Senior Goodbye: Abby Ong

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Senior Goodbye: Abby Ong

Photo by: Preston Rolls

Photo by: Preston Rolls

Photo by: Preston Rolls

Abby Ong, Editor-In-Chief

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The days are coming to a close, yet the sadness hasn’t quite set in yet. I know soon it’ll truly be time for me to move forward, to say goodbye to my friends, my teachers, to the late nights in the newspaper room fueled only by queso. Graduating high school marks the end of these four years, but yet I can’t help but see it as the closure of the first part of my life. From this point forward, there is no set path for me to follow. If school is your introduction to life, then now it’s up to me to make my life. I am so overwhelmingly filled with excitement, but more than sadness or excitement, I am filled with nerves.

 

In my seventeen years, I have been experienced so much and grown into who I am, and I can’t even begin to imagine where I’ll be in another seventeen. At the risk of sounding incredibly cliche, it feels as though the world is set up for me to go anywhere, and it is my sole responsibility to get there. Everything my parents and my teachers and my friends have taught me will move me forward, and it’s up to me not to fail, a challenge I am so excited to take on.

 

In the fall, I’ll be attending UT Austin, majoring in public health. I hope to study public policy, health promotion, and epidemiology. Maybe one day I’ll be researching in a BSL 4 lab, or designing infographics trying to convince people to vaccinate, or working for the CDC or the WHO in a foreign country, battling the spread of an epidemic. Maybe I’ll find myself taken in a different direction, to journalism or design or some other interest that I have yet to stumble upon. Regardless, I know that I wouldn’t be headed wherever it is that I am without all the experiences I have had and all the people I have met.

 

To my parents—thank you for teaching me how to take the world for all that it is and work it to my advantage, for teaching me how to love and live, for encouraging me to find my happiness and my own definition of success. To my brothers—for all the trips and falling asleep in cramped beds together, buying out gas stations of Hot Cheetos everytime we crossed the US border, for loving Nestea and Milo and all the little things that bond us together, even if we grumble about the rest.

 

To my teachers—thank you for all you have taught me, both within the curriculum and out. I admire so many of you so deeply. To Mr. Reeves and Ms. Shirack—thank you for believing in me, for encouraging me to step into positions of responsibility freshman me never would’ve expected myself to take but found myself loving. Thank you for all you have taught me about journalism, design, and how to approach the world. To Ms. Floyd—thank you for challenging me to think beyond the initial implications of what I see, for encouraging me to consider the impacts on society. To Ms. Davis and Ms. Kowalik—thank you for giving me an insight into your love for science and making me fall in love with it too, for giving me a chance to question and learn about how the world works.

 

To my friends—thank you taking me in and teaching me about your bit of life and letting me share mine with you, I hope that for however long our paths crossed, you gained something from me as I did you. To Sarah and Andrea, my sisters since I was a gawky middle schooler—thank you for our hot tub talks, Summer Moon coffee runs, and laying around at Zilker; you have always been there to ground me. To Lin and Emily—thank you for loving me and hyping me up, for our Mamma Mia car karaokes and spending way too much money on food together. To Cianna—there is no one else I would’ve rather been Editors-in-Grief with. Thank you for obsessing over colors and fonts as much as I do and for our therapy rants over food runs, you kept me sane this year. To the rest of my crazy staff—I adore you and all the things that we have done together. I wish you all the absolute best, and I know that those of you who will take over the paper are gonna take it to great places. To those of you graduating with me—I’ll miss our work nights, jokes on the couch, journalism raves, fire alarms in hotels, getting lost in cities, and knowing side glances. I love you all.

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