Carolina Soto: Editor-In-Chief’s Farewell


Senior year has been a year I have been able to focus on myself and the people and things I truly care about.

By Carolina Soto, Editor-In-Chief

When you think of high school before entering freshman year, you either come in clueless of what you are going to do the last four years of your adolescence, or you come in with a serious plan of things to accomplish because you’ve been waiting for this moment forever. Whether you figure yourself out in high school, high school begins and ends with lessons and growth. It sure did for me, and it is a feeling of prestige to have experienced it.

Before entering high school, I was a Citrus Grove Middle Schooler who wanted a new scene in my life, and if that meant meeting new people and going to a high school where I didn’t know anyone, I was all for it. Everyone I knew in middle school had the plan to attend Miami High. I in fact wanted to attend Coral Gables Senior High School. I would beg my parents everyday to let me attend. Yet, my dad would push the idea of how attending Miami High would be better for me considering it was much closer to where I live and the good reputation it had. In the end, both of my parents had the final word. I was not upset at their decision, considering the fact I had nothing against Miami High. Little did I know Miami High, the teachers, and friends I met were going to have the biggest impact on my teenage years.


Baby Sting

I remember going to orientation a week before the first day of freshman year. The auditorium was stunning and nothing like any other school auditorium I had seen. I sat with a middle school friend at the time during the whole orientation. I remember vividly turning back to observe the Class of 2020, and I was impressed to see different faces I had never seen before. Orientation was over and before I knew it, the first day of freshman year came.

On the first day of school, I had Mr. Wilson as homeroom teacher; he passed us our class schedule and other handouts to get signed. As everyone left homeroom to head to first period, I was one of the last ones to leave. Hallways were crowded, and there was barely space to move. I was nervous to come late to my first period. I was a wreck that morning, worried, walking one hallway to the other, asking teachers for directions and dropping my paper schedule on the floor while others would stare.

Physical Science with Mr. Jara was my first period. He introduced himself to the class, and had us all introduce ourselves, tell one thing we cared about, and what we wanted to be once we left high school. I remember wanting to be a psychologist at the time. After my first period, I had Painting 1 for third period with Ms. Lee who was my 6th grade art teacher as well. For the most part, the beginning of freshman year was making new friends and trying to figure out the easy routes to get to class without getting lost in the maze I considered Miami High to be. There were more students than I thought it had. One day I would see someone in the hallways and for the rest of the school year, never see them again. Every day I saw new faces.

I met seniors during an elective class I used to have during freshman year, Band 1, who I will never forget for being so welcoming, genuine, and guiding me through all Miami High offered from the clubs, classes, and activities. They taught me so much I did not know about life at Miami High and along the way they shared real life advice on high school. The rest of the school year was simply just getting the hang of Miami High and everything it offered. I did not join any clubs because I just wanted to focus on my studies. I started and ended the year academically successful and created a strong bond with teachers and friends. Looking back, being a freshman was not bad at all.

Sophomore Year

Entering as a sophomore, putting in all the work I did during freshman year granted me my wish of having honors classes. Sophomore year was also the year I finally had elective courses I was interested in.

An unforgettable elective course I will never forget was Journalism 1. I at the time did not know the difference between a creative writing and journalism class. So I chose Journalism 1 thinking it was going to be a creative writing class. My expectations went downhill on the first day of class. Eventually, however, I grew to love it. The love of reporting grew and the skills I was gaining showed in my use of Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. I was awarded Most Outstanding New Journalist that year. I remember wanting to switch out of journalism many times,  but that never happened, so I believe it was all for a reason.

In the beginning of sophomore year, I wanted to branch out of my comfort zone and be more than just my academics, so since I was now familiarized with student life at Miami High but not enough to say I was part of it,  I spent most of the beginning of my sophomore year deciding on what major club I wanted to join. I knew how much of a tradition it was to be part of one of the major clubs (Interact, Beta, Honoria, and Key) here at Miami High, and that was an opportunity I did not want to miss. I spent about one month going to one weekly meeting each club held, and I finally made my decision.

Interact service club became my family that year. Interact was the only club out of all four in Miami High that caught my attention from the very first moment I decided to attend a meeting right before homecoming. Once I entered the room, I felt the positive energy of everyone. I felt wanted and comfortable. Every Wednesday was the day I was looking forward to the most because of weekly meetings. I walked in the homecoming parade that year with Interact while holding up props and cheering on my club.. I became so involved in services that I was awarded Interact’s Underclassman Member of the Year at their banquet that year and was given the title as club treasurer for my upcoming year as a junior.

At the end of the year, I was also given the title as Recording secretary of the Science Honor Society. I as well made the decision at the end of sophomore year, to take three AP courses for my junior year. The goal at that time was to be equally as full in academics and club involvement.


My Junior Year was the most busy of all. I started off the year with AP U.S. History, AP Human Geography, and AP 2-D Art and Design and the rest were honors classes.  On top of that, I was more involved in school activities than I have ever been. Not only was I an officer for two clubs, but I also was trying to be part of other clubs.

During the first month of Junior year, I came to terms with myself and knew I wasn’t enjoying AP Human Geography as a class so I dropped it. So then that became one less thing to stress about.

I participated in the homecoming parade as a dancer.  That year’s theme was books, and Interact chose Coraline. I stayed everyday afterschool from 3:30 pm till 6:00 pm and at times 7:30 pm. I would come home racing to get settled in and eat dinner to then straight away start AP course studying and homework. By the time I would start work, it would be 8:30 pm, and I would finish all my homework in late nights, sometimes as late as 2am.

It wasn’t until that year’s  homecoming parade was over, when I heard the news I was waiting for quite a while. I was so tired that day, and I remember having Journalism 2 during 8th period. To be honest, I was going to leave school early, but for some reason I felt I just could not leave without going to Journalism class. I remember I showed up, and Mr. DeNight made me and my other classmate, Annette, who was running for Editor-In-Chief as well, do newspaper duties such as updating our bulletin board and making sure the newspaper was going to be sent to other schools. After we did all those duties together, Mr. DeNight called us over to his desk, and he presented us both as co Editor-In-Chiefs. I was beyond happy; it was the news that honestly made my day.

Beside being given the title of Editor-In-Chief of the school newspaper, the Junior Ring ceremony was another highlight of my Junior Year. I will never forget how special the ring ceremony was. A night to truly remember.

A little over halfway through the school year almost ending, I ended up resigning from my Science Honor Society officer position and my Interact officer position. My mental health was not at its best due to the overload of class work and extra curriculars. The officer positions and even some clubs that I became part of were not fun anymore. They felt more as a chore rather than something I enjoyed. I became jaded of all school activities so that was when I came to the realization that I was the only one fully in control of my decisions and that meant ending my misery.

Being a junior was draining, but it was a year that taught me that I am worth more as a human than any officer position I held or class I took. My mental health became my first priority from that point on.

Final Year

Senior year has been a year I have been able to focus on myself and the people and things I truly care about and that includes my success in academics.

I took two AP courses this year, AP French, and AP Art Drawing. They were AP courses I was interested in and not courses I chose to look good in my college applications.

Although I have always been a good academic student, in senior year I felt more invested in what I was learning–whether that was giving more time to studying or not procrastinating my AP Art Portfolio. I also remained as a member of Interact and continued going to meetings and services and still held my position as Editor-In-Chief of the school newspaper, which has always been something I cared for.

During homecoming season, I got to experience my first and last homecoming dance with my boyfriend, but unlike past years I did not stay for hours after-school in dance practice or to build a float like others would for their final year at Miami High.

I did stay at least once or twice a week to help Interact with props but turned out I did not even go to school the day of the homecoming parade. I did intend to walk in the parade that day, yet I had purchased concert tickets with friends to go see electric duo, The Chainsmokers and pop band, 5 Seconds of Summer at The American Airlines Arena that happened to be that same day. Since I got general admission tickets, I woke up at 6 am and met up with them at the arena around 9 am. That is right; the concert started at 8 pm, but me and my friends were in line for more than 10 hours to get front row. We survived on snacks that entire day and had to share one umbrella because it ended up pouring. It was all totally worth it because we got what we wanted, front row.

January then rolled around, and that meant Senior Week and renting my cap and gown. When I gave the money for it, it felt official, the thought of graduating. I was excited for Senior Week because it was a time to receive the recognition and celebration of being halfway through senior year and getting closer to graduation. I went to the senior breakfast and senior picnic since they were the most popular to go to.

Then in February I purchased my Grad Bash ticket and prom ticket. It was a time where I felt highly accomplished in what I had done the past four years and felt truly happy to soon experience the most anticipated events that seniors looked forward to the most.

COVID-19 Strike

Unfortunately, those feelings of anticipation all went downhill when in March schools were shutting down, and Miami High was one of them due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

At first my hopeful self felt this was all an exaggeration and that soon we would be back in our classrooms. I then realized how serious the situation was and how people were fighting for their lives while dying all alone in hospital beds. Because this pandemic has brought everyone grief, I mourned. I mourned the shivers I won’t feel when crossing the graduation stage I won’t walk in June while hearing my family cheer on for me. I mourned the restaurant my parents were going to take me to after graduating as a celebration. I mourned the pictures I will not take with my fellow peers and teachers on that day. I mourned the dress I can’t wear to prom. I mourned the pictures I won’t be able to keep to see 30 years later. I mourned all the expectations I had for my final year of high school. The Class of 2020 high school seniors have the right to mourn it all.

I can’t say how this all will end because unfortunately this is all a wait and see situation we are stuck in, but when it does, we will look back at this exact moment and remember the feelings we felt, but also how we came back stronger than ever and it all turned out okay. I am by no means overshadowing the bigger issue of this pandemic that has not just impacted Class of 2020’s, but absolutely everyone’s lives. This pandemic has taken away ways of life, routines, consciousnesses, and for others their time on earth.

Every decade has its hardships, and this happens to be one of them. It will all be a story to tell down the line to future generations when they hear about it in a class and ask us about it. As corny as this may sound, we must hold on tight to see the light. At this time, I am simply thankful I have been given the privilege to still do school work from home and most importantly be given the privilege to be alive and healthy because I believe it could be far worse.

You Are Worth More

If I could give advice to my younger self, it would be that being involved in more than 10 clubs, holding various officer positions, and filling up your schedule with AP classes won’t fulfill your life with happiness nor guarantee success. You are worth more as a human being than any of it all. Being selfish is okay. Taking time for yourself is okay. Saying no to plans is okay. Your mental sanity is more important than the things you have to get done.

You can’t do anything in life if you aren’t taking care of yourself. I wish I would have been more realistic about things and not been so hard on myself when it came to being active in school. I wish I would’ve spent more time on the things I actually cared for rather than the things I didn’t. I do acknowledge some may handle the responsibility thrown at them better, and perhaps that is because they enjoy what they do.

Yet, I realized I wasn’t happy and how toxic it was becoming. I would come home exhausted, regretful, stressed, and unhappy. I would question all of what I was involved with: “All of this, for what?” Some of the things I was involved with were nothing but just a title to have and slap on a college application. Focus on what drives your passion and happiness. Don’t waste your four years of high school on things you don’t care for. Be involved in things you will look back on with a smile and no regret.

Miami High, Farewell and Thank you

Miami High is a school that brought me opportunities I can’t imagine receiving anywhere else such as the classes I took and the amazing education I got from teachers and connections I formed with them. I am honored to have experienced all of my four years of high school at Miami High. High school is what you make of it. No high school experience will ever be the same as someone else’s, so embrace the difference. Being a high school student brought me many lessons but being a stingaree was truly the most unforgettable.


Miami High is a school that brought me opportunities I can’t imagine receiving anywhere else such as the classes I took and the amazing education I got from teachers and connections I formed with them.