Senior Goodbye: The Final Fraction that Completes the Whole


Lauren Mitchell, Editor-In-Chief

Walking into those gates freshman year, I could never have expected any of this. Even on Frosh Night, I stood in front of the sign that read, “Class of 2020”, and it felt decades away. I could barely picture myself walking across the Cardinals Stadium stage, accepting a diploma. Even now, writing this, it seems surreal. 

In that first week here, I didn’t even think I would be able to ever learn the campus layout. I was a little fish in a big ocean. I remember having one of the Link Crew members basically guiding me to every class that first day. But now, I could guide you through it like the back of my hand. This isn’t a foreign place like it was that first day, this is a home.

The four years have gone by like that. Freshman year, I was sure this was gonna be the longest journey ever. Four long, long years. So, me being the geeky nerd I am, started counting down the years with fractions. 

After my first quarter here, I was like, Yes! I am one-sixteenth done! Then after that first semester, one-eighth! And after that first year, one-fourth! Sophomore year went by in a blur and then somehow I was halfway done, but even then I thought, Two more years, I still have so much time! And after junior year, somehow I only had a fourth of this journey left. But even a fourth seemed like a long time. 

But it wasn’t. It went by in a matter of seconds. 

After spring break, before we found out we weren’t coming back, I thought to myself, I had made it 15/16 of high school, and it was almost over. Time was up and I felt like all those fractions meant nothing until now. This is it. No more fractions, no more waiting, it’s complete. The senior class had all gone on this journey together. And now we are all completing it together. 

These four years have had their ups and downs, but it’s been an amazing chapter of my life that I don’t feel ready to close. The memories, the people, the home of Agua Fria is something I will truly never forget. I am thankful for it all. 

One of the things I am most grateful for is for my 8th-grade self. She had signed up for Journalism, not knowing what the hell it was. Then on that first day at Agua Fria, I remember walking into my 6th-period class where I’d be afraid of Mr. Jovanelly for a good week, before realizing he was one of the nicest teachers. 

I’m gonna be honest, my writing was so terrible that first year. I really don’t know how Jovanelly let those be posted, but I found a passion for a different type of writing, not fictional stories, but real-life storytelling. 

Photo Credit: Lauren Mitchell

Then with sophomore year, my plate filled up. I didn’t take journalism, which is one of my high school regrets. But that year, I did go with the class to the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism, and that was the start of my true, true love for journalism.

Junior year, I became News Editor, which really was a switch-up for me as I never really wrote News stories, I always wrote “Buzzfeed-style” stories previously. Thanks to Jovanelly for putting me in that position, guiding me to a type of writing that I could really hone in on. Then that next semester, I was suddenly Editor-In-Chief, which as a Junior, being a leader to seniors was scary, but Carlos Johnson always cheered me on and helped me fit in as that role.

Then, this year, we made a family. Carlos stepped up to the plate as Editor-In-Chief first semester, and I focused on my writing, before becoming E.I.C. again in the second semester. This year we got a new website, covered a wide variety of hard news topics, and even made it through the quarantine covering stories on COVID-19.

Every day since freshman year, my love for journalism grew. I never expected that that one little checkmark on that paper to sign up for classes would have been the best decision I ever made. Here I am, four years later, admitted to the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism, one of the best journalism schools in the country. 

Thank you Mr. Jovanelly for the opportunities you’ve given me and always speaking with such passion. What you’ve taught me in these four years will stick with me forever, and I am in debt to you for introducing me to a world of writing that I have fallen in love with. 

Thank you to all my journalism peers, but specifically, a big thanks to my Padawan, Ray Alade, for always making me laugh, and to my forever Co-Editor, Carlos Johnson, for helping me any time I needed it and being someone that I could always rant to and who would always understand my struggles. 

High school gave me friendships with people I will never forget. Specifically, Lily Osborne, thank you for sticking by my side and being the only person to ever understand me and read me like a book. High school wouldn’t have been the same without you. 

I can’t write this without noting the importance of teachers and how the best classes are the ones with teachers who made your day. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Martin for making sophomore year survivable and always giving me advice. Thank you to Mrs. Leon. I am so happy I had you for two years and to be able to hear your cheesy jokes. Thank you to Mrs. Holdsworth for just being the sweetest. Thank you to Mr. Boothman for dealing with me and never giving me that third strike that I deserved. And of course, again, a big thanks to Jovanelly. 

There are so many more teachers that deserve a thank you for making learning enjoyable and prioritizing their students’ learning, so thank you. 

In my freshmen year, I wrote a story titled “5 Things I Learned as a Freshmen,” and I still stick by those five things to this day. But one big thing I learned in all four years is that high school is a home and time flies, so make the best of it. Try out for clubs and sports, go hang out with friends, take those difficult classes, just “YOLO” it. 

I could sit here and list the many things I regret about high school, but there’s already a story out there about that (High School Regrets: Learn From Our Mistakes). In all honesty, I hope the regrets can help others, but I wouldn’t actually change a thing about my four years here because I loved it all and where I have ended up. 

It’s insane that this is the end. I’ve seen seniors leave before, but never comprehended it would be me. I’ve seen seniors write their goodbyes, but never thought I’d be here writing one. All good things must come to an end I guess, so goodbye Agua Fria, thank you for making these four years so memorable.