Senior Column: A New Identity

Senior Column: A New Identity

On the first day of high school, I was terrified. I was coming from a Catholic school that I’d been attending since preschool. I’d been with the same 75 students for nine years, and that was all about to change. Only about 15 of us were moving on to Northwest.

I spent my middle school years obsessing over movies like High School Musical which portrayed high school as a shark tank, and I mentally prepared myself to be the bait. The only thing I thought I knew about high school is that it would be full of cliques and that I’d be struggling to fit in.

That wasn’t the case at all. It took me a few months but I started to break out of my shell. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and started talking in all of my classes. Soon I had somewhere to sit at lunch and friends to hang out with on the weekends. I was expecting high school to be cliquey, but it actually helped me see that my grade school was cliquey.

High school helped me escape from my old identity and form a new one. Almost no one knew anything about me. It took some time but I learned to be comfortable in my own skin and was accepted for being me.

Over the years I’ve grown tremendously. As a timid, soft-spoken freshman, I never would have imagined that I would be on Prom Court or considered someone that underclassmen could look up to.

For better or for worse, I’ve changed. I’ve made decisions that I’m not proud of and decisions that I can look back at and smile. All of these decisions have taught me lessons and shaped me into who I am now.

I’ve learned how to have confidence and dedication. I’ve learned how to make friends with strangers. I’ve learned how to find the beauty in something ordinary through photography. I’ve learned how to be a leader. I’ve learned that gaining something you’ve wanted is ten times better if you work towards it and wait patiently to get it.

I’ve learned how to make tough decisions. I’ve learned how to pray. I’ve learned how to love. I’ve learned that it’s okay to feel broken. I’ve learned that you can’t be anyone’s savior, no matter how much you wish you could be.

I’ve learned that you don’t need a boyfriend to feel whole. I’ve learned how to hold my feelings in, and let my feelings out. I’ve learned that the friends and family that will be there for me and help me through any situation are the most valuable relationships.

I’ve learned that important people can let you down. I’ve learned that you won’t always receive an apology, and that you have to forgive people who hurt you even if they aren’t sorry. I’ve learned that it’s best to try and have a positive attitude. I’ve learned to enjoy the moments while they last.

I’ve learned that life goes on — and that’s exactly what is about to happen.

Four years later, the cycle is starting over again. We’re all moving on. We’re all recreating our identities. We’re all about to learn a new set of lessons. Just remember to learn from decisions you will make. Our decisions do not define us, but they do shape who we will become.