Alumnus Corner: Nick Reyes

LWW Class of 2021


Nick Reyes

It is pretty crazy to think about everything that has happened in the past year: finishing up my senior year of high school, moving to Chicago, and finally pursuing my dream of studying film at DePaul University. I really did not realize how fast everything went until I started getting loads of Snapchat memories from freshman-year homecoming and sophomore-year cross country. That was when the old saying, “life goes by fast” started to hit me like a truck.

The first bit of advice I would give to any student, whether a senior or freshman, at Lincoln-Way West is to enjoy every day. It may get overwhelming or even just boring, but the amount of effort you put into it will determine the outcome.  In high school, I was the senior class vice president and participated in NHS, Warrior Way, The West Gazette, cross country, track, and morning announcements. These extracurricular activities connected me with friends that I am still in contact with, and I am hanging out with some of them over winter break. Doing videos for the West Gazette helped share my voice for my love of cinema, and I had a lot of students I did not know reach out to me about the movies I recommended. I even used these videos for my college applications!

I must give a shoutout to all the teachers that would deal with me talking about movies in literally every class. I remember in my junior year, in Ms. Lehnert’s pre-calc class, I started a huge Oscars bracket with all the students, and it was one of the most fun classes I have ever had.  Speaking of fun, cross country was easily the most fun I had throughout my four years, and each season was just as great as the last. It helped me train later for the Chicago Marathon that I did a little over a month ago. I also value my time in the service organizations I was a part of (NHS and Warrior Way), and I think every student at West should apply for them.

College applications may be one of the toughest part of your entire time in high school. Sure, some of your AP classes may be difficult, but the ultimate goal of high school is to figure out what happens after. It is intimidating and may feel lonely at times, but your teachers and your counselors are your coaches for tackling the applications and applying for scholarships. West provides a lot of local scholarships that I highly recommend all seniors apply for. It is very beneficial, and I was grateful when I earned one because it helped fund my computer that I use for college.

Currently, I have a Dean’s Scholarship from DePaul alongside a grant that I applied for before the school year started. I am studying film and television with a concentration in screenwriting. I did multiple AP classes and College Writing to get a decent number of credits before starting college, and I do not have to do a rhetoric class this year because of it. College Writing was easily the best decision I made when I was deciding classes. I was nervous because I heard it was an extensive amount of work from students older than me. And it is. But the teachers are very helpful and each paper gets easier due to the amount of writing that there is in the class.

My last bit of advice to all students at West is simply to have fun, explore as many songs and movies as you possibly can, and, I know this sounds corny, but be yourself. Prior to my freshman year, I was just seen as that nerdy kid that liked comics and movies too much. I am still like that, and if you embrace who you are, everyone around you will too. If you know a lot of movies and music, you will be surprised by the number of conversations you can start and it has helped me build connections in college. Plus, you will also meet your for-lifers and have something to look forward to when everyone comes home from college.