OliverasHi, hello, howdy, aloha, ciao, bonjour. My name is Sarah Ingrid Teresa Oliveras Del Rio, but you can call me Oliveras for short. It’s what everyone on my swim team, Oregon City Swim Team, calls me, because we have six Sarahs on our team.

I am a sophomore at West Linn High School and it is the eighth school I’ve been to in my life. I am an “Army brat,” as kids of military parents are most often referred to.

My dad was born in New York City but grew up in sunny Puerto Rico. He was in the Army for more than 30 years and recently retired as a colonel.

My mum is from Canada and is an emergency room nurse. They met in Saudi Arabia when they were both working there during the Persian Gulf War.

I was born June 26, 1998, in Seattle. After living there for two and a half years, we moved to Puerto Rico, where my brother was born. We then moved to Virginia and stayed there for five years, moving several times.

In 2007, my dad was promoted to colonel and was assigned to be the inspector general for the Oregon National Guard. I had never even heard the word Oregon before, let alone known that it was a state. Therefore, coming here was a big shock.

Since I’ve lived here I’ve learned quite a few new things. One of them was knowing what fashion is. When I was little I had a — what’s the word? — odd fashion sense. I’m talking seven braids in my hair that stuck straight out. I’ve also learned what good music is. I used to be completely obsessed with all of Hannah Montana’s old songs. I’m currently in love with Fall Out Boy, The Goo Goo Dolls, Justin Timberlake and The Beach Boys.

Another thing that I’ve learned is how to deal with drama. I can remember when I first moved here and I thought I had no friends. So naturally, my first instinct was to befriend a tree and name it Fern. Little did I know that my precious Fern was rotting from the inside out.

I was distraught. Fern had to be removed and my 9-year-old self was convinced my life was over.

After spending a week inside eating ice cream, I decided to change my attitude and attempt to make a friend. It worked, and I’m still friends with her to this day.

I guess that the whole point of telling this story is to let you know some of my knowledge that I’ve gained over the years. In order to be happy you simply have to look on the bright side of things. Approaching life with a negative attitude won’t get you anywhere. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s absolutely true.

The way I see it, if life hands you lemons, you hand them right back and walk away with a smile. People seem to get so hung up by the most insignificant little problems, which I am also guilty of. I’ve learned that there are no second chances in life, so we should focus on the good moments and doing what we love. I love to play guitar, surf, laugh and write. Most of all I love to make other people smile. I hope that my columns can do that for you.


Sarah Oliveras, a sophomore at West Linn High School, is contributing a regular student column for the Tidings this school year.

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