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Senior Goodbye: Sam Chase

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I am nearing the end of my high school career and when I look back at my experience, I cannot help but wonder how I could have changed it. I felt miserable for such a long time in my earlier years and was only just figuring out how to navigate school in my junior year. The things I was afraid of before are so juvenile now.

When you are young, you make up scenarios in your head of, ‘if I do this what will happen?’ and they paralyze you to never face new situations and opportunities for the fear of damaging your reputation or feeling embarrassed. These barriers are created in our head separating us from other people. It is my hope that I can shed light for other people so maybe they will not have the same experience as me.

I was never true to myself in the beginning of high school. I am gay, I did not admit that until freshman year and I was so afraid of my life getting worse that I stayed in the closet. Turns out that not only were people who I was afraid of knowing accepting, they thought it finally all made sense. It seemed like I was holding something back and they could not understand me because of it and now that they know they like me better as a person. You should not be afraid to be yourself, and not just if you are gay. Holding your personality back corrupts you and makes you distant from people who would actually accept you. You make a lot more friends being yourself than lying about who you are.

You may do something embarrassing and think that people will remember this for the rest of their lives, but the thing is how many people do you think hold onto something you did from years ago? How many things about other people do you think you remember off the top of your head? I’ve done a number of things I wish I didn’t do. For example, I dropped a girl when she asked me to hold her up. It wasn’t my brightest moment, but she forgot about it long before I did. These people will only be in your life for four years, they have better things to worry about than “that one incident from that one time”. Chances are you are the only one who remembers and you are just beating yourself up over it. Memories of other people die faster in other people than they do in you.

People are just as afraid of you as you are them. You may think someone is too above you or more popular than you, but you have to remember you are all in the same boat. You are all navigating high school and a friendly face is always appreciated. A lot of growing up is getting to know people and jumping into social situations to make new connections. Try talking to new people and forget your fear, because a moment of awkwardness could lead to a lifetime of friendship.

The most difficult thing for young people is getting outside of their comfort zone and doing new things. I can say that the few times I have talked to someone new I have ended up being good friends with even though it was such an odd match. I didn’t even go to my first dance until my junior year. You might look back at your life and realize that you might have really enjoyed the experience of doing something new and enjoying it but those days are gone And the opportunity long past. Remember, you only live once, and life should not be regretted. Do not let yourself hold you back, go out and be yourself, talk to new people, and do not care about what others think of you. You will live a much happier life, and open the door to a world of possibilities.

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Senior Goodbye: Sam Chase