The End?

The End?


Hello Gauchos!

Welcome to the final few moments of the 2023-2024 school year! Graduation is in a few days, summer is already beckoning, and all of us are ready for a summer of rest and recreation. It’s hard to believe that this school year is already about to end, but sadly, time stops for no one.

Given that this is the last article that I will be writing at Casa Grande and most likely the last article for the Casa Revista as a whole (as Journalism will not be returning as a class next year), I want to take the time to share a few lessons that I’ve learned over the years. In particular, I’d like to speak to the class of 2024—the students who have gone through wildfires, natural disasters, and a worldwide pandemic to reach this point.

To my fellow seniors who are reading this right now, we have almost made it. Adulthood, with all its responsibilities and freedoms, is right around the corner after 12 long, hard years of homework-filled schooling. Because once we throw off those square green caps, we’ll officially have made it into the next chapter of our lives, whether it be work, college, or any other path. But before we reach that final ceremony together, I want to speak about two concepts that I think apply to us all: regret and resilience.

There’s a book written by Bronnie Ware that I’ve read called, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” I know, its title sets off a bit of a morbid tone for what is supposed to be a relatively lighthearted farewell article, and I hope that my fellow seniors will not have to worry about dying anytime soon. But, I think this book’s lessons are important for all people, regardless of their age, because the five adages it preaches are ones we all should internalize throughout our own lives. As it summarized:

  1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
  2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
  3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
  4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
  5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Those five ideas encapsulate universal ideas of regret. Because by the end of our lives, we’ll all have a long list of things we wish we had done or choices we wish we had made. We’ll wonder if life would have changed had we taken that risk, had we said yes to that opportunity, or had we made that other choice. Because making choices will always leave some regret behind. We can’t always make a “right” call; we can only make a call and work to prove it right.

Hard decisions will always come in life. There will always be those little moments when we’re paralyzed from indecision due to fear, expectations, or any other emotion. But if there is one lesson we can take from the last regrets of the dying, it’s to stop fearing what might happen if a choice goes awry and start envisioning what could happen if we take a risk to move forward. We must trust that the choices we make following our hearts will lead us down the right path, and never look back except to learn from our mistakes. Because the one question that will keep you up late at night wondering about the past is “What if?” not “What could be?”

Now, after several rather long and rather melodramatic paragraphs about regret, I want to talk about a more positive idea: resilience. As put by Merriam-Webster, resilience is defined as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” And for a senior class that has already endured so much, I think this word is fitting.

When I think of resilience, I’m reminded of what my wrestling coach—Ike Raya—once told me after a hard loss in my sophomore year. He said, “It’s fine if you lose. Everyone loses at some point in their life. But it’s what you do after a loss that determines if you are a winner or not.”

Though his encouragement only amounts to three sentences of advice, I think that determination is something we should all strive to have, because in life, you can’t possibly win everything. You will face rejection or failure countless times to the point of breakdowns and so much more because disappointment is inevitable so long as you have a meaningful pursuit in life. But if you become afraid to fail, if you let fear constrain you from embracing misfortune or change as lessons, then you’ll lose even the chance to obtain what you want. As Raya put it, “You have to keep getting up even if it’s hard, because you only lose when you give up.”

In fairness, preaching about resilience is much easier than truly doing it. Talking is always easier than action, and it may be arrogant for me to presume that I know what resilience is as I sit behind my screen and type this out. But if I’ve learned anything in my past 18 years on this Earth, it’s that everyone has the training and talent to succeed somewhere in life; the bigger question is whether everyone has the guts to fail only to get back up afterwards. Because believing in yourself and being able to keep fighting even if you face setback after setback is the truest marker of success and strength that there is.

There’s a quote from Kung Fu Panda that goes, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

Struggles will inevitably appear in our lives. Time and experience will always change people, but we must try to always be resilient and leave our regrets in history. Because if we can be grateful for each new day and try to embrace the small joys of life, we’ll always be able to keep moving forward no matter what we face in life.

But for now, to the readers of this article, I wish you a happy summer. And to the supporters of the Casa Revista, thank you for your encouragement of student journalism over the years.


Signing off,
Raymond Wang
Editor-in-Chief 2023-2024

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