The growth of confidence and passion

Good people open eyes to better things

By Jesse Vasquez | May | June 2020
When I started school, I attended Brawley Union High. Not being from here, I felt overwhelmed by being an outsider and I was filled with anxiety. I didn’t really know how to handle these feelings, however, as the year progressed I was able to suppress them, yet I still never felt like I belonged. After awhile I started to like school and decided to relax. I made friends and I began to feel like I was fitting in. Once I started to let my guard down I met someone I found myself becoming attached to. Eventually our happy interactions turned negative. Words were twisted and lies spread. It was too much for me to handle. I wanted to belong — instead I became the target of gossip. This triggered the downfall of my mental health, and from there everything changed. I started seeing the world in ways that I never thought of before. I began failing all my classes, stopped caring about my education, and my self-image and worth meant nothing. All I wanted was to disappear.  My sophomore year came and my mental state was to a point where I lacked motivation to do anything except for eating and sleeping. My parents and I decided that online school would be better for me since I didn’t have the energy to be out of the house. I thought all my problems would be solved since I didn’t have to be around others, but I later discovered that this did not work in my favor. I became even more unmotivated, and the stress from these actions only worsened my anxiety and mental state. I failed every class. I was at the lowest point in my life. I thought my life would end there. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to come back from this. I had no choice but to go back to public school for my junior year. At this point I had convinced myself that I wasn’t going to graduate. I was only going to see my friends again. My first day back I met up with some friends and I realized how much we’d all matured. For the first time in a while I wasn’t feeling negatively. I had a genuine feeling of relief, and this created in me a newfound reassurance that somehow I would be OK. That year felt different from my previous years of schooling. Surrounding myself with good people opened my eyes to better things, and in the process, I began to heal.  Now in my senior year, I attend Desert Valley High School. I have my priorities and mental state in check and I’m preparing for my future. I used to be told that things would get better, but I didn’t believe it. I now have a new confidence and passion to do something with my life and my future. Although going through all this change has definitely affected me, I realized I was able to get through it. And while I haven’t fully overcome those negative feelings, I have a better grasp and understanding of myself. I’ve come to accept my flaws and embrace them. Attending this school has helped tremendously in making my future seem more clear. There are amazing teachers here and I have received help beyond what other schools have offered. I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me to succeed. 

Jesse Vasquez is a student at Desert Valley High School in the Brawley Union High School District

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Association of California School Administrators