Embrace your surroundings

April 27, 2020

As I have tried to write this column I keep coming back to the same question: Is this really what I want to be remembered for? I’ve watched for three years as seniors in the class pour more effort into the senior edition than at any other point of them being in class. I’ve watched while the school actually reads the senior edition, something that rarely happens for the paper. The senior edition is a culmination of the seniors years spent in the class; it’s their chance to show off one last time before leaving school. I don’t have the chance to make a proper senior edition, which is something I have been looking forward to since my freshman year. I do have one thing though, a senior column.
My feelings towards my time at East are a mixed bag, but the most important feeling is one of gratitude. I have grown so much, at the start of high school I was 5’9, skinny, I only wore khakis and hoodies, and I was a young stud ready to tackle any challenge life threw at me (not really). Now look at me; I still only wear khakis, but I’ve grown 7 inches and instead of hoodies I wear college sweatshirts, and most importantly I no longer think that I can take on everything because that’s just not possible. But really looking back on far I have come as a student, a classmate, and as a person is truly humbling.
As much as I want to say that I achieved this growth alone, I can’t. For the longest time, I told myself that if I couldn’t do something myself, then it wasn’t worth doing. I held onto this belief until Junior Year when I started weeple (Sorry to the people that hate weeple ). I realized that I was a better person when instead of trying to prove to people I could do things alone, I acknowledged that surrounding myself with people made me a better person (thanks Cigs, not cigarettes, but my weeple unit).
After this realization, I began to enjoy my life in a way that I had been starving myself of. I started building genuine relationships with people that I will cherish forever. Some of my fondest memories occurred during this time; the spaghetti dinners, the weekends spent in my basement, and snow days spent with the Fortnite squad. In these moments I wasn’t just having fun but I was learning how to be myself after years of trying to be someone else. Every one of my friends taught me lessons I could never learn in the classroom.
Even though I had my ups and downs at East, I was in a place where nearly everyone around me had something that I could learn from them. Even the teachers that I never had (thanks Mr. K and Mr. Vandenbrink) could teach me something. So as I finish this long-winded column, I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter what I am remembered for, or even if I am remembered. What matters are the memories I’ve made and the lessons I have learned from the people around me at East, and I will be forever grateful for my time here.

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