Seniors excel during Senior Defenses: Yaritza’s story

Yaritza Santiago
CG senior

Senior Yaritza Santiago (middle) faced her fears and thrived during her senior defense.

Picture this, you’re floating around aimlessly in space looking for that certain galaxy where you belong. The stars are your endless ideas. Each beautiful but, a surplus nonetheless. You don’t know which stars to follow or to remember, which is driving you insane.

This pretty much sums up my progress preparing for my senior defense. I had no idea what I wanted to talk about and the message I wanted my audience to receive about my four years of being a Common Ground student. Of course I had my eight reflections, but just like the stars, they were all beautiful and I wanted to talk about all of then. Each reflection was like a treasure to me, it held important feelings and moments in my life that I wanted to talk about.

I was completely lost, after reviewing each reflection over and over again in my room and during school for God knows how long, I had a duh moment. My years in high school were all constant mental battles with myself and trying to get over my depression. Each one of my reflections were proof of that.

After that realization, putting my story together was a piece of cake, at least so I thought. The closer I got to the day of my defense, an endless sea of emotions hit me. I was a complete nervous stressed out mess. Going over it with my best friend Ihsan and Ms. Foran, I felt like I was draining in those emotions.

Once the day came I was on the drive to school and I had a nervous breakdown in the car. Watching people fill in the seats made my stomach turn, I was smiling so hard in order to hide my fear. The moment I began to speak all those heavy feelings just disappeared in the blink of an eye. I was finally comfortable in my own skin. When everything ended the joy I felt when everyone gave me a hug and told me I did fantastic made my eyes water up. It was such a blessed moment for me. I loved every moment leading up to it, finding your galaxy is worth millions.


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