The Student News Site of Olathe West High School
Diamonique+Naert-Jimenez

Diamonique Naert-Jimenez

If I am being completely honest I was not excited to go to high school, especially to Olathe West. When I left middle school in California, it all went by so quickly.  I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to a lot of my friends. I wanted to go into high school with them all and experience and learn so many new things. 

My friends were not the only ones I left behind. I left the place I called my home and a lot of my family. A lot of people do not realize how the environment and people surrounding you can affect you. I was so used to California and the things it has to offer that I was not looking forward to having to make new friends and being “the new person” all over again. 

My whole life I had moved schools so often that I wasn’t fully able to make relationships that were going to last a lifetime. I have always wanted to be able to say that I had a friend that grew up with me and remained by my side to this day, but unfortunately, I never got the chance to. 

When I first arrived in Kansas, it was alright. I did not like the fact that there were only lakes and no beaches. I grew up not too far from the beach. Whenever we wanted to enjoy a nice hot day, we would go on the weekends. In California, there were so many things to do and I had nothing to do here in Olathe. 

I had anxiety and this nervousness I had never felt before. Being in a whole different place on the map was scary. 

I learned that maybe it wasn’t going to be so bad after all. Freshman year was fun and I made a lot of new friends. It was the stepping stone to the rest of my high school experience. I  learned a lot of new things and made a lot of mistakes. Those were the mistakes that would shape me into the more mature and older version that I am now. 

My sophomore year was fun. It was similar to freshman year. I was friends with a lot of the same people and it felt, for the most part, the same. I was enjoying the year and I was honestly glad at first when I heard that I would get some time off of school but it wasn’t just “some time.” At that time I didn’t think COVID would get as bad as it did. 

Junior year was different. We had been online for a while. I had a love/hate relationship with Zoom. The year was boring with not much to do, but I still enjoyed the time I spent with my friends, who were graduating. I learned to appreciate the time I had with certain people and to cherish the memories we made together because now I see what an impact they made and how lucky I was to have been able to watch them transform into the adults they are today. 

Now, senior year. My parents finally realized that I am actually getting older and transitioning into adulthood so they decided to give me more freedom. I didn’t ignore this because I go out often and I do not regret it because the memories I have made and continue to make are unforgettable. I met and created stronger bonds with people who have changed my life forever and am extremely grateful for them. 

It seems like this school year went by so fast. I remember someone telling me that senior year would be the easiest year. They lied. I got my hopes up and it absolutely ran me over and left me on the side of the road. Except I got back up and kept on moving forward. It wasn’t easy, to say the least, but, if I got the chance to go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Everything goes the way it does for a reason. I know I said I did not by any means want to live in Kansas, but change isn’t bad. Accepting the fact that things go the way they do help me to understand that I could adapt and keep on living life making new memories.

I feel like you don’t notice when you’re growing up, it just happens and you only see how different you are when you look back at the person you used to be. I’m glad to say that I am proud of the person I’ve become. Obviously, I’m not perfect and I still need some improvement. I will continue to learn more about myself and will definitely learn more about the world and the lessons it has prepared for me. I still can’t believe that this chapter of my life has come to an end. No more walking the halls of Olathe West every day. It’s time for the real world. 

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