Senior Goodbye: Leaving the past behind

‘Saying goodbye to all the fun times and not-so-fun times, I can finally say I made it.’

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Aiden Gonzalez

“I’m just weeks away from walking across the stage. Everything feels so surreal, but I’m ready to take the next step in my life.”

I remember the first day of freshman year as if it was yesterday. Brand new to the district, there I was, walking to the gym to pick my schedule for the first time. Asking every teacher where my class was located, I was on the verge of crying from stress.

My high school experience was unique, to say the least. From talking to literally no one every day for months to winning a senior superlative, I’m glad to be leaving soon. Middle school was not the best; I would come home almost every day in a terrible mood wanting to do nothing but cry and play Minecraft while eating a family-size bag of Hot Cheetos. Nowadays, I’m finally in a happier place, counting the days until I go off to college. Surely I’m going to miss my friends, but now I’m one click away from FaceTiming them.

To Emily Harris: I think it was freshman year when I first met you. I was leaving biology class and the next thing I knew, a door swung open. All I felt at that moment was my toes being crushed. To make things worse, I was wearing opened-toed shoes. I look to see who it was and behold: it was you. To this day, I still bring up the toe incident. Besides you injuring me, it’s crazy to see how close we’ve become. Newspaper wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you for all you’ve done for me, from buying Dunkin’ to taking prom pictures, you definitely made this year totally rad.

To Green Eggs and Ham: I only met you through a friend, Cordelia. She told me weird things about you, like “Do photojournalism with me, Mrs. Pinkham is cool-ish. She’s so awkward and fun to talk to.” I immediately talked to the counselor and joined your class. I remember once Cordelia took my paper just to cheat off of me and you noticed, so you took her paper and ripped it up and made it rain in her face. Thank you for making my high school experience so much better, even though I never saw you as my teacher. Instead, I saw you as a close friend who I could always come to when I had problems or needed advice. Also, when am I getting my strawberry shake and burger? It’s been two years already. Remember it has to be from In-N-Out

To Newspaper: From Rohanna sharing her crazy stories about life in Jamaica to Tori telling us about the time she moo’d while looking at a goat to all of us doing white girl cheer poses, this class will be missed greatly. Every day there was always someone telling a story, whether it was good or bad, there was always something going on with someone. I’m going to miss all the little random conversations everyone would have. 

To the teachers who inspired me, Ms. Nguyen: You all are the backbone to my success. If it wasn’t for y’all, I would be a complete loser. Ms. Nguyen, I remember being in your class eating four or five bags of chips at 10 a.m. washing it down with a Dr Pepper. Although you said on the first day of school food and drinks weren’t allowed, I’d always bring a whole buffet of junk food. I still have the little postcard you sent me sophomore year, saying ‘I know you would do great things in high school.’ At the time I was confused about what I wanted to do with the years I had left in high school. You still had hope in me when I didn’t. I cannot appreciate you enough. 

For Ms. Head: Even though you weren’t my teacher, you were my teacher. Every day I would come into your classroom just to see how things were going. Even when we had nothing to talk about, there was always tea to be spilled. I probably told you everything about myself. From showing you my jibbitz collection for my Crocs to telling you about my deadbeat dad, we covered the whole nine yards.

To my best friend: I remember freshman year, we met through mutual friends. I still look back to the time when I used to sit alone during lunch at the beginning of the year until block lunch started and we sat together. Even on the days when we didn’t eat, we would go to Ms. Nguyen’s classroom just to talk to her. Still, I think about the big poster I made of you for your birthday with pictures of both of us. Was it necessary? Nope, but it was still fun to make. I could go on and on, all the memories we have together, too many to pick from. Thank you for being my close friend, one, if not the only friend I’ve had since freshman year. I can’t wait to see what life brings for us after high school. I definitely would not be the person I am today without you. 

To my yearbook friends: This year was definitely not what I was expecting. To be completely honest, I only joined the staff because of Mrs. Pinkham. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t know any of you people. It’s still crazy how I went from being a regular staff member to the photo editor in the same year. I’m just a guy with a camera. To the staff, we completed the book, right? That’s all that matters.

To my fellow yearbook editors:

Ev: You taught me almost everything I needed to know about yearbook. It’s like you took me under your wing. Although I had Mrs. Manley for regular journalism, she would always tell the class how much you did for the book. Sacrificing your days off school and lunches just to continue working on the book, thank you for everything you did. 

Rhiannon: Although we have our differences at times, you’re one tough cookie. You made sure people were doing their work. If not, you would be a mentor and show the staffers how to complete their work. It’s like you were our older sibling: We could count on you. I can’t thank you enough. 

Jadyn Lynn Wells: You’re literally one of the funniest people I’ve met hands down, and I’ve probably met thousands of people after constantly moving. There have been numerous times where we would stay up super late completing this book, and if it wasn’t for us, the book would not have any pictures in it. Thank you for bringing light into the class, thank you for being you. 

Finally to Mariah: It’s crazy how close we got. You went from not talking to anyone to you talking too much. At first, I thought you were a girl who thought yearbook was a joke. During the virtual meetings, you would literally eat food while on call. Surprisingly enough, you showed us you took the class seriously. Thank you for showing me what’s right and wrong, you honestly made this class a hundred times better. I know you have great things coming your way.

Looking back, I thought four years would take a long time to get here, but now I’m just weeks away from walking across the stage. Everything feels so surreal, but I’m ready to take the next step in my life. Saying goodbye to all the fun times and not-so-fun times, I can finally say I made it.

Oh yeah, I can finally say, the wig has been freed. Lol.