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TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2021: Alex Smith

Eve Marbot and Chloe Flowers-Stiles – for being my rowing besties

When I decided I was going to join the crew team, I was terrified. I didn’t know the people, and I didn’t know the sport, but you two have made the whole experience amazing. Chloe, I honestly didn’t think that we would interact much this year outside of when our parents hung out. But rowing with you has been amazing, and I can’t explain how happy I was when you told me you were doing it. The time I spend telling you all the drama I hear and obsessing over a certain someone makes my day, especially when you complain back. Eve, I don’t even know what to say. You were introduced the second week of practice as the new exchange student that is staying with Natalie. I never thought that you could become so much more than that. You make me smile at practice, and the times that I cried, you stood with me, gave me a hug, and made me feel so much better. When I had a mental breakdown, you asked me if I was okay every time you saw me for three days. I could never have imagined that our relationship could grow to be what it is, and I am going to miss you so much that it hurts when you go back home. You will forever be the three-seat to my two. You two make me look forward to practice and make me enjoy every moment spent at crew.

Clare Sherman – for the giggles

When my phone buzzes and a text message from our group chat pops up, I immediately start laughing—partly because of the chat name, partly because I know whatever you say, it will make me smile. We only started getting close during our last regatta, and we have only been friends for a short amount of time, but I feel like I can tell you anything about me. I love when you smile at me in the halls and when we text about you know who. Even when we are just joking around and talking, you never fail to make me smile.

Lily Klaasen – for talking to me

You have been a small part of my life for a while because we both do crew. But, you became a big part when I started doing theatre crew. Joining stage crew for the fall play was a decision I didn’t want to make. I thought I would be the odd one out. Luckily, from day one, you talked to me, laughed with me, and made fun of my brother. I am so thankful for that time we had together, and I can’t wait to do it again in the spring.

Lauren Brace and Arpita Das – for making me feel welcome in WFP

The second I sat down, I was terrified of being a freshman in a predominantly upperclassmen class, but you two, right off the bat, started talking to me. In two days, we became friends. Lauren, you make me laugh all the time. I never want that to stop. Your happy attitude 24/7 —even on the crappiest  days—instantly brings my mood up. Never change your smile. Arpita, every day when I walk into class, you ask me how my day was. If I say it was good, you are so excited, and if it was awful, you are genuinely sorry, and I can tell you feel bad. You are the kindest soul I have ever known, and I never want you to change. Your happiness for others’ achievements and your laughter make me smile every day. Even if you say “I’m sorry” way too much, I wouldn’t change anything about you. Both of you make my day better when I walk into Room 140 and see your smiling faces.

Ashley Hibma – for being my ride or die

Ten years ago, I was throwing a beach ball around with my sister, and you came out of your house with your mom and asked to play. Since that moment, you have been my best friend. We have been through all the ups and downs a relationship can go through, but somehow we have still made it out on top.  Our late night ice creams after getting rude texts and our random Starbucks or Target trips make me so happy. When you come over with Harvey and ask to go on a walk and we just talk about all of the little things in our lives, I can’t begin to explain the joy you bring me. When we just sit in a hammock and talk, I am so carefree because I know that with you, I can get through anything. No matter what we go through or how far apart we end up, you are my person until the end of time.

Nora Magers – for letting me sit on your bed

Nora, I can’t even begin to put our countless moments together into words. We have been through so much together—drama, middle school, a pandemic—but we have held strong, and our relationship is as strong as ever. When we met in sixth grade and I sat on your bed at Camp Henry so I could talk to my best friend through the window, we were destined to be friends (at least I think we were). Whenever I see you, I smile and thank all the higher beings that I have you in my life; you make it so much better. You listen to my constant stream of complaints and the gossip I’m itching to tell someone, just letting me get it off my chest and for that, I am eternally grateful. As much as you hate and complain about my constant singing, you still listen. However hard you try to stop me from doing it—especially by writing ‘off’ on my hand—you still support me and come to my gigs. I will forever appreciate you.

Sadie Zachow – for being you, no matter what

You started as someone that sat at my table in Ms. Sevigny’s class in eighth grade. Somehow, you became so much more. For a whole year, we sat at the same table, and we didn’t talk at all. But thankfully, we both had the brilliant idea to join the rowing team. If we didn’t, we still wouldn’t know each other, and I wouldn’t have you in my life. You walk with me and listen to every little thing that is wrong with my life and then tell me all about yours. You make me laugh every time you make fun of me—which is a lot—and I couldn’t imagine a better person to talk to and laugh with. When I told you about the person that I didn’t like, you just went with it, hating him right along with me.  You are the best person to talk to while I am rowing, and complaining with you makes it go by so much faster. Thank you so much for being there and listening to me.

Grace Chen – for making me have energy

If someone told me that the girl I shouted ‘Hi Grace!’ to every morning in seventh grade would become one of my closest friends and confidants, I would have laughed. But somehow, you have. You wormed your way into my life just by being there and making me feel wanted every day. You make my day—and especially economics—better by smiling at me when I walk in and telling me that I’m too tired, and I need to get more energy. I want you to keep being the amazing, smart, sarcastic person you are now because you are going to change so many lives, like you have mine.

Holly McLenithan – for driving your teachers daughter

On the first day of rowing practice this season, my dad walked up to you and said. “Holly, can you drive my daughter to practice?” and you said yes. Not going to lie, I was kind of scared to ride in a car with someone I didn’t know for twenty minutes every day. Now, I treasure the time we spent together. When I get in your car every day and you say ‘Hi!’ with so much energy, I know that I am going to have a good practice because your happy mood when you pick me up—no matter what type of day you had—makes my mood skyrocket to match yours. I am going to miss listening to you tell me all about your life, giving me life lessons even if you don’t know that you are, and singing along to whatever music you were in the mood for. I can’t explain how much you have changed my life and the impact you have had on my high school career. You make me so happy with your smile and your attitude. I will forever cherish every last moment we have spent together.

My whole family – for everything you have ever done for me

You all are my biggest supporters, and I appreciate all of you. When I post a story and you tell me how good you thought it was, it makes me so happy. When I do something that I am proud of or I have a performance or a regatta, and you ask how it went or say that you’re proud of me, I know I could never have anything better. I am so grateful for everything you have done for me and the life that I live because of you. I couldn’t ask for a better family, and I love you all so much.

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