The link above is to a song that describes me now. I love Taylor Swift and I always have throughout high school. This is one of my favorite songs she has produced. I truly believe being "Fearless" is one of the traits I have acquired throughout high school. This song may be about a boy, but this song applies to everything in my life. Taylor Swift's music has been there for me when people weren't. She is great, this song is great, and I will always love her music.
I remember getting on the bus for my first day of high school, turning on Taylor Swift's song "Fifteen" on my iPod touch, and hoping I didn't mess up or draw attention to myself. I was always an outgoing person, but my freshman year I had a select group of friends I would hangout with and termed any other groups as "weird." So much has changed since then, and I'm writing this to reflect on what has influenced this change.
"You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors
I had done band in middle school, and after eighth grade I quit. Mr.Cousineau, my band director, and my dad were on the phone together a lot that summer trying to find ways to get me to continue, but I did not want to at all. The thought of being a "nerdy" band kid and not being in the student section disgusted me. But, fortunately, my dad convinced me to go to band camp and I rejoined band about a week before we left for band camp. Looking back at it now, this was one of the best decision I have made.
Through that first week at band camp, I discovered a love for music but also so much more. I realized that all of my fellow classmates in band were so accepting. I still remember Jake Ferland taking me in under his wing and that was an amazing feeling. Every single person made sure that I felt okay to be myself and motivated me to become a better musician. This concept was then translated into the classroom and my everyday life as well.
After joining band I realized that being a part of cliques and being popular was not important in the slightest. I learned throughout the years because of band to no only accept others, but to accept myself. I was so caught up in changing myself for others because they would ignore me and because I was annoying or would talk to much. I shouldn't want to change my personality because of someone else at all. Band helped me discover that my real friends are the ones that like ME unlike other groups who would expect me to conform to their popularity obsessed cliques. Band had such a large impact on this. Of course, though, it wasn't all because of band that I learned to find myself, but I'll talk about that later.
Not only did the band itself change me, but also Mr.Cousineau. I know that many people may say this, but I truly mean it when I say that he is my hero. He not only inspires me to love music, but inspires me to love others and love my life. He is understanding, motivating, hard working and I firmly believe he has helped me develop these traits as well. Four years ago I couldn't imagine being in band, but now I cannot imagine life without it.
I take pride in being the drum major of the band. Becoming a leader was hard, but with the help of Mr.Cousineau it was very natural. Traveling to drum major camp for a week the last two years was so helpful and I really don't know where I'd be without that experience. Because of the opportunity of being drum major, I have developed a skill and experience needed in the rest of my life. I guess what I'm trying to explain is that band doesn't just teach you to love music, but it teaches to learn to love everything else. It has helped me work with others, lead others, and love others. I take pride in being a band nerd, and I'm so thankful for Mr.Cousineau for not giving up on me that summer after eighth grade.
"Music can change the world because it can change people."
"It's part of life to have obstacles. It's about overcoming obstacles; that's the key to happiness."
Coming into high school I LOVED sports, especially basketball. I still do love basketball, but I have had some major challenges along the way. My freshman year I worked so hard and not only made the varsity basketball team, but started and was the second leading scorer. I was so happy and finally felt like all of my work was finally paying off, but then I tore my ACL and meniscus and was out of sports for six months. Up to that point my athletic abilities basically came naturally. Of course I practiced, but I never had to practice that much. After this injury, I learned what it was like to have to work to be fast, to jump high, and other movements required in athletics. Unfortunately, I didn't just have one injury but three more in basketball. My sophomore year I tore my other ACL, and the next two years I tore my meniscus in my left knee. As a result of these injuries I had to give up volleyball and softball, time in school, and my athletic abilities. I believe that these four injuries are the most mentally challenging obstacles I have ever had to overcome. It is common for an athlete to break an ankle or get a concussion, which may require a month or two of sitting out of the sport. In my case, I spent a total of 24 months sitting out of the sports I desperately wished I could play. Although this was troubling, I learned more about patience than I ever had before. I had to wait patiently to walk, to run, to jump, to play, and so much more during my recoveries. This patience translated into my everyday life. Not everything in life comes handed to me right away, I have to work for it. If I don't get what I want right away I have to work even harder and wait patiently. My work ethic and motivation to succeed has only grown from overcoming these challenges.
I was heartbroken every injury, but what I believe to be my most important lesson was to stay positive. My injuries did not happen to me, they happened for me. No matter what life throws at me, I know I will be able to overcome it because I now see every challenge as an opportunity. These injuries challenged my optimism, my positivity, my strength, and so much more. These injuries were meant to slow me down, but they did the exact opposite. The size of my success is not measured by my failures, but instead by the size of my dreams and the strength of my desire to overcome the failures that may stand in my way.
In college I plan to study to become a physician assistant in sports medicine. Through this career path I will be able to help others who will experience the same difficult situations that I once had. Not only will I be able help them recover physically, but I will be able help them overcome any mental challenges they may have as well. I know that I was given these challenges so that I could not only overcome them, but use my experience to help others. I want to help others find their strength when they feel alone in a challenge. I want to use my experiences to change people's lives for the better. My injuries have shown me the path to what I want to do in my life. Before high school, working with people to recover from injuries wasn't even an option. Now, I cannot imagine doing anything else. The saying "a blessing in disguise" truly does apply to my knee injuries. I wrote the essay below the night of the day I found out my high school athletics career had came to an end and I would have to have a fourth surgery.
Coming into high school, I doubted that love at my age was possible. I think differently now, but I do know that many would laugh at the thought of a high schooler who believes they are in love. That's very frustrating, because I take much pride in my relationship that I have had for over three years now.
When I was a freshman, I became best friends with a junior named Jordan Ransom. I could talk to him about anything and everything, and it honestly felt like the first real friend I had made in high school. I began to develop feelings more than friendship for him though, and was scared becauseI believed it was impossible that anyone like him could reciprocate those feelings to me. However, I was wrong. On February 11th, 2013, I took a chance and revealed my true feelings for him and luckily he felt the same way. Little did I know that this little high school fling we had would turn into so much more. Even after he has gone off to college, we have remained together and have helped each other grow so much since then.
Back when I was a freshman, one of my biggest weaknesses was my ignorance to others feelings, and letting people take advantage of me. I let a boy play with my feelings to make his ex jealous, I gave answers to homework to my "friends" who were only nice to me when they needed something, and so much more. I didn't realize that everybody's intentions were not always good. I learned this hard lesson from experiences in middle school and throughout freshman year, but Jordan taught me that it is okay that not everybody loves me, but that I love myself.
I was never very confident in myself and I didn't really "love" myself either. Luckily, Jordan taught me to love myself because of the way he loves me. I know it is cheesy, but it is true. After I met him, I finally felt that I was good enough and became very confident in myself. He taught me to stand up to the girls who were mean to me and would say awful things about me. I learned that I didn't deserve that, and he helped me through this transformation of becoming a stronger person. Not only this, but he helped me become strong in my passions. Jordan helped motivate me to love myself, and I cannot imagine my life without him. I am a stronger person today because of the things he has taught me. He has been a large part of my transformation throughout high school. Here are a couple of my favorite songs that describe us.
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
Travel has amazed me. It has opened my eyes and sparked a passion for helping others and to help the world. I have gone on many trips but I believe the trip that has changed me the most was my trip to Germany and Austria the summer after my junior year. Being thrown right into that culture was brilliant. So much was different...the food, the language, the clothing, the schools, and so much more. Although, so much was the same. I realized that every human is different but also the same. We all have worries, we all have problems, we all have hate, we all have love, we all are human. I think this is what really changed me on that trip. Seeing the mountains in Austria, the hills of Germany, and the beauty of Europe itself really humbled me. I realized how truly amazing of a world we are in, and how blessed we really are. We complain about all these things like it is the new cool thing to hate everything or to not care about anything, yet we are given such a fabulous world to live in. The opportunities we are born into are endless, and we just sit there waiting for things to happen. I guess you could say that this trip inspired me. I realized that I was placed in this beautiful world, but it is my job to make something of it. A passion sparked inside me to make something great of my life. Travel really changes you, it is truly an amazing experience.
On this trip to Europe I also realized the value of true friendship. I haven't had much luck with friendships the last four years, but I did on this trip for sure. Some of these people included Nia, Olivia, Sara, and Jacob. These people really changed my standards for my friends in the future, but that is a good thing. I know what real friends are like now, and I now cannot imagine my life without them. I can say anything or do anything without being judged by them at all. I really think that is what a true friendship is. Of course you may not agree with it, but you have to support your friends no matter situation they are in. Whether it is to support them to strive in that situation, or support them to get out of that situation. Either way, the key thing is to be there for them. I think traveling has really opened up that door to me. Being with your friends in a foreign country really places trust in the friendship. I think being in a place like that made me realize I don't need to settle for less than what I deserve: true friends.
Traveling has also made me thankful for the country and family I am in. When traveling on a cruise this last spring break, the ship stopped in Jamaica. There, I almost felt scared. I know that isn't what you'd think of when first hearing Jamaica. Before I visited, I thought of it as a big, tropical island. However, when I got there I saw how poor the island was. The people looked so poor, but they seemed so satisfied. They had so little, yet they were so happy. This inspired a way of living for me. "Don't Worry, Be Happy" really does apply in this situation. It is easy to be sad, but it is also easy to be happy. My trip to Jamaica really opened my eyes. I am so lucky. Honestly, we are all so lucky to live where we do. However, we do not show it. The locals in Jamaica seemed so happy with their lives, so why can't we? I want to try to spread this message to others. I also want to become even more inspired, and continuing to travel will help me do this. I hope to travel even more in the future.
"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."
"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time."
As a freshman, the only faith I had really known was Catholicism. My grandparents were Catholic, so my parents were Catholic, so I was Catholic. I really enjoyed it when I was young, but that was because I got to skip mass and go to Sunday school instead. There is nothing wrong with the way the Catholic church is designed, but it isn't necessarily the best fit for me. I have seen less interest in the church over the years, but I haven't lost any interest in Jesus. However, I still have a very strong relationship with God. Sometimes I suffer, but that is the same as any other religious person. For a while I felt so guilty about not wanting to be Catholic anymore or about having doubts in my religion that I wouldn't tell anyone, but now I finally realize it is okay. Many people automatically conform to the society they grow up in, but more me I was constantly questioning everything and I was not satisfied in the amount of answers I was getting. I have realized over the past few years that being Catholic just isn't the right thing for me. Like I said before, though, I still very much believe in God, I just need to find the right church for me.
It is truly incredible what religion can inspire you to do. So many ideas that I grew up with were that gay people are wrong and traditional values are the only things that are right. I think realizing that I wasn't meant for Catholicism really sparked a new passion for me. Equal rights has been such a large issue in our country and our world. Whether it is based on race, who you marry, or what gender you are, people all across the country are not afraid to send hate. I hate that. If religion and God is all about love and peace, why can we not love our neighbors and spread peace and equality throughout our world? I truly believe this is God's message. Spreading love is really all that matters. I often feel so guilty about this, but I should't be afraid to explain my feelings and explore new churches. That is one of the things I am most excited about in college. I want to continue my faith of Christianity, but I also want to explore different denominations and this really excites me. My faith and change in religion has really made me the person I am today as well. Without God, I wouldn't believe in myself. I know that everything happens for a reason because it is God's plan and IT IS OKAY! We must all remember this.
In a few short months I will be leaving my home and my family to move on to the next stage of my life. Academically I am ready, but I am not ready to leave my family.
First off, my mom. Everybody always says that they love there mom and they couldn't imagine a life without her, and that is the same for me. She is truly an amazing woman. I think one of the most memorable memories throughout my high school career is the summer before my freshman year. That summer, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I don't remember the tears or the heartbreak really at all. What I do remember is the strength my mom showed, and how she inspired me to be stronger as well. After her diagnoses, not once did she act negatively. She remained positive every second of her battle. Of course she won, because she is my mom and she is awesome. I truly believe I get my positive attitude from her. Living without my mom next year is going to hurt me, but she has prepared me for it so well I am confident in myself.
Second, my dad. I could go on and on about my dad. The thought of leaving him at the end of the summer brings tears to my eyes. No matter what I do, or no matter how much I may upset him, he always lets me know how much he loves me. He has taught me how to be kind, how to be patient, and so much more. When I am sad, he supports me no matter what I do. I guess that is the number one thing I love about my dad: he is there for me no matter what. Whenever I was injured, whenever I had a bad day, or whenever I just wasn't happy, he was always there for me and he continues to be. I cannot thank my dad enough for giving me the support I needed to do well in high school.
Third, my sister. My sister is a lot older than me, being 31, so we are not as close. However, throughout my high school years we have actually become a lot closer. A year ago she gave birth to a beautiful boy who is named Levi. Levi is the cutest and chubbiest little one year old you will ever meet. I love my nephew. My sister has taught me so much. She has had to deal with crappy jobs, boyfriends, and so much more. She has taught me to overcome all of these challenges and I am so thankful for that. She wants to be so involved in my high school career and I love it. She is always texting me to ask me how I am doing or what I am up to. She wants to come to my games and my events to support me. Without her support, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I love my sister and hope to be like her when I am older.
Last but not least, my brother. Wow, I could go on and on about Nathan. There is not one person who can make me so mad but make me so happy at the same time. He really is my best friend. He inspires me and motivates me to work harder. Whether it is in sports or in school, he always makes me try my best. Not only this, but he is so understanding. In psychology, we call it unconditional positive regard. Nathan has this towards me. He accepts everything I tell him and tries to understand everything. He isn't like any other brother who doesn't actually care, because he truly does. I think he is going to be the person I miss the most next year. Not being able to see his smiling face every day is going to definitely affect me. Recently, Nathan got his first girlfriend. At first, I was actually kinda jealous. She was getting all the attention from my little brother and I was getting none. I was being kind of extreme, though, and I really just needed to let him go. My brother is growing up and I am too, but that isn't a bad thing. Our relationship has grown so much throughout my high school career. As we both grow older and we both mature, we become more alike and are able help each other even more. Our friendship and our relationship as brother and sister has made my high school career so much better because I know I can always can count on my brother. Being miles apart will only make me love him more. I thank God everyday for blessing me with such a handsome and kind brother.
Family is not an important thing. It's everything.
I have gotten a lot of "crap" you could say about where I am going to college next year. So many people have told me that I am not making the most of my opportunities, but I could not be more certain with my choice to go to Central Michigan University. I am looking forward to studying Kinesiology and Child Development. I am also looking forward to eating ice cream everyday at the cafeterias. I am looking forward to taking zumba classes and trying my best not to gain the freshman fifteen. I am excited that my parents are moving to a new house on a lake. There is so much I am looking forward to, but most of all I am looking forward to the unknown. There is excitement, challenges, but hope ahead of me and I could not be more excited to tackle the life that stands ahead of me at CMU.
"Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you." -Jim Rohn
my advice to you
And what i regret not learning until this year
We have all heard something about how success does not come without failure, and this is true. I could not stress this enough. You just can't get an A on every test. Yeah, you should try your best, but it is impossible to be perfect. You are going to hurt some people and you are going to be hurt yourself. You are going to disappoint a teacher and you are going to disappoint your family and friends along the way as well. These things are inevitable, but everything happens for a reason. These are the failures that will guide you to succeeding. My advice to you is to stay positive. No one wants to be around someone who complains all the time, to be honest. BE HAPPY, because in most cases, happiness is a choice.
but cry when you need to
I want you to be happy, but there are times when you can't hold in those emotions. Some times you need to cry, and that is OKAY! Honestly, it is the best thing you can do sometimes. Do not be afraid to express your true feelings, because it is so necessary to do this. Holding in your emotions is just lying to yourself. You need to be able to tell yourself you are hurt, and it is okay. BUT, only allow yourself a minuet, an hour, maybe even a day to be weak. After this, you have to put on your strong face because you ARE strong. You CAN make it through whatever has hurt you, but the first step is accepting it has happened. So, please cry a little.
Working hard pays off, it really does. I know all your teachers have said, all your parents have said it, mainly every adult you have ever met has said it but let me tell you, they are 100% right. Staying up an hour earlier to study for that AP exam is worth it. Staying after school to finish those last math problems is worth it. I wouldn't consider myself that smart, but I can honestly say I put 100% and beyond into every class of mine and came out of high school with a 4.0 GPA and a full tuition scholarship to an amazing university. All that time you put into your academics will pay off. Every extra rep in your sport, every extra 10 minutes of practicing your instrument, and every extra run through of that speech will be worth it, I promise you.
but not too hard
Working hard is great, but there comes a time when too much is too much. Your whole life cannot be school, or sports, or that club you are president of. You are still a kid, so act like one. Go on a late night McDonald's run with your best friends, stay up all night watching Netflix and texting that person you like, and go on that trip you've always dreamed of. Sometimes it is OKAY to miss a homework assignment, because high school is exactly that: just High School. From a senior, the moments I remember are those spent with friends at different events, not stressing out about school. Make sure you put in time to have fun, because that time is priceless.
Care for others
In a world with social media and a "me" based society, a lot of us teenagers are all about ME ME ME! It isn't our fault really, it is psychologically proven. Every teenager is like that. We cannot stop our selfishness, but we can help ourselves become more selfless. Help others not only when they need to be helped, but always. The best kind of feeling of accomplishment is after you help others. This is one of the main things I have learned about in high school. Being honest, not everybody will notice your nice gestures or appreciate what you are doing, but that is okay. Make it your mission to help others feel good, because along the way, it will make you feel good.
but care for you too
I think caring for others is so important, but I think taking care for yourself is important to. Sometimes you have to learn to say no to take time for yourself. This is one of the lessons it has taken me longest to learn, but it is SO necessary. Make sure you are making yourself happy, because yes other people's happiness is so important, but yours is the most important. If you are not happy, take a step back and figure out why. Sometimes you have to try to put everything aside and focus on you. YOU deserve happiness and do not settle for anything else.
some Pictures of my supporters
I am human. I make mistakes, but I am thankful for all of them. I am a friend, a sister, a daughter, a teammate, a classmate, a musician, a leader, a student, an athlete, an artist...I could go on. There is so much that makes me ME and I take so much pride in that. I know I will continue to change, but I realize that change is good. I have no idea where the future is going to take me but I am confident everything is going to be okay.