June 11, 2020
You would think that sheltering in place means developing better time management, maintaining a productive schedule and getting things done ahead of the due date, right? If we’re being completely honest, I still managed to procrastinate in writing this.
As singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson once said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This is a phrase I truly used to live by. However, lately, I have related more to the rock band The Script, who said: “I’m still alive, but I’m barely breathing.”
After four long years of high school, this is definitely not how I envisioned my last few months at LHS. However, I don’t want my tribute to be another long article about the craziness in the world. I would rather take the time to reflect on my experience in high school and the good times that I have shared with my friends and teachers.
Most importantly, I’ve learned it takes a few mistakes, whether it be stunt falls or bad grades on tests, to learn the greatest lessons in life.
I remember my first day of high school so vividly. I related a lot to Chandler Bing in the finale of the sitcom “Friends” when he said, “I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m excited.” Standing at the main entrance with a crowd of students whom I had never seen before was one of the most intimidating moments of my life, but I gathered up my strength and got through that day and other challenging days that followed.
Having spent nearly 14 years as a cheerleader, I can say surviving high school bears a lot of similarities to cheerleading. Even when you’re nervous, like on that scary first day, you have to fake it until you make it. Put a smile on your face and pretend like you’ve got it all covered, even if you’re not so sure you do. You’re not going to like every assignment, just like you may not like every routine, but it is important to always do your best, or else it won’t get done. Most importantly, I’ve learned it takes a few mistakes, whether it be stunt falls or bad grades on tests, to learn the greatest lessons in life.
Having been on the varsity cheerleading team since my freshman year definitely taught me to be a leader both on the sidelines and in the classroom. Thanks to Coach Ruiz and my teammates, I have had such an incredible season to end my four years. I am able to say that I was one of the two captains, along with one of my best friends Gabby Heatherly-Careri, who led the LHS cheering team to hit a perfect routine at Metlife Stadium, and for that, I’m forever grateful.
I owe a very big thank you to the faculty and staff at LHS who have provided me with all I need to succeed in life. My guidance counselor Mr. Rowland has been a serious blessing for me. Coming from Sacred Heart School was a big transition, but Mr. Rowland worked with me even before I entered through the school’s doors, and he continues to help me find my path as I set out to study communications and media arts at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J.
I would also like to thank The Lighthouse adviser Ms. Pastor for pointing me towards my future and inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone. I would have never pictured myself as part of the school newspaper or as managing editor, but I am so lucky to be contributing to such an amazing publication. I would never have the confidence I do today without Ms. Pastor’s endless advice, and I am so thankful to have had her as a teacher for the past four years.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my parents, brother and friends for their endless support throughout this crazy journey. It has definitely been an emotional roller coaster, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll miss you all so much. And this is it, the one where she graduates.