Nina Cairo’s Senior Farewell


Nina Cairo, Editor

     As graduation approaches, I see these last 12 years laid out before me. I see how different I am now from who I once was. I moved twice and went to three different schools in my elementary years, one being in a completely different state. However, that didn’t stop me from finding a home in each school I attended and meeting incredible people I will never forget. 

     I was so excited for 6th grade because even though I hadn’t stayed at an elementary for longer than 2 ½ years, everyone was practically new. Middle school was extremely fun and allowed me to discover who I wanted to be. I will admit, though, that I was weird and went through many phases as most middle schoolers did. For example, my baking phase, Panic! At The Disco phase, makeup obsession phase, brace-face phase, mom jeans phase and, of course, a brief VSCO phase before freshman year. Clearly, middle school was a time for personality experiments and sampling things that thankfully didn’t stick. I had my own little world that I lived in and good friends by my side but I still felt like an outsider. I wasn’t sure how I would be in high school and if that feeling would still linger. To my surprise, I have become a person I’m proud of; I’ve become a person who isn’t afraid to take risks and put herself out there. 

     Now that I have transformed into a version of myself that I believe is wiser and more emotionally mature, I know that it couldn’t have happened without forcing myself to take chances. A motto I have followed throughout the years is “Do it afraid.” This has pushed me to try things I normally would shy away from. The saying encourages me to take risks but also reminds me that it’s okay to be scared and that I shouldn’t let fear control me. 

     Here are some times I took a leap even though I was frightened: In freshman year, I took dance classes all year and tried out for the Drill Team despite having no dance experience. I made the team and although I didn’t continue past 10th grade, I was proud of myself for achieving the goal I set for myself. In sophomore year, despite going through one of the most difficult years of my life, I participated in clubs and broke my pattern of isolation. That year I also asked for help when I needed it most and quit something I worked hard for because it wasn’t right for me at the time. Speaking up and sharing my struggles was terrifying but I did it and I’m so glad I did because my life is filled with such wonderful light now. In junior year, I took on leadership roles and applied to an internship that only 13 students across the country participated in. I was nervous that I wasn’t good enough but getting that position was so rewarding. I gained confidence in my work, learned invaluable skills and discovered the path I want to take for college and my future career. During my senior year, I opened myself up to new friends and opportunities. I learned about the type of people I want to surround myself with and the type of person I want to be. I lost a lot and gained so much simultaneously. I became someone who just “goes for it” even if I’m scared of the response I will receive because life is too short to limit your possibilities. I learned to create the reality I desire for myself and if things don’t work out, I simply move on and try something new. 

     My high school experience wasn’t all just individual growth and responsibility. A lot of wonderful people helped me along the way and have left unforgettable impacts. To my mom and dad, thank you for being the most supportive and encouraging parents. Thank you for fueling my passions and inspiring me to be as intelligent and creative as both of you. To my brother Waylon, thank you for being there and showing me how much you care. I will miss you more than you can ever know and I can’t wait to see the great things you do at this school next year. To my newspaper family, you are my favorite people I have ever met. I’m so thankful that our different paths crossed because you all have made such an impact on my life. I have never laughed as much as I do with this group. We are a weird and wonderful bunch. From the bottom of my heart, I will miss each and every one of you. Specifically for the Wildcat Tales seniors: Alexis, Carson, Emily and Penelope, you are accomplished and capable people who are off to dominate in college. Even though we will be in five different states, I know that our visits home will feel just like the old days. To my Grandmother or Grammie as I called her, losing you this year was so difficult and I still haven’t processed that you’re gone. I’m so glad that I got to visit you one last time and hear you crack jokes even during that dark period. When I feel your glowing presence around me, I am taken back to your kitchen, making cookies and to your porch swing, feeling the breeze on my face as I watch you garden. You were a force and a bright energy that can never be forgotten. I wish you could physically be at my graduation but I know you will be there in your own way.

     It’s been a whirlwind of a high school experience but I did it. Thank you Plano for the years I will never forget. Now I’m off to Boston University and I couldn’t be more excited. Wildcat Tales Co-Editor-in-Chief Nina Cairo signing off.