Senior Column — Jorge Espinoza ’22


Jorge Espinoza, Features Editor

If this were a coming-of-age film, this would be the part in which I pour my heart out to strangers on the internet. I’d talk about the mistakes I made in school and what I’ve regretted the most. I’d leave tips for under-classmen who will never actually read this. And I would feel really gooda cathartic type of good. And then, I’d spend an awesome summer that starts with graduation caps falling down, all-out parties, 100° F weather, sweat, shorts, polos, a warm breeze, my arms stretched out as I peek out of Emily’s sunroof.

But life isn’t a coming-of-age story. It’s just not.

I think that’s the hardest thing that I have had to accept. Not in an egoistic way (a.k.a having to acknowledge that I don’t have the ‘main character vibes’). I mean the planned-out map that these stories have. They have a beginning and an end. You know that that hot actor who plays the 18-year-old lead will find ways to overcome the obstacles that life throws at themwhether it is taking them on face to face or finding loopholes and going around them. But at the end of the day, you know exactly what will happen next and you know that they will somehow persevere. It’s literally a script. 

A script that none of us have but we pretend we do.

It’s like a lifeline, almost. Air-support. It keeps you going, thinking that all of your hardships will be worth it. Maybe they are. Maybe they’re not. But you can’t live in a fantasy. It’s so easy to pretend that the world revolves around you. And sometimes, it’s easier to pretend that it does than to face the fact that it actually doesn’t. It doesn’t help that nowadays, confidence is intertwined with arrogance, ignorance, and hatredtraits that, in some way or another, all film protagonists have. So we either allow our personality to be corrupt or we play a minor character in our own lives. 

At first, I thought this was a bad thing. I wouldn’t have the makeover scene or the montage or the quirky background music that played whenever I did an act of rebellion. But, rather gradually, I came to the conclusion that maybe this was a good thing. A chance to structure my life as I want it. I didn’t have to learn an important life lesson by the end of high school or get over some obstacle. We could just take it one day at a time. We can have an open canvas.

The truth is, these probably weren’t the best four years of my life. The next four won’t be eitherhopefully. Because if they were, what would that mean for the rest of my lifetime? Will it be boring? Dull? I refuse to allow my life to go that way.

So maybe it is the ENTJ in me, but I have found control over my life that I didn’t think I had. And maybe it sounds optimistic and silly and undeniably ridiculous, but I believe that this is our greatest strength: to be able to make our lives our own. To paint the Mona Lisa on that canvas. Or A Birth of Venus. Or maybe our own American Gothic

So whether you’re staying in Arcadia or going to the other side of the country this fall, don’t forget that your future is not written in the stars. You are not following a script. Your life is as rich as you make it. You’re in control. And don’t ever let anybody rain on your parade.


To Mom, Dad, and Omar: thanks for supporting me in everything that I pursue. I may not be perfect. Scratch that. I am not perfect. I have made mistakes. I make mistakes. And I will keep making mistakes. But I hope that when the sun falls, you can still look me in the eye and be proud.


To Emily, Michelle, and Angel: as the days get hotter and summer comes creeping in, I know that my time with you is limited. We only have a couple of days together. But I am confident that wherever we are, we will carry this bond that we have now. It’s not something that can easily be broken. After all, even in the worst of stories, love always finds a way.