It’s August. It’s your first day of… senior year. The most memorable and exciting year of all four years of high school… also the most stressful. I don’t want to sound like a Debby Downer, but prepare yourself. SAT’s, ACT’s, college applications and acceptances are really as horrifying as they seem. You’ll literally just want to sit and cry and eat foods that will block your arteries every single night. In other words, it’s pretty dang traumatizing - if you’re a girl and dramatic like me. Boys tend to be less emotional.
HOWEVER… that’s not the only thing you’ll take away from senior year. There’s so many exciting adventures and events you’ll want to make the most of since it’ll be your last time doing any of it. Your last homecoming, your last football game, your last dance, prom, formal, dress up days, rally, the very well anticipated grad nite… the list goes on. But under all this chaos and sentimentality, there is an unspoken truth that lies within. High school may be tortureous, but at the end of your senior year, take time to reflect all the life lessons you’ve learned. It really shapes you into who you’ll be. Here’s what I’ll be taking away from my high school experience.
Change. Change is inevitable, I’m sure you’ve heard it before. You’ll lose old friends and make new ones, you’ll lose old habits and find joy in things you would’ve never thought of as a freshman. You’ll move on from being the star athlete and you’ll move on from going out on Friday nights. You’ll learn that change is good, change is better. You’ll know what you want in your life. Without change, you’ll stay in a bubble forever, and won’t know what to do when life’s reality hits you. I’m glad I learned this now.
Life. Not everyone can say this, but based on the experiences I’ve had in and out of school these past four years I’ve became a stronger minded person. I’ve learned that no matter the type of life you live, obstacles will hit you whether it be death or heartbreak - and it hits you just as hard as anyone else. I’ve learned that you never know what’s going on inside a person’s mind and home life, and you never know how your words may affect them. Spread love always. There’s no harm in doing so.
Realization. Not being Top 25 isn’t the end of the world, and not getting into your dream college isn’t the end of the world. It seems disheartening at first - you’ve worked so hard and taken extra classes and for what? To feel like you didn’t work hard enough? To feel like you aren’t good enough? I’ve seen so many people look down upon themselves because of their ranking or admission decisions when in reality, so what. Life goes on. It’s not about where you start, but about where you finish.
As my days at Selma High come to an end, I can truly say that I am proud of myself. Proud of my next journey, proud of learning from my mistakes, and most importantly I am proud of the young lady I have become. Time flies. One minute you’ll be reading my senior reflection and the next minute you’ll be counting down your last five days of high school, like me.
Goodbye Selma High and thank you for all that you’ve taught me. I can finally say… high school is so last year… or week.
A Last Goodbye to SHS
By BRIANNA COLADO
Selma High, it’s been a good run, but I’m ready for something new. These past four years have consisted of some of the best memories and learning experiences that I will take with me throughout my journey. Now that there are only a number of days here for me, this is my last letter to you.
Many people believe that high school is the time in your life where you’re supposed to have everything figured out, but in reality you don’t. As an oldest child and not having any guidance from any family members, I was really scared that at the end of my high school career I was still not going to know what to do with my life. The thing is, you taught me that it’s okay not to know. High school is more of an experimental time period for growth of awareness in what the world has to offer, and its different struggles which you can take part in to resolve them. So I made sure to not take this opportunity for granted.
I put myself out there and tested my capabilities. It’s true when they say that high school is as hard as you make it. I chose to challenge myself tremendously, to be able to accustom myself to the busy lifestyle I want to be able to handle when I’m older. I took AP classes, joined clubs, participated in different electives, and did sports; my schedule was as packed as could be.
So if you ask me, yes I did get very exhausted. But never have I once considered quitting. I took high school as my opportunity to train myself for the next step, and now that my time is nearly over, I can confidently say that I succeeded. Through these challenging classes, I have learned to be very organized, responsible, and proactive. These are things I will forever be thankful for. You showed me that I am not going to always have someone there to hold my hand through it all, so I had to learn how to act on my own.
You gave me various distractions to be able to take away from my stress. You showed me that my best was enough and that I didn’t need to try to be like someone else in order to be successful. So I went to that football game, out to eat with friends after practice, and watched a movie after school before homework. I just made sure that whatever I chose to do, in the end I got all of my work done. I didn’t want to be that person to lock themselves up in their room to finish their homework because I knew that it would’ve made me miserable.
High school is supposed to be a lot of fun, and you made it fun. You organized plenty of events for me to be be able to distract myself from the busyness and get away for awhile. My advice to current and future SHS students, participate in all that you can. It will make your experience much more memorable and make the time fly by. When I came in as a freshman, I didn’t believe those who told me these four years would fly by and now it feels as if I was just getting started.
So this is me, sharing some of my experience to be able to help you push through these four years. They have been the best they could be and that was my goal coming into this. Enjoy yourself, test yourself, and show yourself all that you are capable of achieving. Because this place is much greater than many may think.
Because of you, good ol’ Selma High, I am now a confident person. I know that I am capable of what I set my mind to. I no longer doubt myself when it comes to challenging classes or sport competitions, instead I work through it because I now know that in the end my best will be enough.
I am now well rounded. I got a taste of many different things, from art animation cartoons to mexican folkloric dances. You made me realize how open I am to all different cultures, lifestyles and backgrounds. And knowing this is what led me to decide to attend Cal in the fall.
All this growth and knowledge that you instilled in me is what I will take with me into my next step in life. I will never forget all that you have done for me because I would not be myself without you.
So goodbye, I am now ready to be released from your arms and thrown into the real world. I know I can handle it, and if I ever feel as if I need someone to talk to or come to when times get tough you will be here for me. I hope to make you proud someday. XoXo.
My High School Experience ft. Various Artists
By NIKKI CAMPOS
Music. A word that in today’s society is very trendy. You could even say that music is what helps us stay up at night finishing our homework because we “forgot” to do it. Music to me, however, is more than just something to blast in my ears. It's my passion. Having played piano for ten years and joining choir my junior year, I feel that music has been apart of me for as long I can remember. If it had not been for music, I’m not sure if I would have survived high school.
I’ve known since I joined Clarion that my senior year I would have to write this reflection you’re reading right now. At first, I didn’t know what to write but after lots of thought, I found my topic.
Instead of giving you a list of things to do and not to do based on my experiences, I thought I would give you my high school experiences and lessons learned through lyrics from songs I love.
“She is gone but she used to be mine,” Sara Bareilles. These lyrics perfectly sum up what happened to me in highschool. Stepping on campus my freshman year was very intimidating. I was beyond nervous and to top it all off I walked into the wrong class because my schedule had the wrong room number. I started off freshman year very timid and shy. I NEVER raised my hand in class. I didn’t even dare try to talk to the new people around me. I was this tiny girl who was extremely shy.
Now being a senior, I realize I’m not that person. The song “Reflection” from Mulan perfectly sums up how I feel. I stare back at my old self and don’t even recognize it. That old shy little girl is gone. I’m now a confident girl who doesn’t fear saying her opinion. I guess I could say my anthem now is Demi Lovato’s song “Confident.” Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Don’t let the shyness or timidness get to you. Walk boldly through high school and continue to say to yourself that this is me.
The song lyrics from “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” are truly empowering. The song says, “When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out I am brave, I am bruised I am who I'm meant to be, this is me.” Looking back on high school, I realize too many times I let what others think or say of me cut me down. Fast forward to senior year, I realize that it doesn’t matter how others view me. Yes, I may have some bruises on me and some regrets, but this is who I am. Don’t ever lose touch with who you are throughout high school. Learn to accept who you are and embrace it because the sooner you do that the faster you’ll be able to enjoy life. As soon I accepted who I am and what I stood for I felt like nothing could stop me. I felt invincible. I especially felt invincible when it came to time to decide what college to chose.
Shawn Mendes’ song “Something Big” says, “Somethings in the air...out of my control.” These lines accurately describe how I feel about my life right now. As I close one door and open another, I can’t help but think that something big will happen in these next fours at college. This fall I’ll be attending Fresno Pacific. I always thought my future plans were to go away for college. Instead I’ve decided to stay here. Right now I feel like my future is out control and uncertain, however I still sense amazing things coming my way in college. As you continue high school no matter what grade you’re in, I hope you anticipate big things happening in your life. Don’t ever think it’s foolish to dream and have hopes in life.
My last song and advice to you is that you hold on to those good old memories of high school. By the time you count to ten you’ll be a senior walking across the stage graduating. All I can think about right now is going back to the “Good Old Days,” in the words of Macklemore. As exciting as it is to leave high school and go to college, I’m going to miss all the memories I’ve made in high school. In all honesty, don’t be in a rush to graduate. Just relax and enjoy the good old days of high school because by the time you know it you’ll be graduating and moving on to college like me, wishing you were a freshman again.
I hope that through some of my favorite songs you’ll have learned something to help get you through high school. As you continue your journey in high school remember to walk down the halls confidently anticipating something big to happen, all the while saying this is me. Most importantly remember to always cherish the good old days of high school because they come and go by quickly.
By MARIAH LOPEZ
My time in highschool was definitely a learning experience. It was a mixture of ups and downs. In a way of giving you tips that I have learned throughout my years here, I will describe how I learned these lessons.
Being a “loner” is okay.
There was a time period where I found myself with nobody I could really turn to or call my bestfriend. At the time, I dwelled on this fact. But one day I woke up and realized that this does not have to be a horrible thing. At the time, it was better for me to have a few casual friends, rather than have many close friends who weren’t really true friends. I took this time to discover who I was a person, without having others influence my actions or thoughts.
2. High school is really what you make it.
School dances will be lame if you sit in the back and watch everyone else have a good time. Football games will be boring if you don’t stand up and chant for your school in the student section. Rallies will feel like a waste of time if you don’t cheer for your class. School days will be dreadful if you don’t involve yourself in a club you believe in. Freshman year I was so afraid to get involved in school activities, afraid to be made fun of. It wasn’t until my junior year I realized, I am throwing away my memories. So get involved, make a fool of yourself! That’s a part of the joy of being young, live it up.
3. Cherish lifetime people and temporary people.
I think we grew up in this fantasy world thinking that the people we go to school with will be our friends for the rest of our life. In my four years at SHS, I have met so many cool people, but I don’t necessarily talk to them everyday of my life. There are certain friends you will always cherish and always care for, but you know that if you two go your seperate ways, there will always be a mutual love and friendship. Just because a friendship or relationship does not last forever, that doesn’t invalidate all the good times you two shared and the bond that was once so strong. If we go through life with that attitude, we will grow bitter and cold, and that’s not cute.
4. Challenge yourself!.
Don’t be content with mediocre. You should want to gain knowledge, not to just simply graduate high school. You should be so grateful that we get to get an education. Personally, when I invest myself into a project, I feel so accomplished and happy with myself when I finish it which means so much more to me than an A grade.
5. Grades are important, but they do not define you.
If you are anything like me, you are constantly stressing and worrying about getting an A. I thought that if I got a B, I would be letting myself and my family down. But that is not true, at all. This proved to be very unhealthy for me. Now I know that if I genuinely try my best, that’s all I can ask for from myself.
6. Colleges look at so much more than just your grades alone.
Yes, doing good academically will always help when talking about college. When I was an underclassmen, I had this unrealistic idea that a college wouldn’t accept me if I had a single B. Though colleges do look at grades and test scores, they also want to see what you have to bring to their campus. This includes what clubs you are involved in, sports, a job, and community service. This speaks to your character way more than your GPA ever could.
7. Your dream college may be not be the school you are meant to end up at.
Ever since I was a freshmen I dreamed of being a future theater student at UCLA. My dreams seemed close when I got an audition at UCLA, which that alone is hard to do. UCLA only accepts ten people into the theater program with an emphasis in acting, therefore, I was rejected. I’m not going to lie to you, I was genuinely very sad. I thought my dreams were over. It wasn’t until I got other acceptances from other GREAT schools, that I changed my mind. When I stepped onto the CSU Long Beach campus, I felt at home. Before, I would have never even considered another school. I truly believe that I got rejected for a reason, UCLA wasn’t in the plans for me. I’m so content with what my future looks like and where I plan to make it all happen.
8. Be you.
This last lesson I can tell you truly changed my life for forever. Freshmen year I was trying to live up to what my sister was in highschool, popular and head cheerleader. Overtime, I found who I really was. My passion wasn’t cheer, it was acting. This obviously isn’t the most popular thing to do, especially in our school. I was so scared to make that transition. From experience, I can tell you the joy of doing something you truly love surpasses anything. Be you. Do the nerdy thing you love. Dress how you want to dress. Love who you want to love. That is the only way you’ll achieve true happiness.
I am so so grateful for all the obstacles I had to go through to be where I am now. Every little situation was simply a stepping stone to growing up. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always worth it. I will always remember my time here as a positive time. Peace out SHS!
A Little Girl
By IMAN ALAMRI
Let me tell you a story about a little girl.
This little girl was extremely shy, and I’m talking really shy. Like whenever she was called on in class, her stomach bursted with butterflies and could never get a word out clearly. Presentations were her nightmare. As she watched everyone go up in front of the class one by one, presenting their third grade animal report, her legs were shaking continuously while she bit her nails to tiny stubs. This little girl was the very last student to present because her social anxiety took over her. She would feel everyone’s eyes on her as she barely tried to get a word out. Her teacher would tell her to speak up, not a shocker to the little girl. Her heart was beating louder than her voice. She tries to speak up as loud as she can but she chokes on her words. Her voice now starts shaking as her eyes watered from her anxiety. The little girl finally gets to sit back at her desk. This all happened in less than two minutes.
Throughout elementary school this little girl struggled to find her voice. She was constantly used to hearing the same comment from her teachers saying that she doesn’t speak up enough in class. This made her become even more shy. The success of her older siblings made her hide under the shadows where she tried to find herself. This little girl was used to that and she has been for her entire life. It was hard for this little girl to come out of her shell because she didn’t know how. For years she’s wondered when will it be that she emerges from that shell into a whole other world that she’s been missing out on.
This little girl sure did love to write, though. There was something about the moment when her pencil touched the paper or when her fingers pressed upon the keys, she flashed into another universe. She had a way of creating her own flow and connecting one point to another with ease. It was an easier way for her to share her voice without vocally doing so because it was the only time in which she felt her voice was strong. But she’s just never had the platform to do so.
This little girl later found herself, on her first day of freshman year, being a part of the school newspaper staff among upperclassmen. This made her realize that she needs to be able to step out of her comfort zone to prove her belonging. She’ll admit it; she was terrified, but she knew this newspaper class was the right way to put herself out there the best way she can. This little girl thrived off the feeling of having her voice be heard in the school newspaper and her name being read on the byline because she was so used to everyone not knowing who she was. For years, she was known as the girl who never spoke up in class. The girl who’s voice wasn’t loud enough for everyone to hear.
But this little girl was able to express her voice and share her passion for writing throughout all her time being a part of this production. She was starting to become known as the girl who wrote that student opinion, the girl who wrote that feature article. Her identity as the shy girl in the back of the class slowly started to strip away and a new layer of herself began to reveal. This new layer felt different to this little girl. She’s never felt this feeling of confidence and loving herself. She’s always hated that she was shy and never was able to feel comfortable in her own skin to do something different for once. So this feeling of self-confidence was something this little girl will never forget.
When this little girl started high school, she looked toward the four years ahead of her and she worried. She worried that she wouldn’t live up to the expectation she was perceived by her scholarly siblings. She knew somewhere along the way she’d screw up. She’d screw up and feel as if she’s not only dissatisfying her family, but disappointing herself. She knew that she’d lock herself up in her tiny bubble and not challenge herself by joining things that forced her to step out of her comfort zone.
Today this little girl now speaks up in class to share her opinion and doesn’t choke on her words. Today she can stand up in front of her class and present a project without her social anxiety taking over. Today she now stands in front of a podium every other week, speaking on behalf of her high school at board meetings.
This little girl was not prepared for the journey that high school would take her on. She was definitely scared and unsure of the outcome, but she was hopeful that somewhere along the way she’d surprise herself.
And I really did.
Don’t You Worry Child
By KAT BOJORQUEZ
Dear Katherine Bojorquez, Thank you for applying to San Diego State University…
Okay. I get it. Just tell me if I got in or not.
After carefully reviewing your application, we are unable to offer you admission for the Fall 2018 semester...
Rejection. It stings. I didn’t quite understand why this school didn’t think I was good enough. My 3.96 GPA, 1200 SAT score, and extensive list of extracurricular activities was enough for the three other four year state universities I applied to. What about my application wasn’t enough for this one? I had so many questions about this decision that weren’t answered in the two-paragraph rejection email.
Now, the rejection letter told me that the admission decisions were “highly competitive” and that my credentials offered me a place on the waiting list, blah blah blah. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that I didn’t want to be some number on a waiting list. I had three other schools offering me my first choice of major, special admission to honors programs, and the chance to continue my education at excellent universities. So when SDSU asked me if I would like to accept my position on their waiting list, I clicked the NO option.
I know what you’re thinking. “Kat, don’t you even want to see if you could get accepted?”
I contemplated this exact question. Really, I did. I thought about just waiting it out to see if maybe, come Fall, I could be attending school in the beautiful city of San Diego. I sat looking at the computer screen in front of me for, probably, a good 10 minutes just reading, and rereading, that email. It was the first, and only, rejection I got. When I came to terms with the fact that the rejection wasn’t going to magically change into an acceptance, I wiped my eyes, put my big girl pants on, and started looking into the other schools I had received admission to.
I look back now and realize that maybe San Diego State just wasn’t meant to be. I believe that I spent so much time that day thinking about what I did wrong. What could I have done better to get into this one school? Now, I’m not thinking about any mistakes I made that ultimately sealed my rejection; I’m thinking about the fact that maybe San Diego State is the one who made the mistake. They’re the school missing out on the 5’4 chunk of sheer awesomeness that is myself. So, to SDSU, I say thank you. Thank you for helping me realize that my potential may actually be suited better elsewhere. I’m now going to be spending the next four years of my life as a psychology undergraduate student at San Jose State University. This rejection built some character in me. It helped me to see things in myself that I hadn’t seen before. I now see that I shouldn’t worry about this one bump in the road because there’s going to be plenty more, but I also see that with my will, drive, and perseverance, I’ll overcome any bumps that come my way.
Stepping On and Stepping Off
By HANNAH MAHAN
When I first stepped on campus freshman year, I was a total nervous wreck. I worried about everything and thought of all the things that could go wrong. Stepping off campus now as a senior, I am still nervous, but not so much a wreck. The past four years at Selma High have been a whirlwind. I’ve met a ton of awesome people, joined clubs, gotten to know a lot of the teachers, and have made some great memories. I have grown so much through this school by all of the people who have influenced me. And though I never thought I would say it; I really am going to miss this school and the people in it.
Starting off as a freshman, I was very timid person. I would not talk to anyone, and freaked out anytime that I had to talk in front of anybody. I had no idea who I wanted to be in this world, and what I wanted to do with my life. I would shy away from anything that made me uncomfortable and missed out on a lot of opportunities.
Going into my sophomore year, I was starting to get better about joining school activities and stepping out of my comfort zone. Then, right in the middle of the first semester, I got sick and wasn’t able to come to school everyday. Slowly, I started to fall behind in my classes. Eventually I had to leave Selma and switch to a homeschool program. I had big plans for my future when I was a sophomore. I wanted to be in Top 25, get into Berkeley, and become a lawyer. However I couldn’t keep up with my classes. I had to switch out of my AP and Honors class and go into CP classes. I thought I had messed up my whole life. I knew there was no way that I could get into the colleges that I wanted to go to. I started to lose touch with my friends and didn’t have the drive to continue with my education.
Fast forward to junior year. Everything changed. I wasn’t sick anymore. I was able to spend time on my classes and get caught back up. I realized that I didn’t have to give up just because I had a bump in the road. I stayed at the homeschool program my first semester of junior year and got a job. I started to look into colleges that I wanted to go to. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get into the big colleges with my grades, so I decided to start off small and work my way up. I decided to go to Clovis community and then transfer to a four year college. I was back on track again. I felt like something was missing though. I wanted to be apart of a community. I wanted to see my friends everyday and make memories again. I wanted to walk at graduation in Staley Stadium with the people I have gone to school with for the past nine years. I switched back to Selma High and got involved again. I joined swim, did all the activities I could do, and hung out with some really awesome people. I got back on my grades and started to do good in school again.
Now as a senior reflecting on my past four years, nothing has turned out how I had expected. I lost touch with people I never thought I would, I grew close to people I didn’t even know went to my school, and somewhere along the way, I broke out of my shell. I no longer shy away from new activities. I would try things I never did before… even if I did fail miserably (most of the time I did). And most importantly I had fun. I started to live in the moment and didn’t worry so much about what the future holds.
So now as I prepare to step off campus and into the real world, I am nervous, but it is a good nervous, an excited nervous. I have grown into the person that I never thought I would, I know what I want to do in life. Selma High helped shaped me into the person that I am today.
Dear Second Grade Hannah
By HANNAH MITCHELL
Dear Second Grade Hannah,
Looking back, you were right. You, in all your 8-year-old wisdom and craziness, were right. You had big dreams and didn’t let anyone tell you they were too big. Nothing was stopping you from saving the world and shining your light in the darkness. Oh, how I wish I never lost the passion and love you embodied throughout the years.
You were right when you knew that all you wanted to do in life was help the people around you.
Oh Second Grade Hannah, all you were concerned with was making sure everyone else was smiling. You wanted to buy a house and save all the kids who didn’t have “nice mommies and daddies” like you. You wanted to reach out to the people that everyone else ignored. You wanted to love others as Jesus did. You wanted everyone to know they were special.
Money wasn’t important because, back then, $100 was like winning the lottery. Grown-ups didn’t know what they were talking about—you were going to be a real-life superhero.
Over the years, I lost the passion you had. I grew up. I became selfish. I was going to need a lot more than $100 to be successful. I had to get all A’s in high school to get into the best schools. I needed to go to the big college and have “Alumni #1 School in the Nation” on my license plate. I needed the six-figure paycheck to say “I made it.” I would figure out how to save the world with my fancy job, and that would be enough.
I got caught up in what the world says is “successful.” I followed the world’s rulebook on how to be successful, and I did it well. Somehow after all of that, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t understand what I did wrong—why I wasn’t happy. I had it all—all the success and glory a high schooler could dream. Then it hit me. I wasn’t Hannah anymore. I looked in the mirror and couldn’t find the little girl, filled with joy, laughing at the days to come. I decided I needed to start living life as you would. I needed to follow the dreams you started back in the day.
So here I am. I am going to become a social worker. I want to work with human trafficking victims and help put an end to modern day slavery. My heart broke for the men, women, and children stuck in slavery—just like your heart broke for all the kids without a nice family. I want to love people like you once did. I want to serve and love people with all I am. I want to follow Jesus with child-like joy as you did. I want to change the world, and nothing is going to stop me. Our plan might not make sense to everyone else, but we are going to prove them wrong.
Thank you for reminding what this life is all about. I hope that I make you proud in this next chapter.
Twelfth Grade Hannah
By JOANELLE PARRILLA
Being the oldest sibling in my family was a big struggle for me when entering high school. I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t prepared for what I was getting myself into most of the time. Reflecting on my past four years of high school, I’ve learned a lot from my experiences.
As an incoming freshman, I dreamt that my next four year of high school were going to be the best years of my life. That I was going to be able to be involved in sports and a social butterfly while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA. However, that wasn’t the case. I was that quiet, introverted band kid walking around campus trying to find my classes. I remember walking into the wrong class with confused faces looking at me and awkwardly leaving the classroom with embarrassment. Although I was really shy and socially awkward, I still managed to surround myself with extra curriculars. Most of my time was dedicated to music. I was involved in band, percussion, choir, and was even involved in clubs.
My sophomore year was the year I went out of my comfort zone. Dreaming of becoming a high school athlete I decided to join the swim team. Although I enjoyed doing swim, I realized that sports weren’t my thing and just stuck to music. I auditioned to become a chamber singer even though I had only one year of experience of choir. And I joined Clarion even though I wasn’t confident in my writing abilities, yet was willing to write stories for the whole school to read. Swim happened to be one of the main things I wasn’t committed to, but I’m still proud that I gave it a shot and now I’m able to say that I did it instead of I wish I had done it. Chamber and Clarion became a big part of the rest of my high school career without even realizing it. I discovered a newfound passion for singing and writing. They were some of the last things I expected to happen but also the few things I’ll never regret doing.
Junior year was the turning point in my life. I grew up with strict moral standards, and this was the year where I began to let loose, which influenced me to become a more rebellious teenager my last years of high school. I became more peer-pressured by society and was willing to try new things I never saw myself doing, which I later learned did not benefit me, but rather taught me a lesson. My bad experiences revealed my true friends who didn’t judge me for my poor decisions, stuck by my side and helped me get through it. I learned that I couldn’t please everyone no matter how hard I tried and wanted to. I learned to accept myself and not conform just to be considered “cool.”
Now as I transition from high school to college, I’m starting to realize that I still have a lot ahead of me. Although I’m not attending my dream school, UC Davis, I know that I’ll still be able to pursue my career at University of the Pacific and make the most out of my future college experience. My greatest fear when going away for college is that I’ll be starting all over again from scratch. I’ll be back to becoming that awkward introvert from my freshman year in high school. However, because of my past experiences throughout high school, I now know what to expect and what to do to build myself again. College will become a new starting point for me and is a chapter in my life that I can’t wait to begin.
Broaden Your Horizons
By KATIE SORENSEN
I’m from Kingsburg.
I know, shocker! (Just kidding. It’s only obvious when you look at me). I attended Kingsburg High for two years until I transferred to Selma High. This was the best decision of my life. Not because Kingsburg is a bad place or I had a bad experience there, but simply due to the fact that I have learned so much through this transition.
I had been living in a bubble. Attending high school in my hometown meant that I would stay in school with the same kids that I had been with ever since kindergarten. I would be hearing the same opinions I have heard for all these years, and I would be friends with the same people that I had grown up with. I was stuck in this bubble of similarity and repetition. I wanted out.
For someone who never went out of my comfort zone, who had the same friends for years, who never participated, and would rarely try to experience new things in high school. This was out of the ordinary for me, this longing to venture somewhere outside of my comfort zone took me by surprise. It was very unlike me.
After a summer of listing out pros and cons I decided to make the jump. This transition has made me the person I am today. Upon arriving to Selma High my eyes were forced open to a new and vibrant world. I was no longer with these same people, these same thoughts and opinions. I was now immersed into a culturally diverse group of students who had many ideas and voiced different opinions that had never been voiced in Kingsburg. Language, clothing styles, and personalities were all different to that of Kingsburg. I was surprised and scared.
And I loved it.
Selma High has made me the person I am today. I have made a few good friends whom I love dearly; I’m so grateful for their friendship. I have experienced good and bad times, and for that, I am grateful. I am more appreciative of the things around me, others’ emotions and thoughts. I am now able to connect with people from all kinds of different backgrounds. I have learned not to judge others and to take into consideration others’ life experiences. I have grown as an individual due to Selma. I still am in awe everyday (even if I may not look like it) of the welcoming atmosphere this high school brings. I am at home.
Now you may be thinking, “This girl is crazy! High school is the worst!!” I agree it isn’t perfect, but bad times don’t have to define your whole high school experience. If you can learn something from getting talked down on by that rude student or messing up on a big test, then it wasn’t a negative impact on your life. You'll now have that experience, and you will grow as a person because of it.
Taking a leap of faith and moving schools was the best decision of my life. It has changed me for the better, and I don’t regret a second of it.
That's my advice. Get out of your comfort zone. Take that leap of faith. Talk to those people you never really liked. Move halfway across the world. Do what you’ve always wanted to do. Getting out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to expand your knowledge of the world will make you realize that there’s more to life than you think. Go experience the world and pop that bubble your living in.