New chapters, new beginnings

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Laurinne Eugenio

Senior Laurinne Eugenio received early admission to Harvard College.

It was around 4:10 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2021; I was in the car with my older sister when we just finished shopping at Kohl’s. At the store, I asked my sister to hurry because I felt a little lightheaded and out-of-breath: I was nervous. After a month and a half of waiting, the day my family and I were excited and anxious finally arrived. 

When we got to the car, my sister gave me her phone and asked me to put my login information on the applicant portal. I quickly filled out the username and password and then I was greeted by a red pop-up feature saying in big font, “Status Update”. On the bottom, it said, “You have a new status update regarding your application”, with a button beneath that read “View Status Update”. 

I felt too afraid to push the button so my sister was the one who pushed it. Immediately after, she screamed. The first word I read was “Congratulations!”. I was too stunned to speak and tears began flowing out of my eyes like a waterfall. I looked to my right and saw my sister crying as well. 

Afterward, we face-timed all of our family members. They were all present: my mom who was at work joined, my dad who was driving his truck joined, my older sister from the Philippines joined and my older brother from Canada, too. Last, but not least, I’m certain that my other older brother from the heavens, who is always looking after us, joined. 

When they saw me in tears, they asked if something wrong had happened. Still speechless, my sister told them the great news: I received an early acceptance from Harvard College. 

After hearing the news, they all exclaimed in excitement. Moments later, I saw my parents breaking down in tears—it was the first time in a long time that I saw them cry due to inexplicable joy and gratitude. The experience was unforgettable.

The instance still feels surreal but after a few days of reflection, I realized what it truly meant to get into the school. Getting into Harvard means providing honor and pride to my family and the school. It means a step closer to giving back to all the sacrifices my parents have made after immigrating to America. It meant opening doors to various opportunities that would allow me to continue advocating for the underrepresented. 

As we approach Christmas, I’m always reminded that December is the season of giving. I will never get tired of giving thanks to all the people who have been instrumental in my high school journey. 

I couldn’t have achieved this accomplishment without support and guidance from people like my parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, friends, classmates, fellow International Baccalaureate students, Newspaper staff members, Speech and Debate and Mock Trial teammates and TEDx club members. These people have pushed me to become the best version of myself, allowing me to achieve new and great heights. 

Getting into college and graduating from high school might signify an end to a chapter of senior students’ stories, however, it also translates to a new chapter being written—a new beginning amidst an ever-changing life story. ”

— Laurinne Eugenio

I am forever appreciative of the memorable and impactful experiences that Bonita Vista High has provided me. Now that the first semester of my senior year has officially ended, I have approximately six months left of high school. 

The thought of graduating and being distant from San Diego—the place I’ve called home for the past four years is nerve-wracking. There is no doubt in my mind that being thousands of miles away from my family and friends will be difficult and unbearable for some time. However, I’m optimistic that living far away from home would result in me developing a sense of maturity and independence. 

Getting into college and graduating from high school might signify an end to a chapter of senior students’ stories, however, it also translates to a new chapter being written—a new beginning amidst an ever-changing life story. 

Feeling worried about the future and the unknown is normal, but we must remember to have courage. We must believe that we will be able to adapt to new environments and overcome any incoming obstacles that might come our way.