by ANDY ALVAREZ
I want to go to college. I have always wanted to go down this path and make something of myself. However, this past school year, I have made the decision to graduate early from high school. I had made the decision to do this because of two reasons. When I was little, I lost both of my grandpas, which affected me and made me not talk to my friends and family. Contributing to that, this past school year, I lost my close relationship with my friends. When my friends started to not talk to me, I began to be filled with anger and sadness. When my friends and I began to drift away from each other, I wanted to avoid them at all costs, which came to the decision of myself graduating early. Later on I began to rethink on graduating early, and then I realized that graduating early and all the challenges I will face has a whole new different meaning on why I want to do it.
When I was a little kid, about six or seven, I lost both of my grandpas two years in a row. In 2006, my dad’s dad had a heart attack and fell right outside, in front of his house. My mom’s dad had past away of old age, on his bed. I remember being called out from school to go to the hospital for my my dad’s dad. In a very compacted room, I saw my family saddened from what had happened. My family was coming in and out of the room to go see my Huelo for the last time, and there I was in the room unable to say my final goodbyes to him. In 2007, when my mom’s dad passed away, it was on my dad’s birthday. That day, we went over to go see him and he was still alive and well. Then late that night, I wake up in my grandpa’s house, and I remember seeing my entire family crying their tears out. Just like my Huelo, I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my grandpa. After these tragic events in my life, my parents saw me shutting down and not talking to anyone.
After my grandpa’s death, throughout elementary and middle school, I never talked to anyone. Recently this past school year, I felt like I my friends and I were disconnecting. I would notice that they weren’t talking to me as much as they would. I didn’t know what was going on. I felt invisible. I finally just gave up on our friendships. I would get so angry that I would take my anger out on my family. I had no one. However, my cousin started helping me get through this. She would offer me advice and hang out with me during lunch. She helped me realize the reason for my friendships ending. She helped me realize the thing that needed to fix was myself. I needed help working on my social skills. She helped me then and continues to help me and I thank her for it everyday.
After what I realized, I am not graduating early just so I can avoid my friends. I’m graduating early because it is something I want to do, something I want to accomplish on my own and say that “Yeah, I did graduate early”. I also want to do this because I feel once i’m out of high school, I can maybe overcome this fear of talking I have. I want to make my family proud and be the youngest and final one to graduate on my dad’s side of the family and be the fourth to graduate on my mom’s side. I’m very excited to accomplish this and try my hardest this year.
Even, though I’ve decided to make this decision, there will be tough obstacles that will try to prevent me from accomplishing my goal. In order for me to graduate early, I must go through the requirements my high school tells me to do. Right now I am taking Office aid, Chemistry, Journalism, American Literature, Spanish 3, and the ERWC class. I’m also taking a COS Math class and Economics and Civics as a Pre-first. Overall, this year will be challenging, some of my family members and my friends are saying not to graduate early because i’ll miss out on my senior year, but in the end, I won’t let anything or anybody get in the way from achieving my goals.