Hope Ishizaka: To the Class of 2020

Hope Ishizaka, Director of Sales

     Throughout my four years at MHS I have created many memories, friendships, learned lessons and achieved many things. I can certainly say that these past years of high school was a wild ride.

     When the announcement was made that we will not be returning to school, I was honestly crushed and pretty upset. I genuinely wanted to be at school with my friends everyday, run my final season of track, go to prom with my boyfriend, have my last day of school and hear my family “chee hoo” for me as I graduate at the Aloha Stadium. In a sense I kind of felt cheated because I did not have the typical senior year like other grade levels, and I was pretty crushed because that was what I was looking forward to. I know this is out of my control and there is nothing I can do. However, what I can do is reflect upon my four years and say ‘thank you’ to those who have impacted me the most. 

     Prior to high school, I attended a very small private school. Since I live in Mililani, my parents decided to send me to MHS. Honestly, I was very scared and nervous because I did not know anyone and I never attended public school before. My parents enrolled me into summer school P.E. so I could 1.) get my P.E. credit taken care of before high school started, 2.) become familiar with the campus, and 3.) hopefully make some friends so I knew some people before entering high school. I actually did enjoy summer school P.E. and I did make some friends. Although I am not close with them anymore, I want to say thank you to those who befriended me and welcomed me in summer school P.E.

     During my freshman year, I was all over the place and very lost. I was trying to figure out who I was, who my friends were, what I wanted to do and everything in between. I think what saved me during freshman year was soccer season. As I look back at my soccer career, I can say with confidence that my freshman season was the best and a highlight of my high school years. From tryouts to team bondings to playing against the boys to conditioning days and to winning OIA’s, it was the best season and a great team that I was a part of. To my teammates, thank you for making my freshman soccer season a highlight and something I will always remember. 

     If it was not for Ryanne Navarro, I would not have joined the track team after soccer season. So thank you Ry for introducing me to the sport that I have fallen in love with and will now pursue in college. 

     Sophomore year was a year of learning and figuring out who my true friends were. I want to say thank you to my lifelong best friends Kylie Takamoto and Randi Ouye for always sticking by my side and teaching me what true friendship is all about. From last minute plans to drama and long rants to car rides full of laughter, we have been through everything together. I am so grateful for them because high school would not be the same without these girls.

     With my sophomore season of track, my coaches influenced me to try a new event. At the beginning of the season I did not think that I was going to be any good or even make it to states, but I was very wrong. To my coaches, I want to say thank you for believing in me from the start,  pushing me to my limits and never giving up on me. 

     In my junior year there were many highs and many, many lows. I had a lot of personal drama going on and I was very stressed and confused. However, despite all of this, I tried to make the best of the situations I was in. This may be contradicting, but I want to say thank you to those who have hurt me and put me through a lot of drama. Although it sucked and hurt, I learned how to love others as well as myself, I became stronger and I taught myself how to be happy and independent. 

     In my junior year, I decided to take Mililani Times, MHS’ newspaper publication class. I chose to take this course so I could step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I did not realize how much hard work and dedication this class required. I learned that Mililani Times is a publication of the students and this class was a reflection of who we are as a staff, school and community. Being in this class made me realize I was a part of something bigger than myself and it made me really appreciate newswriting and journalism. Thank you to Mr. Sato, Chloe Kitsu, Maya Hirano, Jacob Nakasone and to all my fellow staffers for being an amazing team and family.

     During this year, I also decided to try new things. Running cross country and becoming the captain was something I would have never imagined myself doing in high school. However, I learned to love and appreciate the sport. It is not easy at all and it sucks 95% of the time, but having teammates who are going through the same thing as you and pushing one another to finish is an amazing experience and feeling. When soccer season rolled around, I joined the boys soccer team as a manager. I enjoyed managing and being able to be around the sport I grew up with. To my cross country teammates, the boy soccer team and fellow managers, thank you for all the laughs and memories that we created together. 

     With a successful sophomore season of track, I was eager to begin my junior season. It was not easy and I had to train much harder compared to my sophomore year. Running three events was a challenge at times, but at the end of the day, I loved it. Becoming the OIA Girls Team Champions for the first time in ten years, competing at states and earning a medal is another highlight that I will always reflect upon and cherish. Thank you to my amazing co-captains and teammates for working so hard day in and day out. 

     I also want to say thank you to all of my teachers who I’ve had throughout my four years. Prior to high school, I had the idea that high school teachers didn’t care about me. However, I was completely wrong. All of my teachers that I’ve had during my time at MHS have genuinely cared about me, helped me, checked up on me and made sure I was okay. To all of the teachers I’ve had, thank you for teaching me and making my high school years memorable; and to Mrs. Schrock and everyone in the College and Career Center, thank you for helping me throughout my senior year and making sure I was on track with everything. I really appreciate you all! 

     With my senior year, I wanted to do everything I could as it is my final year. Going to the homecoming dance, participating in spirit week and attending sporting events were things that I wanted to make sure I did. Senior year was the year I was going to go all out and make sure I did everything I could to make the most of it. 

     Senior year of cross country was probably the best season I had. Although I didn’t perform the best, it was a great season for my team. Bus rides, team bondings and Zippy’s and ice cream after races were the small things that ended up being the big things of my season. But the biggest highlight of my season would be falling in love with my teammate. It sounds weird, but I’m very grateful for my boyfriend. To Jake Hirayama, thank you for being my teammate, my best friend, my #1 supporter and my boyfriend. Thank you for sticking by my side through all the good and bad, ups and downs and everything in between. Thank you for making my senior year the absolute best. 

     During my senior year, my friends and I did the absolute most. From spontaneous sunrise hikes to late night golf trips, we did everything together. I am so grateful for my friends as they have constantly supported me, made me laugh and stuck by my side through it all. To Randi, Kylie, Jake, Tyler Uyeno, Danean Wurlitzer, Kaylee Mock, Daniel Stewart, Meagan Tamashiro, Enoch Han, Nicole Arios, Declan Campbell and Reese Yamamoto, thank you for all the memories and laughs. You guys have been the best friends I ever had. 

     Although this isn’t the way I wanted my senior year to end, I am very grateful for all of the memories I have created. It has been a crazy ride and a very memorable four years at MHS. As one chapter closes, I am excited for the next chapter that we will be beginning. Here’s to the class of 2020. Congratulations Seniors!