As I reflect on my last four years at Xavier and try to write an article of about 500 words summing up my experiences and words of wisdom for the Xavier community, I’m left speechless. Literally, it’s impossible and I have no idea where to start. Instead of trying to write every single idea that comes to mind, I’ve summed it all up to three main points that I’ve learned throughout the last four years.
I know it might be intimidating to try new things or talk to new people, but you’ll be surprised at what you’ll enjoy or who you’ll meet. Throughout the many clubs and sports I’ve participated in over the years, even if they weren’t necessarily “fun”, I was able to make some pretty incredible memories and friends. In the fall of my senior year, I tried cross country (major yikes – distance running is not for me) and was backstage for the musical. Through these new activities, I challenged myself physically and expanded my comfort zone!
Talk with your teachers.
Seriously, do it. Your teachers are your biggest supporters and cheerleaders and are always there for you. I’ve lost track of how many times I went into a teacher’s classroom to talk about life, relationships, struggles — literally anything under the sun. They give you the best advice, and trust me, you leave feeling SO much better. So, thank you to all of the teachers (and it’s quite the list) that have supported me during the many ups and downs of my life : )
Be yourself bravely.
Don’t be afraid to be who YOU are! (Don’t roll your eyes just yet—keep reading.) I know it sounds cheesy but trust me. During middle school and my first few years in high school, I spent way too much time worrying about what people thought of me. There’s a reason you are who you are so don’t let anyone change that. The faster you embrace yourself and every little detail that makes you YOU, you’ll be happier and gravitate toward people that truly care about you.
I have so much gratitude for the many classmates, teachers, coaches and parents I’ve gotten to know over the years. You all have left an impact on me somehow, someway, and for that, I’m thankful.
First and foremost, Grace, thank you. Thank you for the early Sunday mornings and late Saturday nights, meeting to go over the pages for each issue and making sure the result was something everyone would be proud of. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else alongside me during the laughter and tears we experienced in the JLab this past year.
Second, through the many friendships I’ve lost and gained over the years, it’s gotten me to where I am today, surrounded by the people that genuinely love and care about me most. But, there are two people that have truly changed my life for the better and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
Paige and Dani, thank you for being my best friends.
The countless unforgettable moments and memories we’ve made over the years will always hold a special place in my heart: late night Taco Bell runs, car jams, TikTok dances, road trips, FaceTime calls, workouts and more. Thank you for always being there for me and everything you’ve both done for me. I’m so blessed to have you guys in my life :’)
Although our senior year didn’t end as we expected, it’s taught me to cherish the little moments like laughing with friends in between classes as well as the big ones like winning a state championship. Underclassmen, please don’t take your time at Xavier for granted. It really does go by in the blink of an eye.