Hooks Senior Perspective 2022

Life comes at you fast, and time only seems to move faster as you grow older. This is a concept that I have been exposed to my entire life, but it has taken 18 years for me to finally realize the terrifying truth behind those words. My senior year is finally coming to a close, and it still feels like I just started high school.

It all began the summer before my freshman year. My family and I left our home of 14 years in Stratford, Texas and moved into Hooks: new school, new people, new everything. Everything that was once familiar to me was gone, and I learned many things the hard way. The thought of my freshman year had always evoked a semi-negative reaction out of me, but I am still very glad for the lessons it taught me. I never really had to work very hard at anything that year, so the idea that high school would be immediately harder than previous years did not turn out to be true for me. On the other hand, socially, high school was absolutely more difficult. Dealing with upperclassmen as an “annoying freshman” was a humbling experience, but it was those same upperclassmen who helped me become the person who I am today. It certainly wasn’t an easy transition, but my first year of high school, I connected with some of the best people I had ever met.

Sophomore year was the major turning point in my high school career. Until then, I had not really involved myself in anything other than the band, but that year I also joined the debate team. This decision was probably one of the better choices I have made. I cared more and more about my schooling, and I learned how to balance the intense workload that came with doing both advanced classes and extracurriculars. It was the year of quarantine, so it was definitely a troubling time for everyone. I spent ten hours every Monday doing homework, and for the rest of the week, I would do absolutely nothing. I was bored out of my mind! The next year, however, would be anything but boring.

Everything started clicking my junior year. I gained many friends, and I came out of my shell. I made it to state in my first academic event–student congress–and I was busier than ever before. There were weekends I would sit at the computer for eight hours a day doing homework and debate related things. It was worth it in the end though, as I finally realized the amount of work I would need to put in if I wanted to be successful in life. That was also the year I met one of my best friends, and we started the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Social Studies team together. Without them, my time in high school would have had a very dull second half, and I would not have been able to achieve the things I have. It has been really nice to have someone in my corner, and I am going to miss them greatly as I head to college.

My senior year has been marked with great successes. I have become a state champion debater, competed at the state level four different times in four different events, and I finally decided on the college I will attend for the next four years: the University of Texas at Austin. I have spent this year trying to savor every moment. It has been a year of lasts: the last football game, last marching competition, last congressional session, etc. With every last, I began to really appreciate the memories I have made at Hooks. It has not always been perfect, and it has absolutely been stressful. Nevertheless, I would not change a single thing about my high school experience. The people I have met and the memories I have made have given me a reason to wake up every morning. I now live to make everyone proud, and I try hard to represent the town that I love so dearly.

Walking down the track and receiving my diploma was a bittersweet experience, but as Kanye West once said, “The good outweighs that bad even on your worst day.” I don’t want to leave, but I understand I cannot stay either. For the rest of my life, I am going to cherish my experiences at Hooks High School, and I thank God for the opportunities He has given me. Life has certainly come at me fast, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I have learned to cherish the small things in life and to be grateful for the love and support of everyone around me.


 

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