As my final year as a high school student comes to a close, I have realized that even though I had my fair share of bad times, my good experiences and relationships that I have developed completely override everything bad that happened.
I am going to take a trip down memory lane and talk about a few of the major occurrences that happened to me during my four years of high school.
To begin, let us set the scene. It is September 2012, and this short little freshman with long blonde hair is walking into New Milford High School. This girl is still on her way of exiting the iconic middle school “scene/gothic” phase of life. If ya’ll haven’t figured it out, that little freshman was me!
So let’s flashback a few months to move up day, 8th grade, I met all my teachers for the following year. To be honest I don’t remember the majority of the teachers from this day, save one. I remember looking at my schedule and seeing that I had a Mrs. Rose Depoto as my Digital Journalism teacher, however, a very loud Mrs. Jessica Groff walked through the door instead. All I really recall from move up day that year was contemplating if I could survive a year with a teacher as loud, outgoing, and bubbly, as Mrs. Groff. Now, I thank every single all powerful being that exists that I had that opportunity to cross paths with Mrs. Groff.
Mrs. Groff over the four years that I have known her has changed my life for the better in so many ways. By pushing me out the door my freshman year to go interview Mr. Sheninger she boosted my confidence in myself, and that confidence only grew and solidified in the years that followed.
Mrs. Groff also “persuaded” (more or less threatened, in a loving way) that I should go into Honors English for my eleventh grade year. I’m glad I did that, too.
Moving on to my sophomore year, I met some people who would end up being some of my best friends, but in turn, I also lost some friends who I considered as close as family.
My junior year was probably one of my more eventful years. I participated in a Color Run for awareness of human trafficking, I was awarded an academic achievement award for graphic design, physics, and algebra II, I was the layout editor of the 2015 yearbook and so much more! Eleventh grade was also the year that I was given the opportunity to discover what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Even though I knew that going to college to major in graphic design would have made me happy, I let other people talk me into believing that there was no way I was talented enough that I would get a portfolio together, and there was even less of a chance that I would actually get accepted. I let this poisonous train of thought rule my decisions for way too long and I began to search colleges with the intent to study communications instead. However, in July before my senior year began, I took a long look in the mirror and said to myself, “I hate communications and I refuse to be unhappy for the rest of my life just for the sake of a better paycheck.”
So, there I was, July of 2015, five months before college applications were due and I discovered that I would need a portfolio for my first choice school, Kean University. I began spending every available moment that I had sketching, painting, and designing for my portfolio so that I could finish it before the winter vacation. I want to take a moment to thank Mrs. Morel for dealing with my constant insecurities over my artwork and for having the patience to walk me through making my art the best that it could be.
Now, while the race of the portfolio had already commenced, the beginning of my senior year had come around. On the first day I was notified by Mr. Pevny that I was officially the Editor of the 2016 Yearbook. That was another thing to add to the ever growing pile of responsibilities that I had during my senior year.
My senior year was filled with art, friendships, field trips, and working my butt off on various school projects. I even spent a week building a virtual museum for a research paper presentation. During my senior year I was a photographer for many events, such as the holiday breakfast with Santa, the alumni barbeque, a friend’s fashion show fundraiser, and many more events. I was also able to attend the Holocaust Study Tour with many of my friends.
This would be the year that I began practicing my career path by helping to design the Holocaust Study Tour booklet, the Holocaust Study Tour Presentation invitation, and was even asked to design the logo for New Milford’s Unstoppable club that do various fundraisers to help out kids with cancer.
So as I conclude my senior year, I have taken some time to think back about everything that I have gone through, the good times and the bad times, and I do not regret a single experience I had during my high school years. Although I do believe that my social anxiety did inhibit me from certain experiences, the things I did have the opportunity to take part in were always memorable.
I cannot thank my teachers and my friends enough for their never-ending support throughout the years and I wish them all the best of luck in their futures.
Before I end this reflection, however, let me give a little bit of advice that I wish I would have known. Don’t immediately say no to opportunities just because you are afraid of not being the best at it or you are afraid of being hurt, because sometimes diving head first into something, you will emerge so much stronger and you may have made a few new friends in the process. So go audition for the play or New Milford’s Got Talent, go join the video game club even if you are afraid of being the only girl there, GET OUT THERE AND MAKE MISTAKES AND LIVE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL LIFE!
My last bit of advice is that when life gets tough, go to others for comfort, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE KEEP EVERYTHING TO YOURSELF, IT WILL DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. TRUST ME.
Lastly, I just want to share one of my favorite quotes, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.”
Thank you for everything New Milford, but my time here has come to an end.