As the dawn of a new journey appears on the horizon, I want to take this time to talk about my experiences during my freshmen, sophomore, and junior years of high school.
Starting in freshmen year, I came in not knowing anybody because everyone around me came from Taft Middle School, and I came from Correia Junior High School. Despite my attempts to make friends with all the other freshmen, I found it hard to fit in. Eventually though, I found a friend in Joey Nguyen, whom I met in my fourth period freshmen English class. Even though I slowly started to make friends at Kearny, I found that I became a target for bullying.
Oftentimes, I would find myself sitting in Mr. Sanchez’s office talking about how hard it was for me to like Kearny. Sometimes, I would cry in his office because of how much I missed my old friends and how often I was being picked on by the other students. The combination of all this, made me want to leave Kearny and attend Point Loma High School. But with kind words of encouragement from both my parents and Mr. Sanchez, I stayed.
Freshmen year was one of the toughest experiences of my life and to this day I look back at it and laugh at how different I was back then compared to how I am now.
Coming back for my sophomore year was a difficult choice for me. On one hand, my experiences with bullying my freshmen year made me afraid to come back, and on the other hand, I had already became close friends with so many people that it didn’t matter if I was going to be bullied or not. Because of my friends, I chose to come back, and that decision helped shape me into the person that I am today.
My sophomore year was the turning point because, I decided to go out for wrestling. I found that the even though it was difficult, I was able to enjoy myself and found a way to fit in. Despite my many losses at the start of the year, I persevered. Through all the criticisms from my fellow students and the struggles of trying to keep up with the skill level of all my teammates, I had fun, and developed confidence that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Junior year is where I really started to open up to people beginning when I met my friend Enrique Sosa in our political science class. Enrique served as a gateway that allowed me to meet many new people that eventually became my close friends. A group of us decided to band together and establish our own group on campus known as the Geek Squad. We met everyday at the IMIN Student Center on campus, and we all bonded together as more than friends: We became a family.
Wrestling in my junior year was an improvement over my sophomore year. Thankfully, with maturity and age my skill and strength increased earning me the respect of fellow athletes and my new teammates. Like the year before, I still lost a lot of my matches, but I balanced it out by winning more often. Although I didn’t make it to CIF due to a head injury that I suffered from near the end of the season, my continued experience with wrestling set me up for my third and final successful season as a senior.
All my hard work has paid off; everything has worked out; I am more than ready to graduate from Kearny; I’ll attend California State University Los Angeles and major in computer science with a minor in acting. I am excited. Currently, I am in my second year of employment with SeaWorld, which I plan to continue for two more months while finishing off my last childhood summer in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles.
My advice to all my underclassmen and upcoming freshmen is to never give up when things look bleak and to always move forward and learn from your past experiences.
Wish all your seniors luck in this next chapter of our lives and always remember to smile!