When I first came to Bowie as a freshman, I knew about ten people who were going to be in the same grade and school as me. I attended a magnet school that did not feed into Bowie, so only one of the friends I had made from middle school was going to Bowie along with me. Because of this, I begged my family to let me attend a different high school, but they thought going to Bowie would be the best option for me. Even though the first semester of my freshman year was awkward and a bit lonely as I was trying to make completely new friends with people who already knew each other, I am extremely grateful to my family for convincing me to attend Bowie.
During my time at Bowie, I was able to rekindle friendships from when I was in preschool and elementary school and I found new, now hopefully lifelong friends. I worked/partied backstage during theatre shows, spent long nights rushing to meet a newspaper deadline, studied with groups of people at Panera and Starbucks, challenged myself with AP classes and extracurriculars, and enjoyed almost every second of my time at Bowie. Yes, I struggled with stress, anxiety, depression, frustration, and an extremely busy schedule, but the amazing memories I have from the past four years will be the things I remember about Bowie.
Next year, I will become a Duck at the University of Oregon to major in Education. I will take classes in journalism, culinary arts, literature, and business because I honestly have no idea what my time after college will be. Maybe I will be an English teacher or a Journalism teacher. Maybe I will become a librarian. Maybe I will open up a bakery/coffee shop/bookstore filled with lots of plants and rugs. Maybe I will live out my childhood dream of being on the camera crew of the show Survivor and, when the show is not filming, be a photographer for National Geographic. Whatever my future holds, I know I am prepared for what happens because I have learned a lot at Bowie, and I have the best personal support team.
To my parents – I am incredibly grateful for the unconditional love and support you have provided me with over the past 18 years. You constantly do things for me to make me smile and laugh which I don’t always recognize but am thankful for nonetheless. You two have raised me to be strong, taught me how to love, and showed me what it means to be a good person. Although I am looking forward to moving out of state for college, and present as wanting to leave Texas the second I get the chance, I will miss you every single day.
To Kaitlyn – you are the best friend I could have ever asked for. You don’t question when I start humming or get up and walk around the room randomly. You tag along to get all my late-night cravings for ice cream. You have the same weird dreams I do about ditching everything to go live in a van or in the woods. You let me read books out loud to you so that I will better understand them and don’t get frustrated when I mess up easy words. You don’t ever judge me or make me feel bad about myself. You instantly make me happy every time we talk, and I know it’s cliche but I have no idea what I am going to do without you for the next four years. I love you so unbelievably much, thank you for always being there for me. To Laurel and Amelia – I look forward to seeing the two of you every day. Even though our ‘tradition’ of Tuesday night game night only lasted one week, I love every second of our time together. I love how you never judge me even when I admit to the most outrageous things and that I feel the most comfortable when I am around you. We are the weirdest group of friends – we are involved in different things, have different interests, and somehow always manage to be dressed like we are going to different places – but our dynamic works. We’ve made it through 18 years of knowing each other and still remained friends (minus preschool when Laurel was the equivalent of Regina George), so I know and really really hope that we will continue being in each other’s lives.
To Cade – your infectious laughter and smile are the only things that have kept me sane this year. You have supported me, encouraged me, and grounded me. I am going to miss meeting with you at Panera and always buying the mac and cheese, or FaceTiming each other basically every day and always straying from the topic of newspaper to things like TikTok songs. The memories I made with you and the other staff members on our trip to D.C. were genuinely my favorite from high school. I am so proud to be co-Editors-in-Chief with you; you are the kindest, smartest, sweetest, most helpful, and loving person I know. Georgetown is so lucky to gain you as their student. To The Dispatch staff – thank you for providing me with a community, a place that I belong, and a way for me to contribute to something meaningful. Although we did not get to experience much of it this year, I loved our Saturday work days when we got our fingers and keyboards sticky with donut glaze and french fry grease, singing along to Reeve’s hodgepodge playlists, and having laughing fits while trying to see who can make the highest tower out of old newspaper copies. I cannot express how grateful I am for the work you have done (and will continue to do) for the paper; your contribution to the paper, especially this year, means so much to me. I know that the people taking over the paper next year will continue creating an awesome product, and I wish you all the best of luck.
To Mr. Reeves – thank you for believing in me, challenging me, and giving me a voice. I joined your classes freshman year because I didn’t know what else to sign up for, but they were so intriguing that they sparked my interest in journalism. The lessons you have taught me have been so influential in shaping who I am. Thank you to Mrs. Wiedmeyer – for being so encouraging and motivating. Although I have always wanted to teach, you inspired me into wanting to teach English. Thank you for all the things you have taught me, and for creating a safe and comfortable classroom environment. Thank you to Mrs. Stiles – I only took your class because I already took the majority of the other math courses at Bowie, and even though I am certainly not the best at statistics, I have enjoyed every single class with you even through the computer. Your innate positivity and energy each and every morning always brightened my day. Each of you has taught me different things and impacted me in different ways, but all of you have shown me what it means to be a good person and good teacher, and I hope to become half as good a teacher as you.
A few days ago, I was interviewed for an upcoming Dispatch podcast about seniors, and one of the questions I was asked was something along the lines of ‘what would you change about your high school career?’ I’ve thought about it, and genuinely I would not want to change a single thing. All of my experiences at Bowie, both good and bad, are inherently mine and mine only. Even the memories that I’m embarrassed or scared of have shaped me into who I am today, which is a person that I am proud of. Now I get to go off to a new place, make new memories, and become an even better version of myself.