Four years ago, I began my high school career at Bath High School. I remember feeling apprehensive about being a freshman, distressed about where I would sit at lunch, who would be in my classes, and getting flustered each time I forgot my locker combination at orientation. Little did I know I would be leaving friends behind to attend Laingsburg High School the following year. That idea was much more frightening than being a freshman. However, the experiences and observations I've made throughout all four years, is where my reflection begins.
Athletics has played a significant role in shaping me into who I am today. Over the course of four years, I have played volleyball, basketball and softball, all of which hold a memorable experience. The rush of competition and the pit in your stomach when you're down by one in the seventh inning is an incredible feeling. However, it is not just the competitiveness that has drawn me to the court, or to the field, but the friendships that are built over the course of a season. Being on a team of twelve to twenty-five girls and spending every afternoon with them for months, they become your family. Bonding over team dinners, phenomenal wins, strenuous losses, and all agreeing that the coach is ridiculous for the amount of suicides he is making you run, amounts to so much greater than the time you made a buzzer beater. Being a part of a team is one of my favorite aspects of sports, because when I play I am performing for something greater than myself, I am playing for the team. Cheering until your throat is raw, clapping in the rhythm of what seems like thirty claps per second, jumping off the bench when a teammate makes an incredible shot, or gets a base hit are feelings that are truly unforgettable.
Athletics has taught me to always dig deeper, and that there is always energy and effort to give. A coach of mine once said, "the only team that can beat you...is you," and that I have learned is true in any aspect of high school. Whether the task is a test, communication, or a sport, you are in control of how well you perform, and when you do not do well you only have yourself to blame. Sports have shaped me into being determined and dedicated to work toward my goals, and to never stop pushing myself until I achieve them. Tough losses have showed me to stay positive when a situation seems bleak. My advice to you is to participate in an extracurricular activity whether that be sports, or other clubs and realize that it isn't about the number on your jersey, or your personal stats, but to grow as a person and assist those around you. Join clubs and teams and experience high school with people that have similar goals and interest as you. Go to sporting events and competitions and cheer until you lose your voice, because there is only a limited number of opportunities and then you blink and it's your senior year.
'It's hard to beat a person who never gives up."
I grew up in Bath Community Schools, sharing experiences and childhood memories with lifelong friends. However, when I was a sophomore in high school everything changed. After completing my freshman year at Bath High School I made the transition to Laingsburg, where my transition opened my eyes to the true meaning of "friendship." As a naive freshman, I thought the amount of friends I had was critical; I always had to invite the maximum amount of people over in an attempt to be accepted by my "popular" peers. Over the duration of four years, if I have learned anything about friendship, is that it doesn't matter the number of friends you have, but the quality of friendships you build. Every year my friend group has grown to be smaller and smaller, but my experiences and quality of friends has greatly increased.
As I expanded my horizons and branched out to new groups of people, it became apparent to me that not everyone in high school is who they say they are. The majority of individuals pretend to be something they're not to fit in and appear to be "cool." Expanding who I interacted with and being open minded to meeting new people made all the difference. In a high school that is particularly divided by "band kids" and "athletes" it is crucial to look beyond the labels. My advice is to be yourself, no matter how cliché that sounds. Don't try to change who you are or your interests just to have something in common with a specific group of people. Be true to yourself and be different. Surround yourself with people that make you genuinely happy. At Laingsburg, I made these types of friends that accepted me for who I am. I have made wonderful friendships with individuals that are kind and unique. I spend my times with friends being goofy and laughing until my stomach aches. We share common interest and strive to better not only ourselves but each other.
These friendships have contributed immensely to who I am today. Failed friendships have made me realize my real interests and goals, and to focus on bettering myself each and everyday. The friends that I have now encourage me in every aspect of life and push me to better myself. High school friendships have shown me that not everyone is meant to be a part of your constantly changing life. My advice is to not be afraid to remove negativity from your life and find people that connect well with you. Find friends that support you, and be an individual that is open minded and encouraging to others.
"The rest of the world was black and white but we were in screaming color."
my best friend
My best friend has impacted my life tremendously. Since my first day at LHS, Chloe Keener and I have been joined at the hip. No matter what is going on in my life at the moment, Chloe is the first friend I turn to. Although Chloe and I have a few contrasting hobbies, we have always supported each other. She has contributed greatly to my ability to be confident being myself.
Through the arguments and days on end that we disagree, I know that Chloe is always there to fall back on.
Chloe has helped positively shape me into who I am today. Chloe's creative and bubbly personality has influenced me to go outside my comfort zone and express myself in various ways outside athletics. My best friend has influenced me to be kind and to always believe in myself. Chloe's independence and empowering aura has taught me to be strong and to stand up for what I believe in. Within my three years at Laingsburg High School Chloe has never failed to support or defend me in any situation. Chloe has contributed to who I am today by guiding me to be an individual. Chloe's unconditional love and sympathy for everyone she comes in contact with is inspiring.
I have shared countless experiences with Chloe and I am thankful to have spent my time in high school with such not only an incredible friend, but a marvelous person. Chloe's grace and contagious happiness is one of the many reasons why we have never seperated. My best friend has shaped me to not only love myself, but to love all of those around me.
"My best friend is the one that brings out the best in me."
MY Travel Softball
Travel softball has presented many opportunities for me over the past eight seasons. Krash, the organization I play for, has shown me the type of hustle, dedication and attitude it takes to succeed. Playing in such a competitive atmosphere comes with a price. My weekends are occupied with practices and my summers and falls are jam packed with tournaments in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky in order to compete in the game that has changed my life. This enormous commit has contributed to who I am today. Competitve softball has changed me in the most recent years to be dedicated in what I wish to succeed in. This program has shown me that improvement does not happen over night, but determination and perspiration will pay off if you continue to push yourself. This program has also demonstrated to me that it is not always about how well you perform but your attitude when you're not performing well. Within my four seasons of varsity softball during high school there has been a vast improvement not only in the skill level of my game, but my attitude, and I thank my organization for this. Krash has shaped me into staying positive and believing in myself when things aren't going swiftly. Travel softball gave me the opportunity to better myself and improve my game which is what I did. Due to the opportunities given to me, I will be attending Lansing Community College on a full athletic scholarship. My drive to play well for myself and my team has skyrocketed thanks to the encouragement and discipline that has been enforced over the past eight years. My advice is to find something that you're passionate about and work at it each and everyday. Learn to appreciate hard work because eventually every practice and each hour you spent bettering yourself is going to pay off.
Not only has this program rounded me as an athlete but also as a person. Krash has given me the opportunity to play with a diverse group of athletes. I play on a team with girls from all over the state of Michigan, and a wide variety of high schools. Each player has a unique and spunky personality. Being a part of such a diverse program has made me accepting and open minded to going outside my comfort zone to meet new people. Travel Ball has helped me over the course of my four years in high school to be able to connect and communicate with all individuals. I wish I had known the value of all of the tournaments I spent complaining about the heat before it became a memory. My advice is to take advantage of every opportunity given to you always put your best foot forward.
"Today is an opportunity to get better, don't waste it."
My future & reflection
I plan to attend Lansing Community College to pursue a degree in sports medicine. My opportunities would have never been possible if it weren't for every individual that has contributed to who I am today. Reminiscing to when I was a petrified, and shallow freshman I am grateful to have met the extravagant individuals that have changed me to who I am now. As a senior I am confident with being different and being myself in a crowd of people.
Four years can immensely alter a person, and high school will do that. Due to my parents encouragement and guidance, my experiences with caddy teenage girls in the hallways, athletics and my best friend, I have a whole new perspective on who I am.
"The best way to predict your future is to create it."
Here is a shape poem that I created in AP Literature. It is a visually appealing form of poetry that I chose to make into the shape of a steaming tea cup.
This is a picture of the award I received for placing in the top 10 in my graduating class for GPA.