University of Pennsylvania
It is surreal to be writing my senior farewell column knowing that the last time I was in class at Commack High School was Friday March 13, 2020. The day before was (unbeknownst to me) my last science fair of high school, so exhausted and feeling sick, I left school just after 4th period on Friday to go home and sleep. I awoke to a college rejection from one of my top schools and the announcement that school was to be suspended for two weeks. Needless to say, there were a lot of tears shed that weekend.
From IB exams being canceled, to committing to one of my dream schools, to adjusting to life without the familiar faces of my friends and teachers every day, a whirlwind of sad, confused, joyful, and anxious emotions have swirled throughout my head in the time that I have been at home in quarantine. However, I have had many hours to reflect on my high school experience.
Above all, I have realized that I am so grateful for my time at CHS. In all my late nights of studying, I don’t remember what I was frantically trying to cram inside my head (although organic chemistry mechanisms might be a good guess). Instead, I remember my amazing friends and the connections I have made with my teachers. I remember how I changed from a timid and self-doubting person to somebody who held multiple leadership positions in clubs. I remember the hours I dedicated to my extracurriculars, especially my many hours spent late in the research room, orchestra room, and of course, the Publishing Suite.
Joining The Courant was something that I never anticipated doing. I had never expressed interest in journalism or writing articles outside of what was necessary for my classes in school. However, the experience has been incredibly rewarding. I have interviewed an editor at Marvel and a survivor of the Parkland shooting, formed deep and meaningful connections with teachers and administration and found a way to incorporate my voice into my writing. I am so lucky that sophomore me decided to step out of my comfort zone.
If I could stress anything to other high school students, it would be to trust that you will end up exactly where you are meant to be. As I went through the college process, I hated this adage–I went through many sleepless nights filled with doubt and endured an overwhelming amount of rejections that made me question if my dreams had been in vain. However, as I look back now, I laugh at all my sleepless nights and failures. My worries that kept me up late at night seem so insignificant now and I just wish that I had spent more time appreciating what I had in the moment.
My high school experience would not be what it was without the support of my friends and the faculty at CHS. Thank you to all my classes and teachers for challenging my mind in ways that I never could have imagined in high school. Thank you to science research for pushing me to think like a scientist and for always having faith in me. Thank you to Mrs. Mulvey, my EE mentor who I always know I can talk to. A special thank you to Ms. Dow, who is retiring this year and who has made the orchestra room feel so comforting and has encouraged me to never give up. And of course, thank you to Mrs. Semple for the love and dedication she puts into The Courant and her students. Being an editor for you has been so much fun and I have learned so much from you.
In a few months, I am lucky enough to be starting a new chapter of my life (hopefully) in Philadelphia. While I am extremely excited to be starting fresh, a part of me is still very sad and nostalgic about high school ending. Even though right now things aren’t how I pictured, I know that everything will work itself out in the end. Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and I’m so excited to see what’s in store for us next. 🔳