Humans of Venice: Sreeja Ray and Aidan DelMedico

Julia Escobar and Carmen Perez

Oarsman staff Julia Escobar and Carmen Perez went around the campus asking random students if they would like to be interviewed to share their personal stories. “Humans of Venice High” is a series of photographs and personal histories revealing the hidden emotions of their subjects.

Sreeja Ray (12th grade)

What are your goals in life?
“My goals are to graduate from high school. I haven’t figured out what I want to do in life yet. I am still going through that phase of ‘who you are’ and ‘what do you want to do.’ I want to get into a good college. My goals right now are to pass my classes and make as many memories as possible with my friends because it is really sad that I’m not going to see them once I graduate.”

What has been the happiest moment of your life?
“I don’t have a specific ‘happiest moment of my life.’ I just have little memories; one is being at school with my friends in the lunch area sitting down in our group, that is something I will miss when I leave high school. Yesterday, I was just thinking of how happy I am. My mom just cooked me my favorite dinner, my parents were there and I thought ‘I am really going to miss this.’ It’s like those little moments when you don’t realize until you are near the end.”

What makes you feel sad?
“I am an only child, both of my parents are literally my whole world, I don’t have any siblings or cousins because they’re back in Bangladesh where I am from. I know it is going to be sad for them because I am not going to be there. That makes me really sad. It is funny because my dad told me ‘I will just quit my job and take a good job wherever you are going.’ I think that is really sweet and I really appreciate that, but I want my independence. I am the kind of person that if I feel sad I just kind of flip that, I just feel like ‘Why be sad when you can be happy?’”

What are some of the challenges you are facing right now?
“I am the type of person who is very cliché. I don’t think anything is impossible. If something is hard for me, I just think that I should work on it more and to better myself.”

What advice would you give to students who are not graduating yet?
My main advice is to join everything: join clubs and get involved. You really get to know new people and there are new experiences. Why wouldn’t you? You are here for such a limited amount of time and you are given all these resources, just use it to your advantage before it’s too late.”


Aidan DelMedico (10th grade)

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
“Most people don’t know that I was born with disabilities like ADHD and Autism. Most people don’t know that I have been mean my whole life and I’ve had a bunch of childhood trauma from family and school. Mainly elementary school were my most traumatizing years. Kids bullied me, I was attacked. But now since I’ve entered high school it’s been a lot better.”

How has school changed since you’ve been here at Venice?
“It has changed a lot from when I was down in San Diego. I moved up here the summer of 2017 and it’s been pretty great up here to be honest. It’s been hard to make friends but I’ve made a couple of good ones since I’ve started freshman year.”

What is one specific event that has affected you the most?
“In middle school, I was assaulted in the locker room. I was attacked by a kid that got angry at me over something. He hit me and banged me against the locker and that is what traumatized me going into the locker room. Kids made fun of me in there for my weight.”

What have you learned from those experiences?
“I’ve learned to not upset people or do anything stupid and to just ignore them. That’s why I’m insecure in high school; I try to avoid large crowds. I’m not really out there, I would like to be but I really can’t because I’m paranoid.”

What do want to do in the future?
“I want to be an ESL (electronic sports league) board player. Competitive gaming, playing Fortnite, Super Smash Bros. and Overwatch. It seems like the most fun thing to do.”

What has been the happiest point of your life?
“I like coming to this school because it’s a lot better, seeing everyone is so friendly. That is probably one of the happiest things. Just coming to this school and getting out of San Diego because everyone sucked in San Diego.”


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