Four score and twenty years ago… well four years ago anyway, I entered these halls a scared and insignificant freshman. Today, I exit these halls just as scared and feeling even more insignificant, but considerably more knowledgeable, understanding, and mature. As a freshman, I had no idea about the kind of adventures and lessons that I would face during these four years. As a senior, I can only reflect on the choices I have made, hope I made the right ones, and learned lessons from the mistakes I did make.
Four years ago, coming from a small private school, I was terrified of the sheer size of Castro Valley. From my Christian school, where everyone dressed the same, talked the same, and thought the same, to Castro Valley where dress, language, and ideas are not always a uniting force, was a big leap. I was scared of the Asian students who called out to each other in an incomprehensible language. I was scared of the kid with the all black clothes and spiked bracelet. I was scared of the bleach blond girl with a belly button piercing showing through her thin shirt.
The beginning of my freshman year, I was afraid I would lose myself, lose my voice, in the crowd. It was that among all these different people, I would forget who I am. I was afraid that no one would be able to hear me and that everyone else’s ideas, their values, would replace mine.
I was wrong. Instead, among the diversity that abounds here at CVHS, I found myself. I learned about others’ ideas, which only made me more firm in mine. I discovered that there are a million opinions on any given topic, and that I was free to hold any one of them. Today, I embrace all the different perspectives that are represented at Castro Valley High. I learned that I could express myself, as myself, and people would love me all the more for my ideas. I love the diversity here at CVHS, because it gave me the freedom to grow.
People say that high school, is the best four years of your life. I sincerely hope that they are wrong. I hope that I have a million more adventures, hear a million more stories, encounter a million more cultures. I want never to stop discovering for the rest of my life. I want the rest of my life, and the lives of every CVHS graduate, to be filled to the brim with freedom, hope, learning, and love.