Four years ago — almost to the exact date — I saw a shooting star for the first time in my life. It was the night I graduated high school, and I was driving home along the Hāmākua Coast of Hawai’i for one of the last times before coming to Mills College. As my run-down car curved along the bend of the coastal gulches, I made a wish to remain friends forever with my high school classmates.
Since that shooting star, many things have changed: I’ve lost touch with most of those friends that I hoped to stick with forever, I’ve made and lost new friends, I’ve become more confident and I’ve grown to be a different person than the one who made that wish.
Perhaps some of the greatest changes have been because of The Campanil. The friends I have made and the challenges that I have faced in the newsroom have given me the opportunity to become a person that I am proud of — a person that I love. The wonderful people on our staff have made me laugh when I didn’t think I could, made me feel like it was okay to cry when I needed to, and made me know that I can fight when I think that I can’t.
The editors of The Campanil this year have made me feel like I belong somewhere for the first time. Growing up with little family and few friends, I often felt as though I were missing something. The constant changes in my family throughout the last four years have left me feeling as if I don’t have a home to return to. But in the late hours of the night, when the other editors and I are up late in the newsroom, laughing and sharing a pizza, or gagging over a pot of way-too-strong coffee in the morning, they have given me something: a home.
There are far too many people for me to thank, so I’ll settle for saying that each member of The Campanil has made on impact on me. I don’t know what my future will look like, but I know that wherever I go, I’ll be reading The Campanil. I’ll be waiting to see what these amazing students do.
I’ll be rooting for them, and not because they are my friends — because they are my family.
Today, as I write this, the image of that shooting star comes back again and again. I’ve been thinking about what I wished for then, and what I would wish for if I saw that flying glimmer now. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t use the wish for myself, but rather, I’d give it to the staff of The Campanil. If anyone deserves to have their wishes come true, it’s these incredible students. I’d give The Campanil staff this wish to thank them for giving me what I’ve been looking for for a long time.
Because of them, I don’t need wishes anymore.