Senior Goodbye: A Road to Uncertainty, but Freedom


Photo Credit: Elijah Carson

Elijah Carson, OwlFeed News Section Editor

Before I officially start this story, I want to express that it’s not a success story, but more of a survival story. A story of a kid who was way over their head, and tried to do everything to please anyone and everyone, and fell… hard. However, they survived and did their best to fight. And that person was me. My name is Eli Carson, and this is my survival story. 

When I reminisce of my four years here at Agua Fria High School, I can honestly say that these years were very chaotic. I remember when I first arrived at the school at the New Gym. I was the first one there, and I said hello to the next person who arrived. They ignored me, and I guess I should’ve foreseen that as how freshman year was going to go. 

For almost all my years there, I was ignored, forgotten, and just a shadow of a book that no one ever read. It wasn’t until I went into a new club because my dad was stuck at home and couldn’t pick me up. It was a Dungeons and Dragons club, and I thought it was going to be the nerdiest, most boring thing, however, I actually had fun. 

I met some cool people there and I actually managed to get some friends with upperclassmen. And then I met Dakota Hindt. Dakota was someone who I had no impression of at first, but they talked to me, and I became very close friends with them. My first ever true best friend. 

I continued on with school, with a new sense of friendship, but missing something from my life. So I then heard talks of the theatre club from people in my Honors English class. I always was interested in acting as a child, so I thought, Why not take a chance on something? 

I went to the Spring One Acts, and tried out. I was a fish out of water, with a bunch of upperclassmen and other freshmen, who had a chance to connect better with me. However, they were incredibly nice to me.

I managed to talk to a couple of people and had fun, and soon I got my first-ever role as Andrew Powers (15) in Why Do We Laugh? And it was so an amazing experience. I continued on with my life, however, nothing is the same and secured. Something had to change. 

In my sophomore year, I struggled with my father. He was very mentally and verbally abusive. This year was honestly one of the worst years of my life. To be honest, I don’t remember much, but that year was very important to me. Soon, my father got physically abusive, and I did everything to escape. Even through drastic measures. 

Fortunately, through some ways and through probably some amount of divinely inspired events, I escaped. I fought, cried, and pushed through to try and survive, and even though I did, I didn’t feel safe. After a year, I stayed stuck in therapy, and afraid that something would happen. However, I did feel ok, I just felt trapped. 

After a while, my family did everything to help me, and there were some friends too that helped me along the way, and honestly, I thank them forever with it. They helped me pick myself up and tried my hardest to get back together. I believe that I somewhat did, however, something caused another downfall for me. The Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic caused me to feel stuck even harder, and caused me to cry, scream, and just emotionally die. This was my end I felt, but then something even scarier happened, that caused me to snap out of it. My mother and grandmothers got the virus. 

I couldn’t believe it. I was in a state of shock, but I couldn’t do anything, I had to help them. My uncle and I, who miraculously didn’t get the virus, decided to help take care of them. 

Even though I was hurting on the inside, I persevered and decided to fight. Throughout those two weeks, I helped them, and I didn’t get the virus. I took it as something of luck, however, I believed it as a sign of strength, something telling me that I was to keep fighting. I believed in myself, and I decided to fight again. 

That then led into senior year. And it was honestly one of my best years! I did theatre during the weeks of no one at school, and seeing people who I deeply cared about again helped my psyche immensely. I did better in classes, I never faltered, and I did really well! No leaving things off, I am sad that things have to end. I’ll miss people I won’t see again, but hopefully, everything will be ok. 

I am still stuck between two colleges of ASU and NAU, but I think I decided to go with NAU and have a major in theatre and minor in business! However, journalism will still be in my future! 

Before I go, I want to thank so many people. I would like to thank Mr. Jovanelly, for giving me so much praise and celebrating my writing skills, and letting me be myself. Mr. Gonzalez, for awakening my true self and giving me a place to perform. Ms. Johnson, Ms. Becker-Zamora, Ms. Stremmel, Mr. Baybar, Mr. Martinelli, Mr. Bryon, Mrs. Torrez, Mr. Zelaya and so many more teachers that I cannot think of at the moment. 

Photo Credit: Lauren Mitchell

For friends, thank you theatre club for bringing me into your family, and make me feel loved. Arrianna Gomez, Jesus Cruz-Valdez, Korey Larson, Addy Wilson, Emcee Cabanilla, Ryan Gillis, Adam Zebrowski, Alexis O’Donnell, Madyson Rose, Diana Alfaro Navarro, Jimena Chavez, Angie De Cima & Bryan Gonzalez-Saldana — you are all amazing people, and I love you all! 

And thank you Dakota, you are the most amazing and caring person I know. I think you are the kindest person, and I cannot wait to see how our friendship goes in the future. Thank you sincerely, and thank you for being my best friend. 

Looking back at my life, I believe that I am better now. This story is a survival story, and a story of success, personal success. 

Thank you for everything, Agua Fria. I hope my future will be great and I cannot wait for my goals to be achieved. Well, until the next time we see each other, this is Eli Carson, OwlFeeds News Section Editor, signing off.