These past four years of high school have changed me into the person I am today. I have known most of my friends since kindergarten, some even before that. The friendships, memories and lessons I learned both outside and inside of school (mostly outside, I can barely remember what I learned in math yesterday,) will stick with me forever.
WHo am I?
I feel as though I have been asked this question a million times, yet I still haven’t been able to find a clear answer. They say high school is where you figure out who you are and develop into this thing called an “adult”. Although I reached that legal age of adulthood in October, I really don't know what that means or really who I am. I wish I could come up with something clever and smart about who I am. Something about me that when you read it, will give you that feeling you get, you know, the one you get when you read something that really gets to you. I am at a loss for those perfect words. It is hard to express some of the things I feel and sometimes the words just don't seem to be enough. How am I supposed to sum up “who I am” when I am a handful. How do you put words together so that they can really reflect who I am and how high school has shaped me. How do I put on to paper the words that will define me and let you know who I am.
I am not punctual, I can't make decisions, I love to be with people, I am a perfectionist. I love ice cream, the smell of bonfires, and Panda Express. I tend to wait until the LAST minute to do things, even when I know in my head it would be so much less stressful if I just did whatever I had to do, right away. I procrastinate sometimes because I am lazy and sometimes because I want everything to be perfect. I know that no matter what I write or post on this page, I will never feel fully satisfied with the way it looks or the way it sounds. I find myself struggling all the time with making choices; everything from decisions about where to go out to eat or where to go for college. I worry about outcomes and how my choices will affect me, my friends, and my family.
Who I know I am
"There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Brene Brown
When I think about who I am, I know that there are some easy answers and some things about me that will never change. I am a sister. I have a amazing sister and a spectacular brother. There are a hundred moments I could have strangled them both, and a million moments when I have known I could not live without them. I am a daughter of married parents that although we do not always see eye to eye, I am filled with so much gratitude and love in my heart for them. I couldn’t have picked better parents. I love animals. When I was three my dog died and I carried her around claiming "she was just sleeping" for most of the day. I have tamed feral cats and instead of killing them, I set June Bugs free when they fly in to the house. I love people. I love working and helping people and I have the ability to see the good in people, no matter what. I am still not sure what I want to do with the rest of my life career wise, or any “wise” as a matter of fact. I do know that I want to work to help people. The quote above I choose because it helps remind me that no one is perfect, I have a lot of cracks like indecision, perfectionism and procrastination. I also have a lot of light in loving people, kindness, humility and perseverance.
What i am proud of
I thought the “who I am" prompt was a hard until I started thinking about this. I am not the best writer, although I have improved a bit thanks to Mrs. Hebert, however when it comes to writing about myself , it is even a greater struggle. Since I have no choice, here is what I am proud of. I am pretty proud of my grades. Although I always feel like I could have done better, studied a little harder for that ONE test or went over my paper ONE more time (there is that perfectionism thing), I am proud of the grades I have earned. I chose to take hard classes in high school. I took all the Advance Placement classes except World History and Calculus. I took two of these my senior year along with pre-calculus and some other classes. It was a very hard schedule and sometimes it was frustrating many of my friends were taking easier classes. I stuck with it though, and didn't go back and change it. Yes, that meant that I got an A- instead of an A, missed out on some social things to do homework and I stayed up REALLY late doing home work, (that is sometimes because of that procrastination thing). I did this more nights than I would like to admit. It was worth it though. Don’t get me wrong, at times during the year I hated myself for signing up to some of these classes, but it really was all worth it. Advanced Placement Literature will always be special to me. I grew close to some of my classmates and feel as though I learned so much through them and with them. We sort of became a family; nothing bonds people like the long confusing unbearable book, The Heart of Darkness.
I am really proud of myself for managing to have a job through high school. I think I started the summer of freshman year, and I am still working there today (literally I really did work today). I take great pride in this job, not because of the money, but because I managed to keep my grades up while working this job and maintain friendships and playing a high school sport.
That actually brings me to the next thing I am very proud of, volleyball. I played volleyball fall four years of high school along with two club seasons, and it was crazy. Freshman year I don’t really remember being out on the court very much, but that didn't stop me from working as hard as I could in practices. Sophomore year was my favorite. I earned the position of libero and I was out on the court playing most of the time. I loved playing, I loved the game, I loved being out on the court, and I loved playing with my team. It was an amazing year. Junior year on Varsity was freshman year all over again, except I would get put in the game when we were winning by a lot, and usually only during the last few points of the game. It was hard to sit the bench the entire game and then be put out on the court, no longer warmed up or in the rhythm of the game. I would get so nervous I actually HOPED the team didn't do well, so I wouldn't have to play. When senior year came along, I was excited, yet nervous, because I felt I had huge shoes to fill and a great opportunity to get back on the court. The season started off pretty well, the coach even decided to make me libero. My performance in practices was always strong, but things were much different when game time came around. I sucked in games. I was no means perfect in practice, but there was a huge difference in my performance on game days. I am not sure how much you need all this detail, but long story short, as the year went on I played less and less and my nerves went higher and higher. It got so bad that I started to nervous when we would play scrimmages in practice. I am telling you all of this because I am proud of how I handled myself thought this. I wasn't able to control my anxiety, and it was awful, but I never gave up. I still worked just as hard in practice, I cheered louder than anyone else on the bench ( which if you have ever played a sport you know is extremely hard), and I am not ashamed to say that the bench is where I spent most of my time. It got to the point that I was almost relieved I didn't play in games. Even though I love to play and was excited for the games, I was so nervous and afraid that I would mess up, it just seemed better in some ways, to sit the bench. I am proud that when, as a senior on senior night, I was the only senior that did not play, that I kept my head held high. It was a humiliating experience, but I survived it. I am proud that I kept a positive attitude and cheered on my teammates rather than compete with them and I am really proud that I never gave up.
I take pride in many other things, like my relationships with my friends, family and teachers. Relationships are not always easy and I am proud that I worked hard through the tough stuff. Things might not have always ended "happily", but I know that I gave my best effort.
When I think about high school, one of the things that I am most proud of is keeping my morals throughout high school. I came into high school having strong opinions on drinking and smoking, and I am proud to say, I avoided doing any of those things, despite what my friends may have been doing. This wasn't always easy, I felt I missed out on some things, but feel like I got other good things in exchange.
I will try not to tell you what I am sure you have heard a thousand times, “it goes by so fast” or “make sure to do all your work and join clubs” because you really have no control over how fast high school goes by. You do though, get to choose how you handle your time. Spend your time with people you like, doing things you enjoy. Know that over the next four years you are going to change a lot. You will not be the same person you were when high school started. Coming in to high school, I hated country music, and I don't use the word hate lightly. Leaving high school, well lets just say I am singing along to a country song as I write this. If that doesn't tell you how much you can change in four years, I don't know what does.
It is hard to give advice on things that you look back on and realize that you might have done them differently, while in the same moment realizing that if I did them differently, I wouldn't be the same person I am today. Of course I wish I would have done my homework first, before watching Shameless or Grey’s Anatomy, but I learned things doing that too (like do your homework before watching a show you can binge).
Looking back at going into freshman year, I just remember how scared, but excited I was about being one of the bigger kids. Each year brought something different, and I started each year with lots of excitement. Senior year was the one year that I was the most excited had the highest hopes for. I was told it was supposed to be the best year, Unfortunately, this year held many surprises that I was not ready for. The classes and workload seemed crazy at times, the volleyball season wasn’t what I had hoped for, my trip to Africa got postponed, I had a hard breakup, my grandpa died and my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. There were many days I wondered what else the world could POSSIBLY throw at me. This year was the worst year. This year was also the year that taught me that I am tough, that I can make it through really hard things as long as I have my friends and my family. So my advice to you is know that your family and friends are there for you and don't ever take them for granted. With great friends, determination, perseverance, hard work and a little bit of procrastination and perfectionism you can get through anything and EVEN graduate from high school.
Below is a link for an open form I wrote