The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Finding Her Place


Katie Patrick was shy. 

When she was in elementary school, she was what teachers would describe as “quiet.” She wasn’t a social butterfly, the loudest in her class, wasn’t in a half-a-dozen clubs and worried at the thought of walking up to a group and jumping into their conversation. 

When Patrick was young, she never would have believed that in a few short years she would be the person she is today. A drum major, Poetry Club president, an editor on the Elementia literary magazine, NHS member and, most importantly, a girl who’s gained her confidence. 

Patrick never set out to open up, but high school changed everything. 

She found herself in a swirl of honors classes, band rehearsals, service hours, poetry club meetings, bus rides to the CAA and job shadowing after school at State Line Animal Hospital. 

Soon she was an upperclassman, taking on leadership roles that forced her outside her comfort zone. 

Patrick didn’t think she would gain confidence — she just wanted to do her part in improving things where she could. But striking up conversations with new people started coming easier to her. She found that she could laugh with strangers and approach groups without a worry. She had found a place, a place where she fit, a place where she could open up and be herself. 

“ probably wouldn’t have imagined that I have gained the confidence I have throughout high school,” Patric said. 

As for now, Patrick doesn’t have a perfectly clear vision of her future, but she knows that she wants to spread compassion. She wants to become a veterinarian with hopes of improving people’s lives through animals. She wanted it ever since she was little, and now she’s a senior in high school, years older and wiser, and chasing the very same dream. 

If she could travel back in time, though, there is one thing she would tell her younger self:

“Everything’s going to work out in the end. It might not seem that way in the midst of it. Ultimately, you can only grow from the experiences you have. Taking those risks is worth it.”

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