You always get out what you put in

June 2, 2019

The night I arrived at The Island School, while we were discussing the semester ahead of us, a teacher said: “It’s not going to be perfect, but it’s going to be worth it. You will get out what you put in.”

These words not only applied to my Island School experience, but have resonated throughout my senior year and will continue to, I think, for as long as I live.

Looking back, high school certainly had its ups and downs. Nonetheless, I am so grateful for each challenge I faced and each mistake I made because through all of my experiences — good, bad, easy, and hard — I have learned. And I have grown.

Whether it was running cross country freshman year, weathering Honors Physics as a weaker math student, or finding my people as I bounced between friend groups, the experiences that impacted me the most were the ones that brought me outside of my comfort zone.

Overall, they helped me learn to choose courage over comfort. And that, I believe, is my biggest high school achievement. Life is sculpted by the decisions we make; when we put in courage and embrace those scary, vulnerable moments, we get out impact — and I think that’s really everyone’s goal, to be positively impacted by an experience and to make a positive impact on others.

So, when looking back on these past four years of high school, I can only describe them as impactful. I decided to choose courage over comfort, and what I got out was an incredible experience filled with connection, empowerment, and love. In 2015, I walked into EGRHS more quiet, hesitant, and insecure; in 2019, while I am still the same Nora, I am walking out more bold, resilient, and self-defined.

High school was not perfect. But, indeed, it was so worth it.

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