Allison Tsai on Hard Work and Giving Back


Throughout her time at West, ASB President Allison Tsai (12) has learned how to help others as well as how to set goals for herself: “I’ve learned so much about being there for those around me. West is a community of what I think are really close people, and it’s been so welcoming. I think it has taught me to step out of my shell and has given me ways to improve myself.” Art/Photo courtesy of Allison Tsai.

   For hundreds of seniors across campus at West, their last year of high school is filled with both bittersweet memories and nostalgic emotions. It’s a time for both laughing at embarrassing moments as a freshman and fondly looking back on achievements. It means last-minute college apps, mind-numbingly high college tuition rate calculations, and appallingly severe cases of senioritis – but also reliving good times and making the most out of their last year. 

   For Allison Tsai (12), it means eagerly living the life of a high schooler to the fullest through her extensive schedule of clubs, classes, and sports, as well as taking the time for herself to slow down and take a break. However, the road to becoming a senior isn’t an easy one, and Tsai is no stranger to having a tall order of work. 

   As the President of the National Honor Society and ASB and goalie for Varsity Water Polo (as well as founder of the Sending Love Club, CSF Vice President, and Friendship Club board member), Tsai has grown accustomed to heavy loads of responsibility in addition to her own schoolwork. Despite this, Tsai sees this as an opportunity to build character and strengthen her motivation, rather than a hassle or something to dread.  While senioritis might be a foreseeable issue, Tsai is confident that she’ll be able to pull through such struggles. “Personally, senioritis hasn’t fully taken over yet. I’m a bit more exhausted than in previous years, but in a way I have gained fuel from being able to see the finish line so closely in front of me,” she stated confidently. “Though I’m sure I’ll completely change my mind in a couple weeks as work piles up,” she added humorously. 

   The road to graduation is a long and grueling one, but Tsai has found ways to effectively maximize her time. “Time management has always been something I’ve been working to improve over the past few years, and that has really prepared me for senior year. This year, I’ve taken a little bit of a different approach to work than previously,” Tsai shared. “After water polo practice, I work on one subject of homework, then I practice piano, and then I go back to another subject.” This allows her to subdivide her work and take one step at a time. “Similarly, I wake up an hour earlier every morning to spend some time on my college essays, which has been very helpful. I highly recommend it!” Tsai exclaimed. 

   While Tsai will soon be moving beyond West High, she is still committed to its organizations and well-being. “I just really want to leave the school in as good shape as I can,” she added. One of the ways she aims to do so is through her club involvement, particularly with the Sending Love Club. “I’ve mentioned Sending Love in most of my chances to speak about it, and I truly believe it deserves more attention,” Tsai expressed. “Over time Sending Love has grown from supporting the mental health of the homeless to establishing a sense of empathy in the community around us for these people. I hope it grows even when I’m gone, and even in college I hope to continue supporting it,” Tsai stated. The Sending Love Club specializes in crafting projects and donates them to various hospitals. From doing embroidery to crafting her own jewelry, Tsai’s creativity has helped her thrive in many areas: “I do think my creative bone has helped me a lot over the years. When it comes to ASB, there’s so many issues that take creative problem solving, so that’s always been very important.”

   Though the road to reaching senior year was a long and arduous one, it has been well worth it for Tsai. “Being here at West, I’ve learned so much about being there for those around me. West is a community of what I think are really close people, and it’s been so welcoming. I think it’s taught me to step out of my shell and has given me ways to improve myself,” Tsai stated. Amidst the hustle and bustle of senior year, Tsai is dedicated to helping others around her to the very best of her ability – a trait that will continue to bring smiles to people’s faces in high school, college, and beyond.