Senior Column – Alex Kim

Alex Kim, Staff Writer

Starting fresh

The beginning of high school was a wild ride. A 2000-mile plane ride to be exact. The summer before my freshman year, I gathered up what I accumulated in my 14 years of life in a suburban town in Indiana and transported it all the way to Arcadia, California. When I got here, I was amazed and equally concerned. I’d never seen so many people who looked like me in one place in my entire life, and it was both freeing and incredibly isolating. It took more than a few mini heart attacks and embarrassing moments to realize that “pho” was not the curse word, that boba was actually pretty good, that no rain in months was a normal thing, and that trying to weave myself into pre-existing social groups would be harder than I thought. Everything seemed to add to the disorientation, but I was determined to make the best of this place where I would be spending the next four years of my life.

Changes

In sophomore year, classes were becoming increasingly challenging, and I had a large commitment to world guard. This continued on through junior year when I joined the Orchesis Dance Company. I felt better in many aspects, but because of my limited dance experience, the insecurities about my abilities as a dancer and as a student were growing exponentially, and I began to develop unhealthy habits. My organs were running on more coffee than water. I hardly ever slept at a normal time during the weekdays, and my eating patterns were erratic to say the least. I thought I would never escape from this brutal cycle, because people thought it was admirable that I “poured myself” into whatever I did. However, I wasn’t sure if I could keep it up.

Outlook

I was nearing the end of the my junior year when I felt completely burned out, and it was to a point where I felt apathetic about nearly everything, even things that I normally found enjoyable. I realized that I couldn’t maintain the type of life that I was living. I often felt that throughout high school up to this point, I was constantly worried about what I would do in the future and had many anxieties about not knowing where I was going, but I decided not to think about that too hard. I began to pick up new hobbies, tried to stay open to different options, and went with the flow rather than forcing myself through.

Everything Goes

I’m not exactly the high school senior that I imagined I would be as a freshman. I haven’t gone to a single party. My friends and I don’t go to the beach every weekend, and no matter how many times I learn probability, I still don’t understand it. However, I feel oddly satisfied with my life. My work in dance and school has paid off, and I’ve felt that I have been able to enjoy a lot of time with friends and family. Through everything that I’ve decided to give a try, I was able to find out what type of person I wanted to make myself into. Of course, I’m nervous to leave and go to a new school to start the next part of my life. I worry about whether or not I’ll be able to take care of myself, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to make friends. But because of these last four years, I know that no matter how hard things get, I’ll be okay eventually. The pain will pass, and so will the good times. So I’m cherishing every day I have left with my friends and Orchesisters, and I’ll keep hoping for more better days to come.