Carley C., Chief Reporter

By Carley C., Chief Reporter

Attending Cornell University

If someone had told me what my high school experience would be like in my first year, I would never have believed them. I had started my first year as a Varsity Commack Cougarette, dancing at football, and basketball games, at a National competition in Florida. Additionally, I danced at a dance studio outside of school. I enjoyed dancing so much that I had no intention of leaving my athletic career anytime soon. Dance was my whole life; it allowed me to create life-long friendships and learn meaningful lessons. 

Like many others, in my sophomore year of high school, my life was upside down. The Coronavirus Pandemic hit, and my family and I were in distress. For many, 2020 had brought mourning for lost loved ones, anxiety, and ultimately left life unpredictable. Fortunately, the pandemic had brought me an opportunity; little did I know that this opportunity would entirely change my life and where I am today. 

Coming into my junior year of high school, I reflected on my life and what I felt would be best for myself. I found an opportunity to get involved in the school as much as possible and while leaving behind my dance career, I joined various school clubs on campus, such as the Yearbook Club and The Courant. However, the opportunity that had the most significant impact on my high school experience was Student Life. I was elected as a treasurer and created relationships with my fellow board members, and these are people who I feel have become my second family. 

Going into my senior year, I was elected as the President of the Office of Student Life. As restrictions eased up, the board and I were given more opportunities to rekindle school spirit. The Pep Rally and Homecoming of the Fall of 2021 were huge successes. However, our success soon subsided as another wave of the pandemic began. Increasing stress, as we applied to colleges, maintained grades, and stayed connected to friends and family, even though the virus had restricted us, once again. Yet, in short, my classmates and pushed through, coming out of the new wave stronger than ever. 

I feel proud to be a Commack student, proud to stand with my peers, and proud to feel  connected to my school. Although I was faced with adversity, this adversity has brought me new opportunities, friendships, and experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Sometimes trying new things and leaving other options behind can be the key to your success. Leaving my dance career behind was a tough decision. However, I needed to take the opportunity to venture out, and I’m so glad that I did.

Ultimately, my advice for future classes is to take advantage of the high school’s opportunities. Being present in your high school can create an excellent atmosphere for your experience over the four years. It is something that I wish I had done earlier in my high school career. The challenging, devastating, exciting, and hopeful experiences in my years at Commack High School have paved the way for my future. I am so proud of who I’ve become and how I will utilize the experiences in my future endeavors, at Cornell University. 🔳