It All Depends on the Lenses


Jasmine Lozano Castillo, Reporter

When we’ve reached the end of a long-hard fought journey, we find the greatest satisfaction in proving to ourselves that we did it despite the many moments of despair. My high school experience may be tainted with tears, sleepless nights, and clips of failure, but it can’t compare to the illumination created by the great memories, amazing friendships, familial celebrations, and some of the best people I’ve met. Four years is such little time in comparison to the rest of our lives, but when you’re only 17, it means the world. Heartbreak due to frustration at this age is possible. For us seniors who looked forward to the last three months of the 13 years of schooling we’ve endured, it is disheartening to get them ripped away by some intangible culprit. 

However, as much as I sympathize with my peers for the series of unfortunate events in our most important year and do not wish to discredit nor dismiss any feelings towards the impacts of the COVID-19 repercussions, I personally have come to realizations about life beyond high school parameters. For the past two decades I had been so consumed in my daily life of events, referring to academics, extracurriculars, and athletics only. It wasn’t until my senior year that I discovered who I am and who I want to be as a person, woman and individual of society.

This pandemic has only reinforced my newly discovered ideal that there is so much more to life than the materialism embedded in our lives. When we’re young we may acknowledge certain aspects of the life we’re living, but we aren’t exactly in complete control of our surroundings. As we mature and grow into the adults we’re meant to be, we start noticing and focusing on the things we appreciate. 

So to anyone having a tough time, I want you to know it will be okay. Even if you don’t get the opportunity to celebrate your achievements properly, you made it, and that’s what truly matters. 

I see this pandemic as a reminder of the true fundamentals in our individual bubbles of perspective. When societal structures are stripped, what do we truly have left? Everyone’s answer is unique and possibly even indefinite depending what you answer it as. As a student, I have assignments to complete and exams to study for. As a senior, I am devastated for the loss of memories that were supposed to last a lifetime. As a first-generation college student, I will continue my education at UC Berkeley in the fall as a political science major. As a woman, I hope to break gender prejudices. As an individual of society, I hope to be a decent person with morals. As Jasmine Lozano, I will continue to do my best to beat the odds. 

The last three months of my senior year may have been a bit of a negative experience, but I will not let it rob me of my achievements, recognition, and determination.

Life will go on, sadly without a few praised pieces, but nonetheless I know that there is so much more to life than what I’ve experienced. As a member of the class of 2020, I welcome the next phase of my life with open arms.