Inside the mind of a little fish in a big pond
Whether she is aware of it or not, she displays a look of disgust on her face.
Walking home from school, she paces anxiously along the sidewalk adjacent to a busy street.
As the endless stream of vehicles pass her, she gripes about the loud hum of the cars and the smell of gasoline. She isn’t used to all of this, and it shows.
Freshman Estrella Overbeck just moved to San Antonio from Kerrville, Texas — a place she says she will always call her home. The transition from a quaint town with a population of 20,000 people, to a gargantuan metropolis has not been easy for Overbeck.
“It’s different because in Kerrville, it took 15 minutes to get anywhere in town,” Overbeck said. “Here, it could take an hour, and for the most part, it’s bad.”
Overbeck is originally from Mexico. As a child, it was just her and her mother. The pair frequently moved around until settling in Kerrville. Her mother eventually found who she thought would be her life partner, and got married.
During this time, Overbeck was content. She was completely thrilled with all the joys of small-town life. Now, she says life is a little lonely.
“[In Kerrville] Whenever you went to the mall or the movies- even if you went alone, you would find someone you knew because that’s all there was to do,” Overbeck said.
Overbeck worries about the uncertainty of attending a high school nearly three times larger than her previous school.
“I knew everyone there, so I knew who to stay away from, and I knew who was chill,” Overbeck said.
The most frustrating part of living here is the sheer number of people she encounters on a daily basis.
“My old school was the size of the 8000 building, and we only had two H-E-Bs and one Walmart in the whole town,” Overbeck said. “Now, whenever someone bumps into me, I get so angry, but I guess it’s normal here.”
Once Overbeck’s mother and stepfather divorced, she made the decision to leave Kerrville because of the high probability of having to see him in public.
It was time for a fresh start.
“If she went to the store or something like that, it was very likely that she would run into him, and that’s why we moved,” Overbeck said.
While she does have a hard time coping with the smells, sounds, and crowds in the city, there is one thing about living in San Antonio that makes her happy.
That one thing is Starbucks.
Overbeck was never able to satisfy her need for a frappe fix in Kerrville, so now she goes to Starbucks as much as she can. It might be one of the only things getting her through this difficult move.
While it may seem like a trivial thing to get excited about, she lights up at the mention of coffee.
“I love Starbucks,” Overbeck said. “I walk there almost every day after school. It’s what I spend most of my money on.”
She talks frequently about feeling alone, but there is another student at Churchill who feels her pain.
Freshman and expecting mother Jaylene Aldaco is also from Kerrville.
“In Kerrville, everyone is family somehow, but I’m happy that my baby is going to grow up here instead of there,” Aldaco said.
Overbeck and Aldaco know each other from the choir program at
their previous school, and Overbeck says it’s nice to know that someone identifies with what she’s going through.
“I remember her from school last year, and I was actually surprised to see her here,” Overbeck said. “We weren’t close or anything, but it feels kind of nice to have someone from Kerrville around.”
Things are looking a little brighter for Overbeck’s love life, too. She and sophomore Reece Martin recently began a relationship.
“Star (Estrella) does talk a lot about home, but I know she’ll be okay,” Martin said. “ She’s just that happy type of person.”
Overbeck aims to take that innate happiness and run with whatever her new life has to offer.
“Honestly, things are hard for me right now, but I know they’ll get better,” Overbeck said.