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Alas, this is farewell

Andrew Zheng, Editor-in-Chief

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I write this final editorial on my laptop with instant noodles and Cheetos to the side and cannot help but wonder if I will ever be in this same position again seated at my kitchen table. It has been an honor as the Editor-in- Chief of the Armijo Signal for my senior year and to have had the opportunity to establish and write freely about the monthly theme. I am proud to be publishing on such an inclusive, tolerant, and stimulating news source. I reflect that four years of journalism has enhanced the way I express myself through written word, teaching me article and template editing skills as a bonus. I cannot wait for graduation, but before I truly leave high school, it’s important that I contemplate and appreciate the experiences I gained along the way.

When I was in middle school, I was already thinking about becoming valedictorian and succeeding in a ton of extracurricular activities. I was determined to achieve; however, when I was on the right track, I was still unsatisfied. I didn’t understand why until I noticed on the shimmering tennis courts in the middle of my sophomore year how liberated, outgoing, and happy my teammates were. Right then I knew I wanted that. I wanted to develop genuine interpersonal connections and be involved with the volatile social atmosphere of high school. I broke out of my shell with time and eventually enjoyed the liveliness of sports games, dances, and study groups. I began to gain close friends and realized high school doesn’t just offer the classroom, but the hearts of others. High school is where you can meet individuals you will call a friend for life.

At Armijo High School, every student is able to immerse into an incredibly diverse fabric. There are girls and boys and non-binary people from all cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. Students live in Fairfield or Suisun and drive, walk, bike, or take the bus to school. Because no two students are exactly alike, I have had the advantage of learning so many new perspectives and to respect different ways of life. Armijo definitely opened my eyes to the not-so- small world beyond my bubble. Along with the learning population, the faculty at Armijo completed my high school experience. I am truly lucky to have had such supportive, fun, and enthusiastic teachers. My interactions with the counselors and administration also aided me in successfully completing high school and launching me to my top choice university. I thank all the academic mentors you can meet at Armijo.

Finally, to my fellow class of 2017, we made it! Congratulations to everyone who is graduating. At the start of the year we were anxious while applying to colleges and looking forward to seeing where we would be in the end. Fast forward to current day and we have crippling senioritis, but made it to college or have good alternative plans. Our labor has paid off. A remarkable pride is in the air. We finished prom and were delighted with all the senior events. It’s the end to the beginning of our lives. When a chapter is finished, we have the inevitable question of “What next?” Even though we do have plans for the future, we constantly wonder how life will really unravel, what life-changing experiences are next. The question is certainly difficult to answer, or possibly impossible, but we should lead into it with fresh aspirations.

The messiness of life itself can disturb your natural flow; nevertheless, you control what’s next. Your own actions in the present pre-determine your future. It’s totally fine to not know which career path to take or what to fill up the time in life with right now. The simple answer is just to follow your dreams. Bitingly generic—we’ve all been there—but no truer words can be spoken. Find what you love and chase after it. Fight past the hardships. Who knows if I will be back at my childhood kitchen table writing on this same laptop with greasy food. I know, though, that I will be seeking for wholesome happiness until I reach it.

Caps off to high school journalism, and caps off to yourself. It’s time for the summer.

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