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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jun. 3, 2020 10 months ago

Olympia High School Class of 2020: All aboard the Titan Train

Our senior year may be over, but our passions are still pushing us forward. The Titan Train keeps chugging forward, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. 

By Andres Cubillos 

There is nothing more paradoxical than the high school experience. 

Every student dreads the moment they walk through the doors, and yet, at the same time, they want to experience it to its fullest potential. 

I still remember my first day at Olympia. It was a warm, humid day — I had to bike to school, and I was worried I would walk into class with pit sweat. I had Spanish first period. I only knew one person in that class, but they were already talking to someone else, and I felt too awkward to join the conversation. 

So for the remainder of the period, I sat in silence — only speaking when the role was called. 

I was hopeful that my next period was going to be different. I was wrong. 

There was something about my freshman year that made me hate high school. It wasn’t my lack of close friends nor was it the fact that I never went out that year. It was the feeling that nothing was going to change. 

My day was the same cycle every day. I would go to school, walk through the motions, barely be present in my classes, come home and do homework for the rest of the night and finally go to bed only to wake up to do it all over again. The hope for change was something that faded with every passing evening, every failed test, every awkward silence and every hopeful prayer. 

Sophomore year, I was ready to give up. What was the point, if I could not do it then what could happen now? Change. That’s what could happen, and it did. 

Out of nowhere, I found an amazing group of friends. They pushed me to work for my own change, they saw what I had left behind and pushed me to rise above it. 

My sophomore year and beyond was a complete 180 from what I experienced freshman year. Some of the best memories of my life have come from the past three years that I have had at Olympia. 

I’m sure I am not the only one who has had a dramatic change in their high school experience. But I am certain that had it not been for my class standing by me, it would not have been the same. 

Their desire for change and the support that came with it is something that showed me what it means to be a senior. 

Walking through the hallways as a senior is truly surreal, when you spend so much time in the same building you tend to see the same faces. They tell you the same stories with experiences that you yourself have had. 

To be a senior is to look and see the opportunity for change in a person and help them reach it. Had it not been for them, I would not have changed my whole high school experience. 

My grades shot up to new heights, I was elected vice president for my school’s National Honor Society, and I found a family in my cross-country team. In all those places, I found myself surrounded with support from people who desire for success just as much as I did. 

Change and support. Two words that can make the world of a difference for a person. 

Olympia’s Class of 2020 is truly the most extraordinary group of people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. To be a senior is to be driven by change, the Class of 2020 is a prime example of this pure desire. 

Our senior year may be over, but our passions are still pushing us forward. The Titan Train keeps chugging forward, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. 

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