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Reflection: How I’ve grown from childhood to high school graduation

It’s coming. Yes, what every high school senior has been waiting for: GRADUATION.

Many seniors get too excited about this event that they forget the bigger picture. Life is the next step after graduation. Yes, we have been living our lives for 17-19 years, but not many of us are ready for the real challenges of life.

I can say that my life has been unique, but we are all unique in our special ways. And those unique experiences is what have been defining who we are as an individuals.

Some of us had lived a life of luxury or something similar. What I mean by that is not specifically having six-digit figures in our bank accounts. Instead, living a life of luxury by having everything to almost everything we wanted in our childhood lives. But not all of us are blessed to have this.

Many seniors throughout our country and even world struggle every day. Some of us had to do some sketchy things within those 17-19 years of our lives. Instead of eating steak, we were eating ramen noodles with weenies. Rushed to pick up our little siblings after sports practice, while our parents worked night and day. Or study in the dark with one little flashlight, so as to not awaken the strangers that also lived in your homes. Just to get an “A” on your test. I salute you all.

My life has been interesting. My dad is a professional truck driver and my mom lives in Tijuana because she was deported with my younger brother and sister (my siblings are U.S. Citizens, but I can not take care of them so they live with her). My 20-year-old brother and I have to live on our own in an apartment as “latchkey” children until my father arrives back from his trips. We often ate dinner together watching comedies on Netflix or listening to 24/7 Comedy on iHeartRadio.

For many years it has been like this: cooking, cleaning, finding rides to go to places or get groceries, many lonely nights wishing my family could live in one house not two separated houses and a truck, but one. Regardless, I did not let this bring me down.

Seventh grade was the first year of living independently, but I still graduated from Irving Middle School. I was in band class playing the tenor saxophone, participated in many camping trips apart of Nature Bridge (four years with a total of 7 three-day trips), OBA (Outward Bound Adventures with 1 seven-day camping trip to the Sierra Mountains), and others with family, participated in clean-ups to the LA River, neighborhoods, parks, and beaches, helped the Rio Vista Project (apart of my school’s class Green Urban Design), and jumped a 50-60 ft waterfall. I pushed myself taking AP and honors classes, joined the track team and ran field and cross country. As you can see I kept myself busy.

I work now, got my driver’s permit (until I turn 18 to get my driver’s license), and will attend Humboldt State University with pride, as a biochemistry major. But first, I will graduate. Life has tested me, challenged me, and also given me moments that are worth more than its own value. I do not know what the future lies ahead of me, but I can say I am stronger with the unique experiences I had dealt with in my past.

The day is coming for all of us seniors. Use your unique experiences that all of you obtain and use it for your own benefit because that is what makes you different from everybody else. Deal problems one step at a time and one day at a time.

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