People will not like you. And that’s ok.

Every year, outgoing seniors on The Fuel staff write their Senior Column, a reflection on their four years in high school.

As senior year approaches its end, I ask myself, “am I going to be okay in the real world?” From sitting in teachers’ classes to having to deal with prima donnas, I can only imagine what the real world is going to be like.

At first, high school was a somewhat pleasant journey for me. I was cruising and breezing through the normal high school experience like laughing with friends at lunch and having fun at football games.

The last two years of my high school life were the worst years. I was supposed to enjoy them. I was supposed to laugh and not care about the future. I was supposed to…do a lot of things. But I was consumed with comparing myself with absolutely everyone, ensuring I would succeed. I was sabotaging my own path of happiness.

People know me as the serious and reserved person, who seems to know what the teacher is talking about and does all her homework.

I am that person who did well in class without trying. I am that person you could break with a single word. And people did break me. I let others tell me who I am. I let others bother me. I took too many things seriously.

One incident that made a pivotal change in my life was back in November. I had been cornered and failed to say anything. While having my character attacked, I felt like it was the cherry on top to my feelings of quitting an organization. All my fears were being confirmed.

Afterward, I remember crying and a teacher telling me, “you’re going to be so strong after this.” I thought that what he said was absurd. But after pondering on the words, I realized he was right, directly and indirectly.

My teachers were right. My godmother was right. My friends were right.

In life, people will not like you. And that’s ok. As long as I know that I’m doing good in life, someone else’s opinion should not matter.

Be yourself all through high school. People who care about you will be the ones who pick you up. If you’re not yourself, you’re going to be surrounded by people who are not themselves. If you are yourself, you’ll see that the right people will eventually arrive.

Stress was another block in my happiness. I would worry and worry about what’s to come in one day, three weeks, five years. Overdoing things can be beneficial, but it can be a burden as well. You’re too blessed to be stressed. It’s okay to let things go. You will go through so much as seniors. You shouldn’t pile unnecessary stress on our shoulders. Learning to let things go was a hard thing to do.

I will be okay out in the world. I will create a change in our society. This Hispanic girl will not become just a housewife. I will become an educator and change the lives of others. I will make a difference and I have only my family, teachers, and friends to thank.