Senior Farewell: Lexe West

Lexe West, Editor in Chief

1,367 days. 1,367 days ago, I was standing in my living room while my mother hugged me goodbye and walked down to the Freshman Success Academy for the very first time- this marked the beginning of my high school career. It feels like this was just yesterday and the cliché “time goes by in the blink of an eye” could not be truer. In the last four years, I have experienced everything high school has to offer and I am sad to see it all come to an end. In just a few short months, I will no longer be a child living under my parents care, and the thought terrifies me. With that being said, I do not think I would change a thing or turn back the clock if given the chance. I have lived these last four years to the fullest and have learned so many beautiful- even if difficult- things.

The biggest piece of advice I could give anyone going through high school is to try everything. This is the time to figure out who you are, and at the very least, you will be able to decide who you are not. Go try out for the cheer team even if you think that is not your crowd. Allow yourself to take those creative classes you do not think you would be any good at. Accept the invitation to hang out with those kids, even if they seem a little too different from you. Let that girl kick that water bottle off of your head in chemistry class. This is your time, however cliché that sounds.

Each year of high school I learned something more valuable than the last. And while I learned a lot from my accomplishments (and there were plenty) it was in the areas that I struggled, and sometimes even failed at, that I learned the most. Some of these lessons were emotional, and some I learned in the classrooms themselves.

Freshman year was when I really learned that I needed to be responsible for myself, and not only that, I learned what I was really capable of. Because this was my first year of high school, there was not much room for me to struggle, but it is where I set the foundation for who I was going to and have become. I had one extremely impactful experience in the Freshman Success Academy, and it has stuck with me to this day. I had been placed in a leadership seminar for reasons beyond me (I am fairly certain I had to beg to not leave with a B). It was on one of the last days in the class before summer break when Mr. Artley asked me why I thought I was in there, and when I answered that I did not know, he told me that I was going to do great things. I’m sure he doesn’t remember this exchange, much less remember who I am, but it really motivated me all the way through high school and I hold that near and dear to me today. All I can say to everyone is that you will do great things if you put your mind to it.

Sophomore year was more of a whirlwind- the freshies had just been moved to the big campus with all of the older kids, and this is when I really began to try to figure out who I was. Sophomore year was the time for first loves and first heartbreaks, stress crying over the torture of Mr. Lynn’s Pre-AP English class, and building friendships that would shape who I am today. This is also when I enrolled in newspaper, where I am now Editor-In-Chief, and would really begin to decide what I wanted to do with my life. If I learned anything this year, it would be to be friends with anybody and everybody. I made some of the most meaningful friendships of my life my sophomore year and most of them with unlikely people.

Going into my junior year, things had changed a bit for me in my personal life, and I began to see the results of this in my academics. I learned more my junior year than any other time in my life, and I had built so many relationships with my teachers that I still cherish today. Everyone always says that this is your hardest year of high school, and believe me it is. But trust me, if I can get through it, anyone can. And if I have any unorthodox advice for anyone, it would be to take a class from Mr. Wewer if you can. He’ll push you hard, and even if you fail (which I most certainly did) no one teacher will ever work so hard for your success or teach you what it really means to try.

This last year coasted by for me. It feels like just yesterday was August 18th, 2018 and I was pulling into my parking spot©. However, it wasn’t just yesterday and I have grown so much in the last year. None of the things that have prepared me for life I have learned in a classroom, but instead through the relationships that I have built with my teachers, whom of which I would like to now thank.

Mr. Lynn, I want to say thank you for teaching me that not only is it okay to cry in class on the first day, but also that struggling just makes the achievement so much better.

Mr. Chun, you exposed me to chemistry with a child-like vigor and it was through you and your class that I was able to identify what I really wanted to do with my life. Not only that, but you were one of the few people that I truly felt would drop anything to help me if I needed it. Thank you for your support.

Mr. Rix, you just made me happy and coming to school every day so much better. I was going through some of the hardest times in my life while I was in your class, and the atmosphere in your room helped me forget about all of that.

Ms. Cruz, I feel like we got off to a rough start but now as I’m leaving high school you are one of the closest relationships I have developed here. You have been so supportive of me and it’s through you that I have felt empowered enough to go onto this next year. Thank you.

Mr. Walter, throughout the three years you have literally been my adviser, you have been more of an influence in my life than you can imagine. Unlike all the other teachers I have, you were never afraid to tell me when you thought I wasn’t making the right decisions and were consistently that “father figure” that I needed this last year.