Seniors Saying Goodbye 😢

The+Class+of+2023+waves+at+a+passing+plane+in+unison+at+Senior+Camp.

Bill Wheeler

The Class of 2023 waves at a passing plane in unison at Senior Camp.

Josephine Brewer, Managing Editor

As the future calls, the seniors’ minds are being tested and filled to the brim with thoughts about leaving home, financial security, and meeting new people.

One of the biggest challenges for seniors is leaving their families and friends behind.

Senior Alika Onekea has been at Mid-Pacific since seventh grade. In a few months, he will be attending Lafayette College.

“I just found the best friend group ever, and they make me want to come to school every day. My new friends are the only thing helping me fight senioritis and I don’t want to leave them here,” Onekea said.

The seniors aren’t the only ones having a hard time with these big changes: their families are as well. Senior Charlie Leung has been a Mid-Pacific student since the sixth grade. She will be attending Puget Sound University this coming fall.

She says her mom is having the hardest time with her leaving.

“My mom has really bad attachment issues to me,” Leung said.

She believes that independence is a necessary quality to have when it comes to graduating and moving out.

“It’s important to be able to be alone with yourself and handle everything yourself,” Leung said.

Senior Kimi Nelson has also been at Mid-Pacific since the sixth grade. She will be attending Texas A&M in the fall.

Nelson understands that students may be scared to leave but says it’s important to face this fear.

The most common worry among the seniors is the fear of the unknown and being away from what’s familiar.

“Everyone wants to be in this circle of comfort of things that they know. But the thing about being in a box is you can only grow as big as the boxes. If you’re scared to leave, you’re never going to know what the outside world is truly like. And we’re never gonna learn about people who are different from ourselves. It’s the next big adventure,” Nelson said.

She said she will miss her judo and wrestling teammates, but that she is excited to attend those clubs in college.

“My only thing is my attachment to my kids, my teammates. But other than that, I’m ready to start the next venture,” Nelson said.

Nelson will be attending her university on a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship, which means her schooling will be covered by the navy as she will then work for them for four years.

Her family inspired her to take this route. Her father works for the navy and her brother is also on an ROTC scholarship.

Nelson is hoping the military will cover her law school (family law) as well.

Not everyone is as sure of what they want to study as Nelson, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to pick your school.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to major in yet. I just kind of looked at the location and where I felt most comfortable; the town and environment. That was what I looked for first,” Leung said.

Throughout high school students go through many changes from their wardrobe to their personalities. Some are good changes, some bad.

“I definitely became more confident. I feel like growing older makes people realize that there’s more that matters than the trivial stuff,” Leung said.

Leung’s final goal is to finish out the year strong, with good grades and spending time with all her friends. She is also going to work hard to prepare herself for college as best she can.

Confidence can be a hard skill to build up, but having the guts to put yourself out there can help you make more friends.

Onekea believes one shouldn’t have to be afraid to talk to others in school.

“Nobody is going to reject you as harshly as you think,” Onekea said.

Leung is going to try to keep in contact with her friends, but knows that they will all be incredibly busy with moving and new classes and starting the next big step in their lives. While she will miss everyone, she feels ready.

“I’m very excited about the new opportunities that college and becoming adults is gonna present me with,” Leung said.