Goodbye Now

OVS, I will miss you.

I can’t wait to leave you behind and move on and climb a new mountain, make a new place my new home. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t miss you.

It’s crazy to think that a couple years ago you were nothing to me but three letters. Just another place in another country in another town that I had never even heard of. Now, your little green campus means the whole world to me.

You taught me to be happy on my own, you taught me to be sad and to think. You taught me English, you taught me how to write. You taught me how to love and to hate and how to cut people out of my life for my own good and how hard and nearly impossible that can be. You taught me to speak up and to find my voice, just like you taught me how to listen and be there for the people around me.

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You’ve also taken a lot from me. You’ve taken my last four years of living at home. You’ve nearly taken one of the best friendships I’ve ever had and you’ve taken a part of my home country from me. You’ve taken my feeling of absolutely belonging anywhere at all.

But, then again, maybe that is just a part of growing up, a process that you so conveniently sped up for me and now I can move along with that advantage. I thank you for that.

I am ready to keep going and keep moving just like you’ve been telling me to do. But I’ll miss you.

I’ll miss your oak trees and pink afternoon hills. I’ll miss your lunch lines and movie nights, your encouraging words and worthless meetings. I’ll miss the people you’ve brought into my life. I’ll miss the rooms that we’ve lived in and the road up the hill we all hate. I’ll miss your flaming hot skies and succulents and I’ll miss your stars, your beautiful stars. I’ll miss your tired breakfast conversations, your van rides and the songs we’ve belted on them. It’s really been a wild couple of years.

Goodbye now, I will miss you ❤

The f-word

This one word scares me more than any other word in the English language, but also makes me more excited than any other word.  It makes me excited about what can happen, but also leaves me scared and like I am in a dark abyss.

The future is such a simple word, but it means so much more than anyone could ever explain.

Everything in my life right now is setting up my future.  I have applied to college and committed to the best school for me, yet I still feel like I have no clue what my future actually holds.  I know where I am going to be living and what I am going to be studying, but that’s all.

I do not know what friends I am going to have out there, where I am going to work, and the hardest one for me is that I do not know what I am going to do with my boyfriend.  I don’t want to hold him back,  but I also don’t want to let him go.  We both want to live in the same state once we graduate college so I don’t know if I say bye if it will actually be bye and not see you later.

I am so excited to meet everyone and make new friends.  I can’t wait to see how everyone will help me grow into the woman I am going to become.  I can’t wait to find myself and learn how to be an adult.  I am so excited to settle down, have my own family, live in my own house, and be in the only one in charge of my family.

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I have the big things planned for my future, but the little things are still unknown and those are the things I really want to know.  My future is such a blur and I am so scared to see what happens, but I am also so excited to watch it all unfold in front of my eyes.

Journalism Competition!

Last Friday, 8 out of 10 students from our journalism class went to Cal Lutheran University (where I’m going to college!!!) to attend the TCJEA event which is a very competitive and large journalism competition. There were 15 schools at the event in total and we were the smallest school there hands down. Many other schools had around 20 or even 30 writers with them to compete in all different categories. It was intimidating, yes, but the experience was so awesome that it hardly mattered how small our group was.

We had writers enter almost every category available, including photography, sports writing, feature writing, news writing, and editorial writing. I was in the feature category, and we had such an interesting speaker named Cyrus Nowrasteh wrote and produced a many films including a mini-series titled “The Path to 9/11”. We listened to his story about the controversy over his series and the attempted sabotage of his career by people trying to cover up their mistakes. Then, we had about an hour to write an article on him and submit to be scored against all other works in that category.

Now, Mr. Alvarez is the best journalism teacher I could ever ask for. He has taught me so much – I was a terrible writer when I first stepped into his classroom. Regardless of his immense encouragement and preparation, I was still not confident that I could compete with others in programs much bigger and more well-known than our little “On The Hill” paper. But I was sure that we were a small but mighty force and had a great change of winning awards.

There were so many awards handed out. Each category had 1st through 3rd places and 2 honorable mentions. There were also awards for online newspapers, print newspapers, and overall best team called “sweepstakes”.

In the feature category, there were over 30 students that wrote an article for submission. My fellow feature writer Emmy Addison took a 2nd place in the feature category, and I received an honorable mention! I couldn’t believe it. I was recognized as a top 5 writer in my category. I was ecstatic. Another writer Jack Marcus also received 2nd place in the news writing category. Our online publication of the newspaper took 4th place overall, with is astounding considering it had only been officially up and running for less than a month. Overall in the competition, we placed 4th, receiving an honorable mention in the sweepstakes category.

It is just amazing to me how such a small group of students was able to go to that competition and practically dominate. We really proved to the other schools that even though we may not seem like much, we have an amazing, dedicated, and hardworking group of writers. I am so proud to be a part of this team, and the event was more amazing than I could have imagined. Congrats, journalism class!