Senior Tributes

Emily Gabriel, managing editor

June 21, 2021

I never realized the truth behind the saying “Time flies” until I realized that in a few months, I will be boarding a plane to leave for college. I never would have imagined that my last year of high school would be spent on Zoom, but looking back, I think I made the best of it.

My high school experience was bittersweet to say the least, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I joined the cross country team as a freshman, and I just completed my first marathon on June 13. I discovered my passions in high school, through my work helping others in the Student Government Association and mentoring students for the National Honor Society. I learned how to protect my body from injuries in the Athletic Training Club and participated in field experience in my Introduction to Education class.

As cliché as it sounds, I was able to find myself and mature at LHS. I made some important friendships and memories that I will keep forever. Of course, I had my fair share of breakdowns at 10 p.m. while trying to complete homework, but that is part of the high school experience.

Over the past four years, I was mentored by amazing teachers and coaches who pushed me to do my best and inspired me to follow my dreams. However, I am at the point in my life where I’m ready to leave this place of comfort and security. I grew up with many of the people I am graduating with, and soon we will be parting ways. 

I have fond memories of driving to school with my brother Jared during my freshman year, and I want to thank him for giving me rides. I will also miss participating in extracurricular activities with my sister Sarah, who took on the role of SGA vice president while I was president. 

As cliché as it sounds, I was able to find myself and mature at LHS. I made some important friendships and memories that I will keep forever.

I have always wanted to be a teacher, and I thank The Lighthouse adviser Ms. Pastor for being such a great inspiration. She taught me everything there is to know about writing and introduced me to poetry, which I now love. It was a privilege to have Ms. Pastor as my teacher all four years of high school, and I only wish to be as good of an educator as she is. Her dedication to The Lighthouse is remarkable. I joined the journalism program last year, and I have loved my role as a managing editor this year. I wish nothing but the best for the future of this publication. 

I never had a dream college until last summer when I discovered Baylor University in Waco, Texas. It started off as a far-off fantasy. I assumed there was no way my parents would allow me to move 1,400 miles away, but it is crazy what unexpected twists life can take. I was accepted in December and then worked hard for months to collect enough scholarship money to be able to afford it. I am so grateful, and I can’t thank my parents enough for what they have given me. I will miss my family so much, but I am excited to start a new adventure at Baylor where I will be pursuing an education degree in secondary mathematics. 

This was not my ideal senior year, but I’m proud of how far I have come. I started as a little freshman, and I have grown into a strong young woman. As I say goodbye to New Jersey and hello to Texas, I vow to never forget where I came from. I look forward to making the transformation from a Lyndhurst Golden Bear to a Baylor Bear. With peace and love, goodbye LHS and hello college.

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