Senior Andrew Escobar, courtesy of Lifetouch
I came into my freshman year thinking that I would remain as friendless as I always tended to be as I was never drawn to any one clique. Later, as time passed, I began making new friends while rekindling old relationships and started to feel comfortable in my place at West High. Many new opportunities and people meant a clean slate, so I was excited to finally come out of my shell and reinvent myself.
I have learned countless valuable lessons during my time here at West High. At first, I hardly knew what some kids have to struggle with on a daily basis. It frustrated me to know there was only so much I could do; I am only one person. High school taught me that you can effect change, but you can’t do it alone. When we held the walkout in support of better school safety, I recognized what can be accomplished through unity. The people who I have come to know showed me what it means to be true to yourself and have helped me to learn self-acceptance. The lesson I am most grateful for, however, is understanding. The vast number of differing opinions, lifestyles, cultures and backgrounds at this school have made me more worldly and understanding of circumstances that a person may be facing.
There is not enough that I can say to express my sincere gratitude for having been able to work with and learn from amazing people, whether it be teachers or students. The countless memories and relationships that I have built have shaped my personality for the better. I am saddened that I may not be able to see some of those people ever again or that we will lose touch, but I know that this is an essential step to becoming an adult and moving on to the next part of our lives. These four long years have brought me close with individuals I never imagined I would even get along with.
Reflecting on my past four years, I realize I have matured more than I could have ever imagined. Since I can remember, I have thought that my mom was overbearing or too controlling. As I grew into my teenage years, I began rebelling and thought that she was out to ruin my life. Not a day went by that I didn’t contemplated moving out, I did not care where I went I just wanted to leave. Now that I am making my last lap around the track and getting ready to grow up, I understand that she never meant me any harm, her heart was always in the right place. I deeply regret ever mistreating her or making her feel that she was not a good mom when in truth, she is the best I could have asked for. I regret feeling embarrassment when she spoke in broken English. I regret wanting to be distanced from her. Throughout high school she has supported me in all my endeavors and pushed me to strive for better. Thank you, mom.
Now that high school is coming to an end I can say that I have found my crowd, the people who make me laugh, cry and everything in between. I am proud of how far I have come; I don’t say that as often as I should. I will miss the Friday Night Lights, the friendly staff, the supportive students and the campus. I am going to miss you West High.