“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss
I chose this quote because it pretty much sums up how I felt throughout the years. I didn’t have the mindset of someone that said: “you would be happier and someone better if you really didn’t pay attention to those who weren’t happy for you”. It took me a while to be able to learn it even though I learned it the hard way, I learned it and now I’m thankful that I have that kind of mindset. Ever since freshman year, I had friends come and go, I had drama here and there just like any other high school teenager. But I managed to keep moving forward with or without friends. Although I did have one friend that I met in sophomore year. I never had problems with her over anything, we were probably not that close when she moved but as time went by, I got to know her better and we just clicked and now she’s become someone I can trust with pretty much anything and everything. Her name is Sofia. I also have another friend, he’s more like my best friend, his name is Adrian. I’ve known him since his 8th grade which was my 7th grade. Ever since I met him we weren’t as close, and after 8th grade, I thought I would never talk to him. Little did I know he would come back into my life junior year. Actually, it was an on and off type of friendship, we talked throughout high school just for a couple of months, then we would just stop talking for a couple of months. Junior year, the second semester, we started talking again, I had never hung out with him or talked to him in person, but junior year was the year that I actually started having a very nice friendship that I always wished for. After a few months passed by, we started getting closer. Around October, we met for the first time and ever since I see him pretty much every weekend. Although I wish It would be more often, it’s impossible. He goes to Santa Clara University, which is amazing, he got a full ride and I couldn’t be any happier for him. There’s more I would like to say but I believe you get the idea of how close and how much I appreciate these two friends. Sofia and Adrian both taught me how to be happy with myself, that no one else mattered if I wasn’t happy because how can someone matter to me and try to make them happy when I wasn’t even happy with myself. Sofia, she was always there for me, ever since my sophomore year. She always pushed me to do better and never give up. She wasn’t only there to talk about school but she was also there when I needed to talk to her about my personal life, she was there to comfort me when I needed it. It’s pretty much the same with Adrian but, Adrian taught me more happiness, confidence. Adrian has always been that type of friend that jokes about everything, and when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING, which was something that I loved. There’s never a dull moment when we’re together. A couple of weeks ago I texted him and I said, “hey can you come over, I’m really not feeling it and I feel so sad, and just need to talk to someone.”. He got to my house in less than 15 min. I couldn’t even cry because I was always just so happy around him. These two people are the ones that I want to be friends with forever. They’ve always been so happy and accepted me as an individual and they have always supported my decisions or gave me advice when I needed it, and this is why they matter to me so much. Although my friendships were fun and cool there were some things that changed about me throughout the years that I am proud to say have changed. All of my freshman year through half of my senior year I was so dedicated to doing something with criminal justice or being a surgeon. That changed the second semester of senior year just like my attitude and physical appearance, and the way I saw things. I became more mature and started noticing a lot more things. I started to notice all the good things in life that I never really saw before. Although “senioritis” actually hit me pretty hard, I think I’ve had a pretty good senior year and a pretty successful one just because I had people that never gave up on me. Again, I really want to thank my best friend, Adrian, he was one of the reasons why I decided to major in chemistry and sometimes I really needed someone that I could talk about school with and he helped me with a lot of it. I would also thank my family especially my mom because even though she never really said she was proud of me, I knew she was proud of me. My mom is one of the reasons I’ve come this far. She gives me the strength to come to school as much as I can, She's the reason why I try to learn and expand my Knowledge on things so that I can be successful. I will be applying not only the things that I learned at school like my A-G requirements, but the things that my friends, teachers, and, what my parents have taught me. I have learned a lot from my mistakes and I’m ready to show that. Not only have I learned from my mistakes but I’ve learned a lot of skills that I would like to apply in college and my future career. I believe that I have learned a lot throughout the years and deserve to graduate to expand my education and not only make myself proud but everyone else that believed and supported me. One thing that I got to experience freshman and sophomore year was adopt-a-family. In adopt-a-family, we had to choose one or two families to receive the Christmas they always wished for. I had to help them organize, and make encourage everyone to donate something small to help these families. This really opened my eyes and was very emotional. I never knew how happy someone could get over gifts like these. I never really understood why some kids would never say they got anything exciting after Christmas passed by. I saw parents, and kids cry. I even almost cried. This really changed me as a person because it taught me that not everyone has what we have and we need to be grateful and appreciate it. Appreciation is something we should all learn how to do because sometimes you don’t appreciate something till it’s gone. This experience has really prepared me for the future because as I grow up I won’t have all the things that I wish for. When I grow up I will have to actually focus on the needs, not on the wants. I will have many other responsibilities to take care of. So I should really appreciate and enjoy what I have now because in a few months everything is going to change. I have mastered a lot of different skills but I think I’ve improved more on my communication skills. Communicating has been really hard for me as an English learner, it’s one of my biggest struggles. For example, when we would read books or small articles in English class, I would always hope no one would call me out to read because I was so embarrassed. I would always get so nervous when presenting too. Everything that had to do with speaking in front of people scared me. I would get anxiety just by thinking about it. Although communicating was the skill that I struggled with the most it helped me improve a lot on my reading, writing, and listening skills. All my 4 years of English helped me with it. Especially when we had to present, just because I knew I didn’t like it, and I knew I had to do it. I had to push myself. And Licata really helped with that. Even though he probably thinks that I never tried in his class, I really did, I tried doing the work. I turned a lot of my work in late because I didn’t really understand it so I would let a friend do it so that then they could explain it to me. Around sophomore year I started getting more comfortable with speaking and communicating with a large group of people. I wouldn’t get as nervous anymore, I would even sometimes volunteer to read my journal or just read a section of the books. My communication skills have improved a lot, and this will help me in the future because my future career has a lot to do with communication through reading, writing, and speaking, which is what I improved on these 4 years. These skills will really help me in my future career because without these skills I wouldn’t be able to communicate with my coworkers, and might burn something down. Haha just kidding, but seriously I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t master these skills. Communication skills haven’t only taught me to read, write, and listen better but I have also gotten more confident with myself and confidence is something very important when going into the science/chemistry field. Mastering several skills at once was very hard because I had to learn all of them at once too. I didn’t have time to only focus on one but all. One of the skills that I seriously mastered was risk-taking. Taking risks was very hard to do when all you wanted to do is pass your classes and get good grades. All of my classes have taught me how to take risks. Taking risks in all my classes hasn’t only made me fail technical but it has helped me succeed because without either taking risks or failing I wouldn’t have learned from my mistakes. For example, junior year in business class, I had to decide whether I wanted to do the junior business plan alone with someone or by myself. I was taking a huge risk if I did it by myself because I would have to do twice the work that all of my classmates were doing because I had to do everything myself with pretty much the help of no one ut my teachers. This taught me how to work independently because I had to make my own decisions and what I decided affected my plan and nobody else’s. My grade was in my own hands. I had to manage my time and create a timeline for myself so I knew I had enough time to finish the project. Working independently has also taught me that I can actually accomplish things on my own and that's one thing that I really had to show myself and others. I always doubted myself and never thought I was smart enough to finish or do something by myself. I always thought that I needed the help of other people. When all I need was to show myself that I can really do something without having to depend on anyone. Depending on people has always been something that I’ve done since freshman year. I have always said to myself “oh, they’ll help me get through this, yes they’ll help me” but then it got to the point where I would depend on people too much and wouldn’t get anything done. This project really taught me that being more dependent is better. Although working with others is good too. My senior year, I decided to do my business plan with a partner. I loved this because not only did I do less work but we got to connect our ideas to make something better. We didn’t always agree on everything but we made it work out. We solved our problems and worked through them. Working with another person can be very difficult because you guys don’t always have the same ideas. Sometimes you might see the big picture and sometimes they might see the little one. Working with a partner has taught me to listen very carefully because sometimes you're just not listening and you assume something else. This has also taught me that communication is very important because if you didn’t communicate, things wouldn’t come out right and then both of you would be at the wrong place. It’s kind of like a puzzle, you both have to put things together in order to complete it, or you both have to communicate in order for the pieces to fall in place. Working individually will help me a lot in the future because I won’t have to depend on anyone and will focus more on myself. Being independent is going to be a huge part of my future because I do plan on moving to Chico State and I do plan on living off campus which is going to be very hard but at that point, I won’t be able to depend on my parent as much as I do now. I will have more responsibility in my hands and will have to take care of it on my own. In the other hand, working in groups is also going to be a huge part of my future because I will need to communicate and work in teams for labs and other assignments. Working in groups in high school also taught me that I could work with anyone and shouldn’t really care who the person is as long as they're getting their part of the work done. Throughout these four years of high school, I didn’t only develop new skills and learned how to be more independent but I also learned that I have some hidden talents. Photography is one that I never expected. I really enjoyed it in my senior year. I got to express myself through something that I didn't have to speak, write, or read about. It was just an image and I kind of left every image as whatever you want to make out of it. I knew what my photography meant and sometimes I would say it but I knew that I didn’t always have to. Photography was like a secret escape where I would forget about some of my problems and wouldn’t really focus on the negativity around me. Computer Aided Manufacturing was a class that I took my senior year. Throughout this year I had learned something that really helped me think more about what I actually wanted to make out of something. It was called the design process. This process told you what to do from step one which was identifying the needs and constraints. The second step was researching the problem. The third was developing possible solutions. The fourth was selecting a solution that you thought would work best. Then you had to create a prototype. After, you created a prototype you had to test and evaluate it. When testing and evaluating was done you had to recreate and fix the problems, so the final step was to redesign the prototype as many times as needed for the final product to be the best as can be. This process helped me expand my research skills because in order for me to even start the project I had to do a lot of research to find solutions to the problem. Another class that helped me expand my skills was business because in this class we had to develop two different business plans, one junior year and another senior year. Not only did we create business plans but we also worked on another project which was the world series on innovation. In this project, we had to come up with a solution to a natural disaster or find a way to help with natural disasters. My partner and I chose to do wildfires. We created an app that helped people find their lost loved ones during and after a wildfire. While doing this project we had to present to an audience the different parts of our project so that we would be able to get feedback. When we were done with our app and applied all the feedback we submitted our app to a national competition where we had to state our problem and define the solutions, etc. We also had to present this project to our senior class so that way they knew what we what designed. Our presentations would also be graded. All these presentations throughout the years helped me grow in my presentation skills. One of the skills that I am the most excited about was learning how to work a camera. This skill was the most exciting because even life is like a camera, you capture everything. The sad, happy, exciting, dull memories in life. I am so excited to have learned these skills because as of now I want to major in chemistry and I know there will be a lot of visuals. Also, I learned a lot of skills in my Agriscience/Chemistry class. For example, I learned how to use a microscope. I did a lot of labs that helped me develop this love for chemistry. I also learned a lot about climate change. I am excited to apply all these skills because it is something that I enjoy doing and thankful that I have learned new interests. Senior year I learned a lot about business. My 10 year-plan gave me a lot of real-life scenarios where I would actually have to make a budget for myself and see how much money I would have to spend and make a year to be able to survive. I also learned how to do balance sheets, income statements, how to find my return on investment, etc. I will need these skills in the future to be able to actually keep track of how much I spend a month and how much I will be making. These business skills really come in handy when you plan on living alone as an 18-year-old in a city 4 hours away from your family. Even though I know that my family would be willing to help me with expenses I know that I need to learn how to budget myself and that's something that I have learned both, on my 10 year-plan and business design. One skill that I learned as a Teacher Assistant for Mr. Richards was communicating with other students and even cleaning a $25,000 printer. I bet not ¼ of high school students know how to properly clean that printer that Richards has in his classroom and that’s something that I learned on my own time that non-DTI graduates had the chance to do because I’m sure their school doesn’t own one. All my four years of high school, my attendance hasn’t been the best and I’m not afraid to admit that. It was one of the things that struggled with the most. Although I did miss a lot of school when I did come I tried my best, I never had a day where I was like okay I’m coming to school but I won’t do anything like it’s just a chill day. No, I always knew I had to get something done. I knew I came to school to work. The missing school really did teach me a lot. I learned that missing school really does affect your grades and performance in school because missing school means missing work and missing work means missing the opportunity to learn new things. Missing school wasn’t something I enjoyed doing. I never really said to anyone why I missed a lot of school. Sometimes it was actually because I was sick, but usually, I had a different reason and I guess it’s time for me to say it. I would miss school because I had a hard time even waking up. Why? Because I wasn’t happy with myself and didn’t find a reason to get up from bed. I didn’t think there was something valuable in waking up so early when all I wanted was to stay in bed and be sad. This was very wrong because I could’ve fixed this problem in so many different ways but I decided to just stay in bed and use sleeping as a coping method. At some point, I just didn’t care about school because I thought, why would I care about school when I didn’t even care about myself? The first two years of high school weren't as bad as the last two. The first two I actually had good grades, but then came junior year and that’s when I actually felt like a nobody, I wasn't happy or confident. I didn’t have enough energy to get up from bed and go to school. I always felt so drained and all I wanted to do was sleep. During summer after junior year, going into senior year, I met a lot of new people, I worked at the boardwalk that summer, I was a little happier, not the happiest but my bucket was finally filling up a little. I can say that at the beginning of senior year I was pretty happy and proud of how far I came as a person. But then I started feeling more and more stressed because I didn’t actually do my work on time and yes that’s on me because I didn’t ask for help when I knew I needed it. I started noticing that everyone was happy except for me, why? Because I was so stressed about something that I could have finished like weeks ago. I knew that I had to start being more confident and accepting who I am as a person because if that wasn’t possible then there was no way for me to be happy. That’s when I started finding myself. And here I am now trying to finish this essay at 1:09 AM. Because I left this for the last minute like I always do. But what can I say, I actually am enjoying this. And I’ve started accepting who I am, and my bucket is at least 50% full now. So we’re going to talk about the pathway that impacted my future the most again. Chemistry. I only took it one year but I think that was the year that I actually enjoyed going something. Something that I never really knew I was interested in. Doing all these labs and reports really interested me but I didn’t know till I started doing them. You don’t know how much I hated biology and thought chemistry would be the same, but chemistry has a twist that I completely love. All these numbers, pictures, graphs, everything. I love it. This class impacted my future because it’s now something that I want to major in. Decision making was very hard for me. Especially when it came to trying to get up from bed to come to school. I would always ask myself, do I want to miss Monday or Friday? I would never come to school every day at least for one week. And that like I said was used as a coping method because I thought everything would be better if I missed a day of school. As of May 24th, 2019, I learned that missing school can crush your dreams because it was about to crush mine. My attendance was about to stop me from graduating and that wasn’t in my plan. Decision making is still very hard for me as of today but now I’m not asking myself if I want to miss Monday or Friday, I’m asking myself if I want to go to Sacramento State or Chico State. One project that made me think deeply during high school was Adopt-A-Family because that’s a project that I never thought I would experience. That’s something that I wish everyone can experience at least one time because let me tell you, that changed my whole perspective on everything. That experience helped me become more mature. I learned a lot and I wish all of you could've seen the happiness in those families face. One of the biggest risks I took as a learner was becoming freshman representative. This was one of my biggest risks because I was only a 14-year-old trying to have a voice for a whole class of 25 students. Coming into freshman year I was a very shy, quiet person but I wanted to go out of my way and do something that I thought would help me learn and experience a lot more. Being a freshman representative came with a lot of responsibilities such as organizing events and making that year overall the best it could be. I didn’t only have the honor to be called freshman representative but I was the voice, I talked to my class, I shared problems and helped come up with solutions, I took their concerns into consideration and made them heard. Another risk that I took was being friends with people. This was a huge risk because friendships come with a lot of things. Sometimes it’s just a genuine friendship but then it could go wrong. Having friends has taught me a lot. It hasn’t only taught me to communicate with others but it taught me to watch what I say and how I say it. Being a friend also put a lot of weight on my shoulders because now I had to be there for someone, now someone actually depended on me, which wasn’t a bad thing. I loved that I was the person that people would come for advice to, I loved that people would come to me because they knew I’d always be there for them. And although some of us did have problems throughout the years, we all knew these problems would be temporary and would get over them. Just like I was a friend to others, others were friends to me. I would go to other for advice, I would go to others to gossip and just speak my mind out. And I loved it but sometimes we don’t notice how we say things and people assume something different which was one of the reasons I believe friendships are really hard to keep. You need to communicate with each other a lot in order to understand each other because if you didn’t there would be a misunderstanding and one of you would end up hurt. Freshman year, the year that I was a very quiet, shy, innocent 14-year-old that had a dream of one day going to a big school and getting the big school experience. One of my biggest struggles this year was communicating. This was my biggest struggle because this was the first year that I wasn’t with people that I knew for 9 years. I stayed at Alianza from kinder - 8th grade. So going to a different school was something that I had to get used to. I was very antisocial but very social at the same time which was why I decided to take the role as freshman representative. Although I was very social outside of class, I was very quiet in class. I was always so scared to share my own ideas because I was afraid of what people would think or say. I would always think that they thought I was dumb or that my idea was stupid whenever I did share something with them. I wasn’t very confident with myself. I was always so worried about what others had to say and I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know how to handle it. I don’t even know how I went through my first year of high school like that. Sophomore year, the year that I developed very low self-esteem, 15-year-old wishing she was someone else. This year was one of the hardest, most difficult years of my life I can say. This year my brother was born, we moved houses, and I got hospitalized. My brother brought a lot of happiness into my life. I love him so much but the time that he was born wasn’t the best for me. I was so angry at the world, so angry at myself. This year was the year that I wished I just lived in a castle where I didn’t have to worry about anything or anyone. Also, this year was the year that I started wanting a different body. I had very low self-esteem and wasn’t confident at all. This happened when I got hospitalized. They told me I was underweight and my body wasn’t getting enough vitamins so my heart didn’t have enough energy to do what a normal person does every day which was get up from the bed. I was hospitalized for almost 2 weeks. I was in bed rest for about 3 days, which meant I couldn’t get up from bed at all, besides using the restroom. I would wake up every day at 6 AM to get my blood drawn and get my weight checked. I would eat breakfast at around 8 AM. Snack at 11 AM. Lunch at 1 PM. Snack 2 at 4 PM. Dinner at 6:30 PM. And bedtime at 9. That was my routine for almost a week. I couldn’t even get up to take a shower. Not because I couldn't myself but because my doctors didn’t let me. I was restricted from doing a lot of things. Which made me feel 10 times worse. I was in such a dark place. Somewhere where I never want to go again. I dealt with this by trying to look at the good things in life. I had a friend at the time that would call me every day to make sure that I was okay and that really meant a lot. Junior year, the year that I can say I was the most popular and was like every typical teenager. This year I can say my attendance F’d me up. This year was the year that I missed the most school. But also had the most fun. I regret missing so much school because that’s the only reason why my grades didn’t keep up. I know that I’m smart enough to accomplish anything that I’m set to do but when I let attendance get in the way nothing is possible. I tried overcoming this by telling myself that it’s only Monday through Friday and enjoy school before I wish I can go back. Senior year, the year that I discovered that senioritis was actually a thing. Some people don’t think it's a thing but now I DO. This year I turned my whole life upside down. Starting with my career. I struggled a lot with making decisions and this year was all about making decisions. It was about deciding what you want to do with your life. Deciding whether you want to go to college or not. Deciding what major you want to do. And just pretty much finding some parts of yourself. This year my career and major switched and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing but it felt right so I did it. I struggled so much with deciding what school I wanted to go to. I was struggling so much that I was just thinking about going to cabrilo, which isn’t bad but why go to Cabrillo when I had other options where my school was being paid for? So what I did was I went to visit the schools. I right away fell in love with Chico, right when I stood in front of the campus I knew it was it. So then I figured, in order for me to be able to make decisions I need to see it, I need to see which one benefits me more, I need to figure out which one makes me feel more comfortable or even just look at different options don’t just say I want this or that without actually taking the time to observe, do research or even just think about it. These 4 years I learned a lot and it’s hard to pick just one struggle that I had to overcome the most because they were all really hard struggles and they all taught me something different. 4 career pathways. 4 different careers. 4 different choices. 4 major takeaways. Engineering. Agriscience. Business/Entrepreneurship. Digital/Media Arts. They are all completely different things. Unlike other schools we have to learn all of them which is something more than great. I am thankful that I get to learn all 4 throughout the years. Engineering has taught me a lot but the biggest takeaway from this pathway has been to be prepared to learn new things, and even though you fail, you shouldn't stop trying. Agriscience taught me that even though you might not like something, you might discover a passion for something related to it, and never judge so fast. Business/Entrepreneurship has taught me to budget myself and has also prepared me for adulthood (and spend less money on starbucks). Digital/Media arts is a pathway that taught me more than ever possible, it taught me to not be scared to be creative, it showed me that creativity is something to express yourself with. Crime Scene Investigator or Detective? Criminal Justice Major? Cabrillo or 4 Year? I took the ACT once, the SAT 3 times. I wanted to do everything possible for me to go to a 4 year or at least get the most education I can. I never wanted to give up which is why I took the SAT 3 times. I just wasn’t happy with my score and I improved every time I took it. I’m actually very proud of myself for taking it 3 different times. It's a long and difficult exam and I sat through it 3 times. After taking these exams, finishing my A-G requirements, making up courses...I am now looking forward to graduating June 6th, 2019 and attending Chico state fall of 2019. I will be majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Spanish. My goals for the next years are to graduate from Chico with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry applying to become a toxicologist. Another goal I would like to accomplish is to make my family and everyone who supported me proud because they never gave up on me so now I can’t give up on them. By the time I graduate, I want to have at least a house than I can call a home for the meantime. And I would also like to be financially stable. Learning and accepting my mistakes, owning up to my mistakes, all those struggles to get my A-G requirements, all my hard work to get to where I am today and never giving up is why I should graduate. Everything that I went through in high school made me who I am today. New skills, new mistakes to learn, more memories, are yet to come and gladly Diamond Technology has taught me everything and prepared me for what is coming.