I have always been someone who has gone through life with a mindset of being true to myself. As clichè as that may sound, in a school as big and diverse as RM, living with that perspective was not at all difficult, in fact it was actually encouraged. As I reflect on four years at RM, I think of my growth, personal development, and ultimately feeling perfectly comfortable in my own skin.
I came from an extremely small private school with only nine people in my 8th grade class. Since Kindergarten, my classes were never bigger than twenty students. RM was the first time I rode on a school bus or had options for so many extracurricular activities. It was a new world and I was quite intimidated by the change. However, I realized that no matter what I liked or whatever my interests were, there would always be people who cared about me and shared my hobbies.
I met some incredible friends, had my first experience with the concept of love, and even tried some brand new activities. I joined the Archaeology Club after a childhood obsession with dinosaurs and rose the ranks to become the club president in my junior year. I joined the RM Drama Club and was a proud member of the Lighting crew and eventually, a cast member in multiple roles and a lead role in Lend Me a Tenor. I even tried my hand at business by competing in the DECA States Competition where I ended up winning second place and qualifying for the International Competition.
Throughout my time in high school, I dabbled in many different things and tried activities that I didn’t even know existed. I have truly loved every part of my high school experience. I have made mistakes, as we all do and I do regret a couple of past actions as an inexperienced freshman, but I have made those mistakes part of me. They define who I am and I know they will aid me in the future.
I don’t try to push away any part of my personality or try to act a certain way, I simply act as myself and let my true colors shine through. It’s important to fail; people need to know how they’re wrong to get better. You need people to tell you that you’re wrong and people to cry on and people who you can always rely on. Most importantly, you need to find friends who appreciate you for everything you are and I would never trade mine for anything. If I had one piece of advice for freshmen or any other person struggling through the rough halls of high school it would be this: don’t ever be afraid of yourself or the judgment of others. Act as you wish and I promise you, people will love you for it. As I move on in life, it’s the most important lesson I’ve ever learned.