The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Thank You, Ariana Parizadeh


As we grow up, we look on, at those who have accomplished great things, for many it may be athletes, influencers, scientists, you name it. For me, growing up, my sister has been the largest inspiration. From a young age, I always admired her for working hard. Early in the morning I would wake up and see her reading books in the living room. I never took her as the studious type until I fully understood the gravity of grades when I went into middle school. 

Life in quarantine was like no other. The complete isolation and desolate environment led me through a time that proved hardship. Throughout the countless hours, I spent in my room, playing games online, laughing with friends, or just hanging out around the house to cope with the fact that no one bothered to talk with each other, Ariana was always in her room—never laughing, never yelling, nothing, just complete silence. 

In the split moments that I would catch her outside of her room, she was always snacking, leaving for lunch, or just trying to watch some Netflix in the living room. She always left her room organized, I don’t know why, but I always found it peculiar. Any time I left my room was because I wasn’t calling someone or playing a game. Whenever I came back it would look like a warzone of reused clothes, piles of trash, and old bed sheets. 

I never thought of it, but by the time I realized what it truly meant to be academically competitive, it was simply too late; she had gone off to college. Through all the hours I had spent in isolation, yelling at my computer, she spent studying, working hard, and making our parents proud. Never in my entire life have I seen a person work as hard as my sister. Through all the years I spent in elementary and middle school, her door remained as a symbol of triumph, hard work, dedication, and inspiration. 

As she had graduated when I reached the 7th grade, I felt the same sort of isolation that I did during quarantine. Her room remained desolate; every once in a while I would go in there just to remember what it was like when I visited, or just to steal whatever looked cool. I missed her, but over time I grew used to her being outside of the household. Every once in a while she would come back from college to visit for the holidays and it was nice, except for every time we would get into fights. 

My life with her remained like this until very recently. As high school started I don’t think I’ve truly admired her as much as I ever have. I had started my year off being addicted to running; I tried out for cross country before it had begun and instantly fell in love with the team and its people. Any free time I could get, I ran; I wanted to improve myself for the better. 

Nevertheless, as young as I was in elementary something would catch my mind. No matter what the conditions were, Ariana always ran. She also did cross country, and I could tell that she was dedicated. Every day I would see her leave for a run, and then she would come back. I never really believed it, but she really did run five miles a day, five! I never really felt the gravity of that accomplishment until I did cross country myself; only then did I truly realize how difficult it was.

September 16th, 2023 was the hardest day of my life; only having one month of training I ran the most viewed cross country race in America, Woodbridge. For my first race, the anxiety was real; thousands of people were watching, but the adrenaline was as well. Two days beforehand I had contacted my sister and asked her if she wanted to come watch the race (Woodbridge is located near Irvine). She did. On race day I had no idea where she was; regardless, the gun would go off whether I found her or not. As the race went on my heart pounded; thoughts of stopping and giving up flooded my mind. I kept on asking myself, where is Ariana? 

At the halfway mark my pain grew; I knew I didn’t have it in me to finish the race; over all the families cheering on their relatives, I kept wondering where she was. Finally, I heard a faint voice out of the corner; she grew closer and closer as I ran, yelling, “GO RYAN!”  Regardless of the pain I felt I continued; I began to pass people at a rate I never thought possible. At the mile two marker, she was there again, cheering as loud as she could; I pushed on. Finally, as I neared the finish my team gave me the final shout, and I sprinted as fast as I could. 

Whether it was a race or not, my sister was there for me, inspiring me, and giving me the ability to fight on. That is why, I will love and appreciate my sister no matter what. Happy Thanksgiving—and thank you, Ariana!

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