As I reflect back on the past four years I can’t believe I’m writing this right now because it seems like just yesterday I was walking into Bowie for the first time on the first day of freshman year. I could’ve never imagined how many memories and friendships I was about to make as I embarked on my high school career. Everyone told me that high school goes by so fast but I never believed it until now when graduation is all of a sudden only two weeks away. When I was a freshman I remember being kind of scared and intimidated because the school was so big and there were so many things to do I didn’t know where to start or if I’d ever find my place. Flash forward four years later and I’m incredibly happy about all the clubs, programs, and organizations I ended up joining as well as all the amazing people I met along the way who shared my common interests. I’m especially happy to have found this amazing newspaper program and to have been a part of the most amazing team for the past three years.
Getting my junior year cut short and all of a sudden being about to graduate and go to college is still something I’m having trouble wrapping my head around. The pandemic has changed everyone in many ways and it certainly changed what I thought my senior year would look like but this past year has also helped me grow a lot as a person. A tough lesson that I had to learn this year is that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes it feels like you’ll never find out what that reason is but it always happens for the best. I’ve had to let go of friendships I thought would last for years and completely reimagine my college plans but now as senior year comes to a close I can confidently say I understand why these things have happened, and that this will help me later on in life. Sometimes people grow apart and sometimes you’re meant to go down a completely different path than you imagined. This year has allowed me to embrace many life changes and mature as a person and has gotten me ready for my future beyond James Bowie High School.
Even though I didn’t return to campus for my senior year, I will always cherish the memories I did get to make on campus the past few years and at other school events. I’ll miss all the football games followed by whataburger dinners, pep-rallies, homecoming dances, and school wide events like the No Place For Hate parades. I’ll miss walking to and from school with my friends, seeing them in class everyday, and laughing together at lunch in the middle of a hectic day. Looking back, it was small moments like these that made my experience at Bowie so enjoyable.
It’s very surreal to think about how I am about to graduate and walk the stage and just be done with high school. All the times I thought the assignments would never end and the stress would never go away and now there’s not much left to do before I put on that cap and gown. I’m extremely excited to attend Texas Tech University in the fall to study political science and follow my dreams of becoming an attorney. But before I leave I want to take some time to thank all the amazing people that helped me get to where I am today.
To my family: Thank you for always encouraging me to follow my dreams and pushing me out of my comfort zone. You have all always been my biggest fans and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your unconditional love and support. Thank you for always wanting to be involved in my school work and extracurriculars no matter how chaotic it got.
To my mom: You are my best friend in the world and thank you for being a great listener and shoulder to cry on. You read my newspaper stories and would always make me feel like my work is admired and appreciated and that meant so much to me. I know sometimes we have our differences but at the end of the day I appreciate you and all that you do for me and I’m going to miss you so much when I’m six hours away.
To my dad: Even though you couldn’t be home every night or go to every important event because of work, you still took the time to listen about what was going on in my life when you got home and always offered advice when you could. Thank you for always challenging me to be the best version of myself possible and to not be afraid of failure. And I couldn’t have gotten through math all these years without you.
To my brother Diego: You are the best little brother ever and one of my best friend’s in the entire world. You’re so mature for your age and the best listener ever. I’ll always cherish our car ride singing sessions and netflix marathons together, and thank you for always putting a smile on my face. I’m proud of you, always.
To all my friends: You are all so incredibly special to me and have all played such big parts in my life, especially these past four years. I’m grateful for every friendship I made at Bowie, but I’m especially thankful for the friendships that have been with me my entire time at Bowie and even prior to high school. To Elise and Iliana: Elise, I’m so happy we met in literally the first grade and have been best friends ever since. We’ve been through it all together and I love you and your family so much. I know that no matter where we end up we will always be friends, and thank you for being such a constant in my life. Iliana, after 10 years of friendship I can’t believe we actually have to be apart next year, but I know we will always remain close. Growing up together and seeing us both working towards our goals has been so inspiring to me. Thank you for always being there for me and for all the lifelong memories we’ve created. I never had any biological sisters growing up but with you guys I always felt that bond. This isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you later because I know there will be a lot of visits. To Brooke: Never did I imagine that a friendship that started in sixth grade science class would take us to being college roommates. Thank you for always being a great listener and a person I know I can trust no matter what. You make me laugh until it hurts and you’ve been with me through all the difficult times. Thank you for also always supporting me in everything I did and accomplished in high school and being such a joy in my life. I’m so excited to see what memories we’ll make next year together in this next big chapter in our lives. Wreck’em forever. To Sean and Jenny: I think one of the biggest things I’ll miss most next year is our Jim’s dinners. I’ll never forget all the jokes made and the constant laughter. Whenever I was going through a tough time it was little things like that that would cheer me up and make me really appreciate my friendships with you guys. Sean, it’s kind of crazy to think about how far we’ve come from middle school up until now. I’m so grateful for your friendship and that we can tell each other literally anything. These past four years have changed us both in a lot of ways and I’m really thankful that through it all we still remained so close. I expect to see you in Lubbock for visits! Jenny, from 3rd grade frenemies to senior friends here we are finishing out high school together. Through the highs and the lows we’ve always worked hard to be good friends to each other and I’m so thankful for that. Thank you for all the laughs and fun times that I will cherish forever. Expect to see me in California.
Last but certainly not least, to Mr. Reeves and the newspaper staff: Thank you for giving me a place where I could find myself and fit it. The newspaper room was always a source of happiness for me at school and a safe place where I could be myself and do stuff I enjoyed doing. The experiences I had with this program were some of the highlights of my high school career and I am beyond proud to be a part of such an incredible team. Thank you for giving me great friendships and great learning opportunities, I will always have a special place in my heart for The Dispatch.