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Senior Goodbye: I just want to be the greatest

‘All I want is to make my family smile.’

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“Everything I did, I did because I want them to have something to be proud of me for.”

“Everything I did, I did because I want them to have something to be proud of me for.”

Photo by Jayden Warren

Photo by Jayden Warren

“Everything I did, I did because I want them to have something to be proud of me for.”

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Senior year has been wildly fun for me. It’s probably my best year, next to junior year. I gained a ton of friends and even now my circle hasn’t stopped growing. As new kids come in, I get to be the one to warn them about the ups and downs of high school like the upperclassmen did for me four years ago. It’s hard to believe this is it. I can’t help but feel excited. My other classmates have told me they feel a mix of emotions and the most prominent one is the fear of what to do after high school. I don’t feel that fear – I’m mostly just excited.

Now it’s time and everyone seems so hesitant. It’s ironic because most of us have spent all of high school leading up to senior year complaining and saying how we can’t wait to be out. I worked hard my junior year studying for the ASVAB to make sure I secured a future for myself. Because I enlisted into the Army and gained the job I wanted, I now will hold the title of aviation operations specialist, which means I schedule and dispatch tactical aircraft missions and work on helicopters. I’ve mostly been enjoying the time I have here now, though I’m going to miss the people I’ve met here.

I know I won’t keep in touch with them all but that doesn’t change the fact how some people have had an extreme impact on my life; I thank them for giving me funny stories to reminisce about and share with new friends I make down the line.

One thing I’ve learned is if I work hard now I won’t have to try as hard later in life. I’ve always been eager to have my own money. It’s nice to be able to pay for my family. I’ve worked at a movie theater for two years now but it doesn’t feel like it. It’s surreal I’m about to put in my two weeks. I’m going to miss the popcorn I make the most. It’s going to suck knowing when I go out again for fun to the movies because I’ll always remember how great my food tastes when I pop it. The regulars would refuse to have anything my co-workers made if they know I’m there and can make a fresh batch. That place and those people have become like a second family to me. A lot of people have come and gone for a multitude of reasons but they’ve become my closest friends.

I’m stoked to see my family again. When I was young my father was away in Afghanistan and Iran because that’s where the Army had him stationed. So when he would show up on Christmases he would always bring more gifts than I was willing to count. I always only knew him as that gift guy who would pop in stay for about a week then disappear. It wasn’t until I was 5 or 6 that I had figured it out he was my dad.

My family and I traveled to the airport one day and when he got off the plane everybody started screaming and smiling. On the ride home I didn’t say much and he turned around smiled at me and asked if I knew who he was. I didn’t say anything and looked out the window. Then my mom scolded me and laughed telling me that it was my dad. Ever since seventh grade I’ve been living with him because I wanted to have him in my life more. We traveled a lot because he’s still in the Army and now so am I. I haven’t seen my mom and her side of the family in four years. I’ve been absent so many Christmases and birthdays. Two months before I am shipped to basic training I plan on spending this summer with them. I had a lot of growing up to do. I hope I’m not unrecognizable to them.

Everything I did, I did because I want them to have something to be proud of me for. All I want is to make my family smile. I want to go out with no regrets and do the right thing as much as I can. So hopefully in the far, far, far future when I take my last breath in this world and breathe again in the new one, God tells me “Well done.”

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Senior Goodbye: I just want to be the greatest