“I Can See It Now” – from Julianna Quiroz, ’13

Not all things in life are easy. In fact, most events one goes through in his or her life are quite difficult, but no matter how trivial an obstacle may seem at the time, there are things to learn from all experiences.

My first year of high school was spent observing other students’ behavior and gauging whether or not my experience would be similar to the scared, lonely, and tormented era I lived through during my time at my public elementary and middle schools. I was already establishing myself as an intelligent student who worked well at work and was a positive force in the classroom, but I began to feel the same cowardice that had characterized me just a summer before. I was intimidated and fearful but the few friends I had in my class helped me overcome whatever limits I set on myself to excel in my studies no matter how my social life was.

I finally had friends. Before I entered Cristo Rey Boston, or NCC as it was previously named when I was a freshman, I only knew a few individuals I could call “friends”. Unfortunately, most of those colleagues studied at other schools and the others lacked true skills of support and loyalty.  My mind already determined I would have the same fate here, but there was something about the school that did not allow it to happen. Sure, the first few months of unintentionally hurtful jokes were incredibly difficult for me to bear, but my classmates helped me realize that society is full of ignorant people who will say things that will hurt one’s feelings; it is an unavoidable part of life. I was enlightened to the possibility of changing my dark, unproductive future with one of happiness and prosperity. There was one thing I had total control over on Earth: myself.

This is the key to my present success. I do not allow people’s disapprovals, actions, words, and thoughts to dictate my reactions. My mouth does not speak out in defense but in hopes to help my attacker understand what they are not thinking about. I look forward to coming to school because it is no longer looming over my head in a cloud of doubt. We are all friends here. If we are not, at least we try to be. This peace allows the students to enjoy their time and take advantage of the great academic resources we have at Cristo Rey. Once the brain has been allowed to release unnecessary thoughts, it has time to process the important events. When you get an A on a test you studied very hard for, you can finally rejoice.

Now I sit in our library which is full of busy students caught in the rush of the morning. I am no longer intimidated by them. They are not shackled by their worries. Everyone is surrounded by their own cumulative happiness and support and I am very glad I had my experience to allow me to enjoy this sight. I can finally see it now.

Julianna Quiroz

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