It’s true – it takes a village


As our senior year draws to an end, in probably the most unpredictable fashion, I am left looking back on my four years at Judson High School. I have learned a lot and I have grown a lot.

When I began high school four years ago, I had very high expectations. Let’s just say I could never have prepared myself for the challenges I would face. 

High school, as we all know, is already difficult. We are trying to figure out who we are and finding where we fit. For many of us, there are added, unforeseen difficulties. 

For me, these difficulties came in many different forms. Before freshman year, my family was in a car accident that would vastly change the course of my life. This caused me to lose a lot of time in class, but I still fought to keep my grades up. In the midst of all of this and my insanely busy schedule, I was diagnosed with various medical maladies and struggled to find where exactly I fit in and to decide what I wanted my future to be. 

The first two years of high school weren’t easy, and slightly lonesome as my best friend and I were separated by hundreds of miles. I bounced from program to program, searching for the perfect fit. Eventually, I found my way to the journalism department, but not until my junior year.

Within the first few weeks of our writing unit, I knew I had found my place. The words flowed easily and it lit a fire in me for journalism. Not only did I fall in love with the craft, but the people I met when I joined the staff soon became my family. The daily debates over seemingly random topics and constant noise became my favorite parts of the day. They taught me to listen with an open mind to the beliefs of others before combatting an idea and forced me to learn how to block out distractions when needed. 

More importantly, I found a teacher and advisor that would push me every day to be the best person I could be. In the very short time I was in this program, Mr. Cabrera gave me a space where I could open up about myself and my struggles. This comfort allowed me to develop my skills as a writer, but also grow as an individual. 

I felt safe.

In E213, I found a passion I never knew I had, a family I never realized was missing, and an unforgettable role model. In the last two years spent in this program, I blossomed.  

In that same year, I joined the theatre department and began to compete in events I had never even heard of. Of all these, my favorite and most successful event came not from an ability to act, but my passion for information. Extemporaneous speaking not only boosted my confidence but gave me the practice of working through nerves – a skill that would help me land my first job. 

In these programs, I had found my perfect fit. But surprisingly enough, it wasn’t the subjects that made the programs fit, it was the people that stood beside me.

It was my best friend forcing me to help in the play that got me an audition. It was my duet partner pushing me to audition. It was a friend nagging me about joining the newspaper so we could have a class together. It was friends listening to my countless rants and helping me with Pre-Cal. It was people pushing me to pursue my dreams. And it was a teacher sending recommendations to help my future.

Although a natural curiosity brought me to these programs, it was the people in them that helped me to succeed. 

Through the search for my perfect fit, I learned that sometimes it takes time to figure everything out, and that’s okay. But perhaps the most important lesson I learned from high school is that no matter where you go or what you do, what makes or breaks any environment are the people around you.


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