely exceeded.

Is there anything you regret not doing during your high school years?

I really feel like I don’t have a lot of regrets. When I wanted to do things, I just did them. I guess one thing would be my work ethic in a way. Like, I was the kid that did not need to study a lot, so I would just kind of wing it, and sometimes it worked for me. So when I got into high school and had classes I was struggling with, I was so not used to working hard. I took French my freshman year and I just did so badly in that class, because I was so natural in doing good. I guess I struggled in working to my potential.

Is there a specific song that resonated with you and your life?

Yes, “You’re on your own kid” by Taylor Swift. That came out when she released “Midnight” and it came out at the perfect time too, like the first semester of senior year and it’s all about growing up and leaving. And it’s so true, as soon as you graduate, you are literally on your own.

What advice would you give to freshmen?

Oh I have so many, but I will say be present. Being present is the one thing I would say, because it is so important. This is going to sound cliche, but high school goes by so fast and you want to soak it in. You don’t want to have your memories through another person’s lens, and you want your memories to be first person. When you think about an event and don’t just take pictures, have those memories for yourself. Even if it is just being in class, you should really just soak it in and be super present to take it all in.