Full Circle: Senior Year Reflections

Lainie Rowland, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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A wise teacher once said to me, “People who say that high school was the best four years of their lives didn’t have very good lives.”

I would have to agree with that sentiment. However, not because I am a cynical teenager dissatisfied with my high school experience. I am not dissatisfied. Rather, I believe that attending Madison High School has prepared me to go on to bigger and better, to meet life’s inevitable challenges with resilience and awareness.

My dad attended prep school in New Jersey and it was an incredible experience for him; he met inspirational teachers, participated in extremely competitive athletics, and formed friendships that he still treasures today. My mom insisted, however, that my sisters and I attend public school. I can say, in a true, albeit exceedingly and exceptionally cliché way, that that decision changed my life.

At Madison High School, I got to build things from scratch. I have a knack for somehow or other signing myself up for new and undeveloped projects: from starting a championship marching band, to spearheading our lovely online newspaper. These experiences are ones I cherish, and more importantly, ones I will always learn from. I learned how to work with people I really don’t like or agree with (disclaimer: this comment is not directed at anyone and should not be read offensively). I learned how to deal with disagreement or controversy while maintaining integrity. I learned about integrity. I learned that everyone has his or her own opinion on everything: from the mural in the cafeteria to the ending of Grapes of Wrath. I learned how to manage my time. I learned how to make mistakes.

High School is a time for growing up. The mistakes made and lessons learned transform freshmen to seniors, kids to young adults, and naïveté to wisdom.  I started out writing as superfluously as possible, and now view words as tools to carefully wield in order to achieve a means. I started off wanting to be class president, and now I know how to accept defeat gracefully (twice). I started off thinking I was good at math, and now I know better. I started off seeing Mr. Robertson as a stern and unsparing principal, and now I recognize him as a friend and mentor to students. I started off as shy and awkward, and now, well some things never change, but I have grown to become a woman who wants to reach out to others, who is comfortable and happy with her life, and who has the power to be articulate, compassionate, intelligent, and empowered in the world.

 

So, no, high school has not been the best four years of my life. Far from it. And I have my high school to thank for that.

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Lainie Rowland, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Lainie Rowland, a senior, is happy to be the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Madison Dodger Online. She believes in the power of journalism and thought, as well...

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