For Seniors, The Future Starts Now


Emily Martinez-Esqueda, Staff Writer

For seniors, the future starts now.

The EHS Class of 2023 is officially reaching the end of their high school career.  Not surprising–with 562 students in that class–there are many mixed reactions amongst them:  excitement, fear, sadness, and yes, even relief. Some will be headed directly into the workforce, while others have chosen to serve their country or go on to college. As these seniors head in their respective directions, they can also be met by anxiety. “It’s a scary and exciting feeling to know that this time next year I will be finishing up my first year of college,” says former PENNANT editor Neryn Martinez-Esqueda. 

While high school is often touted as being the best years of one’s life, not all high schoolers would agree. Yet, most do admit to having one year that stands out more favorably than the rest. Take EHS senior Erica Gardener, for example. She indicates that her senior year is proving to be the best. “I didn’t have to take many classes this year and was more focused on my internship.” Gardener, who has been matched with an internship in a veterinarian office, explains that, because of this, she has had more opportunities to see what her future holds.

However, if there were a rough patch for this graduating class, many would say it was their junior year–a year where colleges evaluate applicants based on one’s grades. Senior Bella Cooper says, “Definitely last year, [my junior year], was so stressful and just easily the hardest year academic-wise.” To complicate matters, these seniors had to navigate through the uncharted waters of a newly merged school last year. Many describe it as their “sink or swim” year.

Those still “swimming” are now roughly four months away from their May 28 commencement date, which will also officially launch their next voyage in life. Cooper says that she is “ready to get on and live [her] life next year.” Martinez-Esqueda is on board with that, as well. “I’m so excited to actually start studying more and getting to go to the nursing program of my dream college!”

While these graduating seniors have charted their course and are excited to see what lies ahead on the horizon, they still retain a sense of sadness leaving behind all they have known for so many years.  “It is a hard and exciting time to begin to say goodbye,” Cooper admits. Yet, she knows that a bigger world awaits her with open arms.