Class of 2023 Recap

Abigail Gonzalez, Writer

Emotions at this time of the year run wild for the class of 2023, as they are the final class to graduate that was affected in high school by Covid-19. Many seniors have a mix of emotions as they leave Downey High. Before the class of 2023 makes a departure, some seniors have shared their thoughts on graduating soon, their favorite memories, and some advice they have for underclassmen.

Here’s what some seniors said when asked about their thoughts on graduating:

Ethan Gomez: “I feel sad and happy about graduating.” 

Cassandra Beltran: “I feel neutral about it, it hasn’t really hit me yet.” 

Pao Dorado:  “I feel excited but nervous about graduating.” 

Abigail Chinchilla: “I feel excited yet nervous about graduating because I’m going not going to see the people I grew up with basically my whole life anymore. It’s scary how we’re all going into our own directions by ourselves to start our lives.” 

Jaycen Clark: “I feel nervous but also excited.” 

Devin Argueta: “I feel extremely honored to graduate.”

Amado Necochea: “I feel really ready to get out of high school. I really just want to get away and do something really exciting. I can’t wait to make new genuine connections with new people with things in common.

Zahid Hernandez: “With graduation, I feel excited to start a new life when I go to college but also sad that I’ll be leaving all my friends I grew up with. I want to graduate but wish it wasn’t closing in so fast, the sadness and joy it’s going to bring is something that I don’t want to experience just yet.” 

Maggie Amaya: “I feel odd, it hasn’t really hit me yet but I feel like this nauseous feeling like the feeling you get before a roller coaster.” 

Saira Alam: “I’m excited to graduate. I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life.” 

Valerie Carlos: “I feel relieved about graduating like there’s a rock off my shoulders.” 

Azalea Padilla: “I feel really excited and happy. It’s a bittersweet time but I’m really excited about the next journey.” 

Kaitlynn Mendez: “I’m feeling sad and overwhelmed, but also really excited.” 

Gio Aguirre: “I feel a mix of excitement and wistfulness. Excitement in the sense that I’m moving forward in life to something greater, but wistful in the idea that I’ll never have these memories again.” 

Diego Fierro: “I feel relieved that everything is over and I can move on to college but I know that I am going to miss it. It went by so fast especially with COVID and I sometimes wish I had more time.” 


Seniors also shared their favorite memories from high school:

Ethan Gomez: “Spending time with friends at lunch and prom.”

Cassandra Beltran: “My favorite memory was at the winter formal.”

Pao Dorado: “My favorite memories from high school are the prom, the anime club, and meeting new friends.” 

Abigail Chinchilla: “Downey vs Warren, the football games, and any other school-spirited activities because everyone comes together and participates which makes it fun.” 

Jaycen Clark: “Getting to meet different people and going to football games.”

Devin Argueta: “My favorite memories have been out of school.”

Amado Necochea: “Favorite memories would probably be the prom I went to in junior year, some engineering and programming courses, and the best one for sure is all the Esports competitions – being on stage was an amazing experience.”  

Zahid Hernandez: “My favorite memory from high school would be when I watched one of my friends struggling to cut onions in cooking class. The onions literally made her cry it was so funny.” 

Maggie Amaya: “The school dances such as hoco and winter formal because it’s always nice to dress nice and hang out with people you know looking formal.” 

Saira Alam: “One of my favorite memories would be the powderpuff game.” 

Valerie Carlos: “My favorite memory is definitely the Downey vs Warren football week because being in band makes it so much more fun and creates lots of hype.”

Azalea Padilla: “The football games are so much fun and are definitely the most memorable part of high school and the school dances. Even the classes where I have friends and we just laugh and goof off.” 

Kaitlynn Mendez: “The football games and prom.” 

Gio Aguirre: “There are two different types of memories that were my favorite in high school. One of them being the moments of achievement in my interests such as robotics, esports, and academics. The other type of memories being the times where I enjoyed being a kid and had no care in the world about anything else other than the moment.” 

Diego Fierro: “Most of my favorite memories were during junior year, when I really branched out and met people and had fun with my volleyball team.”


Lastly, the class of 2023 shares some high school advice for underclassmen:

Ethan Gomez: “Don’t be scared to be you.”

Cassandra Beltran: “Don’t care about people too much and focus on the present and live life.”

Pao Dorado: “High school is tough, so you must try your best to go with the flow without stressing out.” 

Abigail Chinchilla: “Although it may be hard, just know that it’ll become better later on and you’ll be proud of what obstacles you will overcome once you look back on your high school years.” 

Jaycen Clark: “Don’t procrastinate on your work, you can still have fun without falling behind.” 

Devin Argueta: “Focus on school more than anything else.” 

Amado Necochea: “Do your work. Make sure you go to all the school events, you’re going to regret not going. Don’t care about what other people think of you.” 

Zahid Hernandez: “To all the underclassmen, make the most of your years in high school. Make memories, take risks, your life in high school only comes around once, make sure not to waste it.” 

Maggie Amaya: “Don’t take random classes just because your significant other or friends are in that class, take classes you will genuinely enjoy.” 

Saira Alam: “Some advice I would give to underclassmen is to befriend all your teachers and staff. Be friendly with them, ask them how their day is going, etc. You never know when you might need something and you can easily get their help from it. That also comes in handy when you need letters of recommendation because your teachers will already know you well enough to write a good one. Also, if you are planning to go to a 4-year university, I recommend being heavily involved in school/community service.”

Valerie Carlos: “Keep pushing forward. It gets hard, but high school will be over before you know it.” 

Azalea Padilla: “The advice I’d give is to seriously never procrastinate on your homework and always try to have a good relationship with your teachers, it’ll seriously get you farther. Also, high school goes by so fast, so enjoy every moment.” 

Kaitlynn Mendez: “I wished I pushed myself more, so I encourage others to do so.” 

Gio Aguirre: “My advice to underclassmen is to get involved as much as possible as cliche as that sounds. The four years in high school are a time to explore your interests and figure things out before becoming an adult, and getting involved in a club will introduce you to a lot of opportunities and experiences that will make high school worthwhile.” 

Diego Fierro: “I would say to try and have as much fun and try as many new things as possible. You only go to high school once and it might suck sometimes, but when it’s over you’ll miss it.” 


The class of 2023’s high school years has come to an end! Best of luck to everyone on the new chapter of their lives. Life is full of many journeys. Make the most of every moment, cherish those around you, don’t be afraid of risks, and most importantly don’t be afraid to be your most authentic self.

Congratulations class of 2023!