Graduating Reporter Reflects: Nothing is Impossible

A+photo+of+the+writer+wearing+her+Cal+State+University+Fullerton+%28CSUF%29+sweatshirt.+She+will+attend+CSUF+in+the+fall.++Photo+taken+May+2%2C+2021+at+9%3A23+p.m.

Britney Perez-Avila

A photo of the writer wearing her Cal State University Fullerton (CSUF) sweatshirt. She will attend CSUF in the fall. Photo taken May 2, 2021 at 9:23 p.m.

Britney Perez-Avila, Staff Writer

“The next four years of your life will fly by,” my older sister, Yoloczitlali Perez, constantly reminded me of this when I was about to start Godinez Fundamental High School (GFHS). Of course, I never believed her because I felt like high school was meant to feel like it would last forever. But I was quickly proven wrong and as a graduating senior this is my experience at GFHS.

My freshman year was by far the easiest year. I entered Godinez with the mentality that I would do the bare minimum and hopefully make some more friends. I was taking the average classes and just one honors course. I was lucky enough to make friends during summer school before the year began. I didn’t feel alone, but I felt unsettled because I wasn’t sure what my life was going to look like after high school. 

Luckily, I won a spot in the AVID program on campus, and I was enrolled in Daniel Tena’s AVID class. AVID is always recognized or thought of as a program for “smart kids.” Although I agree all of my classmates are intelligent, determined is a better word to describe students in AVID. 

This class motivated me to be a better student and to become more interested in academics. The friends I made in this class have stuck with me for the past four years. This is where I met my best friend, Samantha Vera. Her friendship provided me with support and love, one of my goals was already achieved since I wanted to make meaningful relationships with others. 

The following year, I decided to challenge myself to take classes that were more difficult. Sophomore year was very puzzling for me because I was dealing with various changes in my home and school life. I began picking up more responsibilities at home such as caring for my mom, who was pregnant at the time. As teenagers, we tend to face a lot of criticism to do well in school and also maintain a sturdy social life. These pressures were difficult for me to manage, but not impossible. Sophomore year went by in a flash. And towards the end of that year a future Grizzly was added to our busy household.

My sister Yolocitlali, was there to provide me support and open up new friendships during my first two years at GFHS. I spent my time following her around and soon became known as “Yolo’s little sister.” I didn’t mind it though, I was just grateful that she gave me advice and spent time with me on campus and at home. Yoloczitlali’s presence made me feel secure and comfortable knowing I didn’t have to be alone. However, she graduated at the end of my sophomore year, and I knew I had to grow out of my cocoon and become a butterfly. I started to seek out new opportunities without relying on my sister at my side.

My third year at GFHS was my favorite year, however, it wasn’t easy. I was taking more AP classes and felt a shift in character. I felt stuck and like things just wouldn’t get better. I remember one day, I went to school and I was very overwhelmed by the emotions and stress I was experiencing. The tears just wouldn’t stop flowing, and my cousin, who went to GFHS, suggested I go seek some help at the counseling center to get some resources. I soon began receiving services, a formal way to say “therapy,” and found that things got better with time. 

I tried out the Polynesian club on campus, and rediscovered my love for dancing. Not only did I strengthen my relationships with the other dancers but I found myself living authentically, living the way I wanted to live. I was so grateful for a community that was accepting of girls from all kinds of backgrounds. 

Broadcast journalism also provided me with an opportunity to express myself in a healthy way. I loved writing and directing videos. And there was never a day that I dreaded walking into Joyce Feuerborn’s classroom or what is it better known as “the newsroom.”

I never knew that trying out new activities and classes would be so fulfilling and make me feel so included. 

But right when I was happy with my life and settled with the way things were going, the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

I will always remember the last day of school and the melancholy feeling I had in my stomach. I knew we weren’t going to come back for a while, but I never expected it to be more than a year. I made sure to hug my friends tightly before we went home. 

After March 13th, things would never go back to the way it was. Online classes became the norm and I rarely saw my friends. Overall, we missed out on the usual senior activities which hurt but I accepted that this happened for a reason. 

Everyone always said senior year goes by in a flash, not on Zoom. 

Although COVID-19 caused a shift in our final high school year, I will forever treasure the memories and lessons learned during my time at GFHS. I went from being introverted and uninterested in college to an extroverted college admit. 

I am attending CSUF next year and am so excited to open a new chapter in my life. 

I am very grateful for the staff members who supported and gave me advice when I felt like giving up and learned that growth is inevitable.

It is up to you whether you want to accept change with open arms or push back, but it will happen regardless. My experience at GFHS was incredibly memorable and it is your responsibility to make your present experiences unforgettable too.

So to the class of 2021, we finally did it. We are a few weeks away from graduating.

After hundreds of online class meetings and Zoom fatigue, we succeeded in making it through the unexpected pandemic. And now, we are able to hold our heads high, knowing we never gave up even during the time the whole world was facing calamity.

I am very proud to be a part of such a strong graduating class.