Senior goodbye: Reinventing yourself


Shae Daugherty

“Lasting friendships do not come easily, especially if you expect that friendship to add something to your soul.”

A mere 25 minutes via car stands between the cities of Lucas and Plano. Though relatively undaunting in retrospect, the impacts of making such a move carried immediacy and profundity. Along with said transfer, heightened passions for music and literature, a refining of my penmanship, and an array of unique friendships, I now provide a distinctive set of advice intended to ease one through the largely fortuitous essence of high school.

Lasting friendships do not come easily, especially if you expect that friendship to add something to your soul. Friendships are a single soul comprised of two bodies, so you can’t merely settle for a friend just because it strikes you as convenient. Naturally, it won’t last. Once you meet people who are worthwhile, it requires a certain amount of time and emotional investment to maintain that unity of soul. Also, proximity makes things easy. Once you separate in distance from your best friends, like I did, the strength of those friendships is tested. Many of my friendships from Plano fizzled out. I expected those people to seek me out and continue our relationship, but it never came, as they expected the same from me. Don’t be afraid to make the first move or put yourself out there.

Coming from Plano I learned to not underestimate the importance of diversity. I don’t mean in regards to ethnicity only, but diversity in culture and ideology. I think cultural hegemony is especially corrosive in the developmental stages we are apart of currently. My advice would certainly not be to force incompatible friendships, but I would advise others to seek out friendships among people who challenge you, or people who have a different ethical/cultural framework that they operate within. I think that allows you to step back and posit yourself as the other as opposed to living by an egocentric model.

I’ve changed significantly since my freshman year. Not everyone undergoes similar alterations, but don’t fear reinventing yourself. Perhaps it isn’t healthy to be in constant flux and to change yourself for the mere sake of it, but sometimes your interests evolve or revise themselves. Don’t be scared to change yourself in accordance with that and associate with a new crowd. Seismic changes are intimidating for a lot of people, but putting your genuine self into actuality is worth it. If you find a passion and manifest it relentlessly, a lot of other things will fall into place.

Surrounding yourself with the right people and figuring out what exactly “right” means is important. However, never take for granted or underestimate the value in time spent with yourself. I’ve learned you can’t sustain healthy relationships or love somebody until you’ve worked on yourself and are ultimately comfortable with your mind and body. If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company. I really feel that some of the most important moments in my life were at times that I comfortably spent with myself.

Looking ahead to the next four years, I foresee further growth, particularly in my writing skills which I’ve honed over the course of my time with The Red Ledger. Through imparting the aforementioned advice, I hope to shed some small light on the years which I will surely appreciate far more in retrospect.