Penelope Hurtado’s Senior Farewell


Penelope Hurtado, Editor

     My high school years have been an experience, to say the least. It has been an experience that has taught me so many valuable lessons like perseverance, determination, and being ok with letting things change. My high school experience has been filled with laughter, tears, sorrows, good times, bad times, memorable moments, mundane moments and everything in between. I knew going into high school that there would be a couple of unpredictable turns, but I never knew that I would find a second home in the walls of Plano Seniors’ classroom B208. 

     The summer before my junior year of high school, I had to pick my last elective. I remember putting newspaper as an alternative to Spanish I think. I never expected to be actually put in the class. So you can imagine my shock when I saw newspaper on my schedule. I had my doubts about being in the class especially since I had never been in any type of journalism class. But if you would have told me that I would meet some of my absolute best friends because of this class, I would’ve never believed you. As far as I was concerned, I was a starting player on the varsity softball team. I had my friends. I knew what I was good at, and it wasn’t newspaper. The plan was to keep my head down and just do my work. However, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And the walls of B208 had something different in mind.

     I remember walking on the campus of Plano Senior High School for the first in August of 2021. I remember feeling excitedly nervous, to say the least. I remember walking into classroom B208 for the first time surrounded by a bunch of unfamiliar faces never having written a news article a day in my life. But, little did I know that these unfamiliar faces would be people that I would share endless amounts of laughter, memories, smiles, hot takes, and sorrows, with Maya, Michelle, Drake, Brooke, and Nina helped me find another love for a hobby that I didn’t even know existed. They changed my expectations of what newspaper was and gave me something to look forward to in my day. We had become so close and I never thought I could love such an unconventional group of people more. 

     In the blink of an eye, senior year creeps its way in and before I know it, it’s the August of 2022. I was curious to see what our new newspaper class had to offer. I remember being greeted by another set of unfamiliar faces, and I would say this group was even more unconventional than the last. At least in my eyes, we were not your typical newspaper staff. We had athletes, theater kids, NHS members, Swifties, shy and timid characters, and extroverts who love to talk. But, I think that is what made our little news crew so close. There was always something to talk about because we came from different “cliques.” 

      As I said before, I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. I was going through my own struggles at the beginning of senior year. I was struggling with being ok with letting things change. However, I slowly learned that change helps us see what’s most important to us and helps us focus on life and what we want out of it. I was so blinded by things that I wanted to stay the same, that I didn’t even see the amazing group of people that I had right in front of me. 

     I have found some of my absolute best friends this year at a time when I needed them most. They are the most funny, caring, trustworthy, reliable, and empathetic people I have met during my time at Plano. They have helped me see that my worth as a person is defined more than how well I do on a softball field. They have been there for me through this rollercoaster of a year. I am so grateful that our paths got to cross through the Wildcat Tales. We’ve only known each other for a short period of time but I don’t know what I would do without them in my life.

     A special word to my fellow Wildcat Tales seniors: Emily, Carson, Alexis, and Nina, you are wonderful individuals who are going to do amazing things throughout your next endeavors in life. I am sad that our time together is coming to an end but I will never forget the memories we have made. I know that we will continue to make memories together even if we are going to five different states for college. I can’t wait to come back home and catch up and continue to make more memories together. Our snowcone runs, movie nights, froyo talks, prom, and everything in between will always have a place near and dear to my heart. 

     As I move on to my next chapter in life to play softball at Phoenix College, I will take with me the lessons I have learned throughout my time here at Plano Senior High. The friendships and experiences I have gained this year are ones that I wouldn’t trade for the world. To any future Wildcat Tales staff writers reading this, enjoy these next two years because they fly by and before you know it you will be writing your senior farewell. Enjoy the mundane moments and the exciting moments. Embrace the friendships you will create. I am so thankful to have been a part of the Wildcat Tales these past two years. 

     With that being said, Wildcat Tales Co-Editor-In-Chief Penelope Hurtado out and Go Bears!