Senior Goodbye: Finding out who I am

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Olivia Lauter

“A tough lesson learned that I had to accept is that I need to be happy with myself before I could be happy with other people.”

“Who do I want to be for the next four years?” is what I asked myself as I entered the doors of high school as a freshman. The possibilities were endless, but the scariest part was that I had no answer. Now as a senior, I can confidently say that although I have remained true to my core beliefs, my personality and interests have changed well over 100 times. I used to think that I shouldn’t take pride in the inconsistency that comes with the changing of phases in life. 

Looking back though, I realize that I was growing. I will continue to change throughout my years in college and even past that. I’ve learned that it’s okay to not know the answer. Growth can’t happen without change. There were times that I was at my lowest points and others that I felt like I was on top of the world. I think that all of it, good or bad, was worth it. I truly believe that your past and present doesn’t define your future, but you can learn from those experiences and apply them moving forward.

 Coming to this district was intimidating seeing as I was moving from another district. New faces, new opportunities and an overall clean slate. I could reinvent myself, and no one would know the difference. For some reason, though, rather than being excited about a fresh start, I felt pressured. I was overly concerned about how I would be perceived and if I would fit in. I noticed that friendships and different groups of people that I associated with would waver and people would come and go. I’m a strong believer in the fact that some friendships only last in certain seasons of life. Luckily, during my freshman year I found someone that I call my best friend still to this day. This person helped me learn the importance of that saying “quality over quantity.”

 A tough lesson learned that I had to accept is that I need to be happy with myself before I could be happy with other people. This also goes hand and hand with weeding out the people that only care to a superficial degree. Over the past four years I have endured a great deal of rough patches, which I’m sure everyone has, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has taught me to really value the people around me and become more confident in myself as a person. 

Everyone always talks about all of the course work and curriculum that needs to be learned in high school in order to graduate and move onto bigger things. In my opinion, these years teach people about themselves more so than the material we study in class. It’s a time for trial and error. I encourage making mistakes, as long as you can learn from them and end up better off from the lessons that come with them.