Keeping up with Kanika: focusing on people, not places


Juleanna Culilap

From social issues to stuff happening on campus, senior Kanika Kappalayil provides her take in this weekly column.

Kanika Kappalayil, Staff Reporter

This weekend I had the privilege of debating bills and passing legislation in the Texas Senate down in Austin due to my involvement in YMCA’s Youth and Government program.

From talking to lobbyists and the governor’s cabinet to making friends and connecting with those around me to engaging in nightly delegation activities, it hit me hard that club trips were definite highlights of my high points in my high school career.

In the moment and at times, trips can be hectic, exhausting, chaotic, and very frustrating, but they’re also capable of bringing out the best among us as well.

The sense of family and camaraderie it’s been able to build between me and my friends has been undoubtedly beautiful.

Down in Austin, I felt such a heightened sense of unity. Whether we were hyping up friends for their job well done in committee or their passing of bills or simply having each other’s backs emotionally or sharing food, I felt at peace knowing how much love and fun there was to share.

In a few months, graduation will near. We, seniors, will be splitting ways, heading off into the next phase in life wherever the fork in the road will take us.

Our physical presence may not always be among us, but our memories are everlasting.

To underclassmen, I strongly encourage you to enhance your high school life by engaging in clubs and organizations.

Branch out. Make connections. Cherish the moment. Love the process. Not just the destination.

What distinguishes your four years isn’t the safety and comfort you feel in routine, but the challenges you set for yourself that you overcome and the new experiences you open yourself up to.

For me, at the end of the day, what adds fulfillment to my life is the connections and bonds and genuine relationships I get to form with others.

I love sharing my life with those I love, and I am grateful for every opportunity I’ve been able to seize that’s allowed me to just do life with my friends.

People make the place. I know this to be true.