“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” In other words, the force behind success is desire. For a senior in high school, desire can sometimes lack: waking up day after day before the sun rises just to go to a place that will only be reality for another year, it’s monotonous and exhausting. I, and my peers alike, sometimes lose sight of the long-term goal. That’s why every week in my AVID class I look forward to Fridays, not just because it is the last day in our weekly prison sentence, but because it is the day we get to listen to a guest speaker.
Nobody knows what it’s like to be me, that’s true, but listening to these speakers gives me hope. They share their stories of trial and triumph, and I go to my next class feeling like I can accomplish anything I want to. The desire is once again alight in me when I see a passionate adult talk about their dreams, their successes and especially their hardships. I thought I had a rough go until Mr. Diaz shared with us the story of his humble beginnings. I thought that I challenged myself until Mrs. Haider exposed us to her life in the Army. Even staff members I already knew, like Mrs. Meyer, were suddenly akin to me; she understood what I was going through, she could empathize with me, and I had no idea until she came to speak in our AVID class.
Though on the surface it seems like a tedious thing, every person has a different story. We high school seniors are indeed on the cusp of the rest of our lives. The scariest thing for us is the fear of the unknown, what lies beyond graduation, what do I do when I wake up the day after the blue caps and gowns are put away? These speakers have done it. They know exactly how we feel and that is something that none of us take for granted. It is an honor to have people who care enough to open themselves up to our class and it remains a key privilege that we AVID students enjoy thoroughly.
Katrina James is a Senior at Walla Walla High School and an AVID student.