A final farewell to high school

Dear Hart High School, 

Thank you. Thank you for the football games, the stressful AP classes, the late bells, the cringey memes, and everything in-between. I will forever be grateful for everything you taught me and blessed me with. Thank you for allowing me to experience tremendous growth over the past four years. I will never forget you.

I walked into campus my freshman year as an anxiety-driven fourteen year old with nothing but college in mind. I leave as a bold young woman who is desperately going to miss the years I had with you. And for that, Hart High School, I thank you.

I remember being at Placerita Junior High, and forever waiting until I got to call myself a student at your school. I’d look upon your gates and dream of the day where I got to roam your halls and eat lunch at your tables. 

When I finally got here, I’m not going to lie, I hated it. I missed the sincerity of the past and the intimacy of my youth. I was full of fear and doubt. But I learned to move past what I had been so afraid of. And truly, what I was afraid of was growing up. Hart was where I’d grow up. Where I’d transition from being a kid to a young adult. Although I had told myself that is what I wanted, and I yearned for every aspect of a “grown-up” life, it wasn’t until my junior year I realized that I was only putting on a facade for myself. But Hart, you eased me into my dreaded years better than I could have ever asked for. You taught me so many life lessons that I will take with me forever. 

You brought me endless joy and heartbreak, defeat and triumph. And for that I am grateful. I recall my sophomore year receiving my first ever “B+” on my final report card. I freaked out. How could I allow this to happen? I was tormented by my supposed failure of maintaining the acceptable GPA standard I had set for myself. Why was I so down about this? Just a little later, I hit my first home run for my softball team. I was at the top of the world. Why is it that I was so proud of myself? I had gotten so many hits before. I have come to realize that it is because of you, Hart, that I craved excellence. I wanted to represent myself, and thus you, well. I wanted to be the best Hart High student that I could be. 

So thanks, Hart High School, for everything. Thank you for the softball games, the dreaded practices where we ran, the beautiful Journalism issues, the stressful deadline days, the fun classes, the gosh freakin darn AP classes (even the ones with the finals where the whole class failed and then the teacher has to curve it so much that everyone gets an A and that one kid who actually did well gets a 130% on it, (shout out to you Mr. Neale for that awful final first semester of AP World)), the ICONIC meme pages (go follow @hart_high_memes_official on insta), and for giving me the best four years of my life so far. I know it’ll only get better from here.

Now I’m not going to end this letter by saying something profound, because that’d be cringey and that’s just not how I’d like to end this. I’ve tried to be profound this whole time and it’s been too painful. So here’s some random memories that I think are good enough to be noted in this. Why not end on a good note?

That one time sophomore year when I chased Juliana with a worm at practice and she screamed very very loud (it had just rained so there was a bunch on the field) and we had to run across the whole upper field because Ron was super mad. It was hilarious. 

That one time I walked into the journalism room junior year and someone was randomly giving Eileen a haircut with a pair of craft scissors and no one even questioned it, we all just sat there and watched.

When I edited my teachers’ faces onto Avengers. Mr. Neale made the best Captain America even though his one true love was definitely China for some reason.

When I dressed up as an UNO reverse card for Halloween and kids kept waving me over, insulted their friends, and then pointed to me with my costume on.

The time when the butterflies were migrating so we spent a majority of softball practice trying to catch them and play with them on the upper field. (Our coach wasn’t too fond of that, but it was super fun I promise it was so worth it).

That other time I thought this kid in my Zoom class was cute so I private messaged my teacher to ask him for his snapchat for me, then I chickened out and said I was kidding and to not do it. (Mr. Crawford if you’re reading this I’m so sorry). 

When Nicole and I anchored Hart TV and almost got it in one take.

The time I somehow managed to get a photoshopped picture of JFK and myself at our wedding into the yearbook.

That one time freshman year I said I hated it here, and I couldn’t wait to leave. 

And that other time senior year when I had twenty minutes left of high school. 

And when I regretted saying that. 

And the time I wrote my last journalism article. 

The time when I said I’d tried to end on a good note, but I seriously might cry right now. Dang it, hormones.

And finally, the time where I said goodbye. 

Once an Indian, always an Indian. 

I’ll miss you Hart. But it is time I go.

In the wise words of our principal, Mr. D’Autremont:

[Soto], out. *peace sign*