It’s about the little things


Photo By: Mr. Cabrera

Journalism senior Jennifer Castillo will graduate this year.

I don’t know how to begin this.

And for once, ironically, that admission feels like a fitting start.

As I type words out and hit backspace over and over, it’s like a reminder to myself of the confidence that I have always lacked. The type of confidence that I’m sure would have made my high school experience a much better one, instead of being stuck in a constant, vicious cycle of “I can’t” and “maybe next time” a constant cycle of fear, doubts, and worries that would cling on to an overthinking brain.

From avoiding joining sports and often falling into extreme procrastination with assignments, to rarely practicing hobbies I used to do enthusiastically and never expressing myself fully, this huge weight of fear has done nothing but hold me back. It’s not like I didn’t know this before COVID-19, but this pandemic has definitely made this realization feel more like a punch in the face rather than a slight gnawing pain in the back of my head.

Even though I didn’t really have hope in the first place, I wanted to come out of my shell at least a little bit more for my senior year. Funnily enough, the only shell I’d be breaking this year was the courage to turn on my mic in a Zoom meeting.

So, I didn’t get to do what I hoped. I didn’t fulfill all my wishes, and there’s still a pile of regrets that I can’t help but feel sad about now and then. However, I know that this is normal for everyone, because what is life without wants and desires and things not always going to plan?

I didn’t have the greatest experience, and I feel like that was mainly my own fault, but I didn’t have the worst one either. I can say I have learned to be okay with the way things fell into place, especially when I focus on all the little things.

My family, my friends, my favorite teachers. My parents’ comforting words and warm arms. My brother’s gentle guidance and encouragement. The ache in my stomach after my friend made me laugh super hard in class. Seeing the stretch of a genuine smile on my favorite people. A teacher cracking jokes and having fun with their class. 

I wish I could thank every single person who made me feel better in rough times throughout these years even if they didn’t know it. I’m someone who gets easily sentimental about nice past memories and the ways certain people impacted me, so I’ll always hold those memories to heart no matter how small. It sounds incredibly cliche, but I don’t care because it truly matters to me.

There is still a lot I need to work on; many fears and insecurities still plague me, and my confidence is not yet anywhere near where I’d like it to be. It’s going to be difficult to improve on that, but I’m thankful for my involvement in newspaper and art club that gave me something to feel proud of.


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