It's Not Over Yet
I didn’t know what had happened. It was cold and I was tired. Yet that whole night it felt like a dream. Like I hadn’t woken up from my mother’s lap. I groggily walked as my parents held my hand. I only remembered waiting in a maze line of people and then the huge room with its massive art pieces on the wall.
People looked different. They talked differently. I heard them aggressively enunciating words I didn’t understand. Moving to New York from Ecuador was one of the first transitions from my life. Before that, I’ve never experienced snow except for the residue on the freezer or when the slushy man scraped the ice.
My second transition was starting school in New York. Those first years, my parents prepared me by teaching me with their broken English before I enrolled into school and, later, I decoded my homework with the help of a dictionary.
My third biggest transition was when my aunt was killed by a stray bullet in 2016, when I was thirteen years old. The fourth when I started high school. And the fifth was the COVID-19 pandemic--and preparing to transition to college during this time.
Life never goes as expected and COVID was an example of that. The world turned upside-down and school became virtual. As my best friend Anastasia said, “There’s screens surrounding me all the time.” In Pre-COVID times, technology was rarely used in school and there was more in-person communication.
In interviews with Anastasia and Caleb, two high school seniors, there was a consensus that high school did not end up as expected, just like many expectations in life aren’t guaranteed. As children, Anastasia and I believed that high school was going to be how TV shows and movies like High School Musical had painted it. But later, we learned to see that life was different. Imagination was not to be confused with reality--the pain of moving on from childhood.
All of these transitions were influenced and caused by singular events, and were all periods of change. Though we are always changing, there are moments that push us to make the changes we need to make. Many hurt, and it would sometimes feel like it’s the end or that there’s no moving on, but it’s actually the opposite. Growing up brings the ability to adapt to more situations in one’s life, and the ability of seeing life through a new set of eyes.