Sammie Wing lives her life for the stories it will tell


Sammie Wing

Senior Sammie Wing standing in front of a picnic table, holding a stick

Senior Sammie Wing was, if only jokingly so, convinced that her presence on the bowling team could improve their 0-13 losing record. When she was given the opportunity to actually test that hypothesis, she rounded up her closest friends and made her case for a senior year bowling hurrah. 

But in her second bowling match of the season, Sammie only bowled a 30. 

“If you don’t know bowling, 300 is a perfect game; I bowled a 30,” said Sammie, laughing. “I was in the gutter 90% of the time, and I looked back at my coach, and he just had his head in his hands. It was really bad, but I’ve gotten a lot better.”

Since then, Sammie has bowled a high score of 118, and the bowling team has beaten the previous season’s losing record with two wins this season. Considering that their goal was at least one win, Sammie is “calling it good;” she’s proven that her contribution to the bowling team is a valuable one.

Sammie’s bowling endeavor is only one hallmark of her overarching mentality towards life. While she admits that it’s cliche, COVID-19 forced her to realize that nothing is guaranteed. Now, with senior year as her last chance to soak up the memories of the final milestones of high school, Sammie doesn’t want to leave any avenue unexplored.

This year, Sammie has embarked on a variety of educational adventures, from geology to psychology to her online astronomy class. In every vein of her adventuring, Sammie has at least one of her friends by her side, such as joining the bowling team with senior Maurielle Hayes, sharing an Advanced Geology hour with senior Beylul Kahsay, and taking the same online astronomy class as senior Remmie Gavle.

“I think that getting out and doing stuff is good for your mental health—to not be stuck doing the same thing every day,” Sammie said. “And having your friends there is a little bit of a crutch. It makes you feel better knowing that at least someone you know is going to go do it.”

I think that getting out and doing stuff is good for your mental health—to not be stuck doing the same thing every day.

— Sammie Wing

As she follows every colorful strand of adventure into the world around her, Sammie prioritizes taking nothing too seriously. Sharing in every one of her escapades with her friends has helped her to keep this virtue at the center of every experience. 

She particularly exercises this easygoing attitude in her daily Wordle attempts. 

“I’m known for not being the best at Wordle,” Sammie explained. “A lot of my friends will watch me do it and cringe: ‘Why would you put that word in? You already knew that three of those letters weren’t in it. Why would you do that?’ I’m like, ‘I needed to know.’ So I’m not the best at it, but I think it’s a fun thing to do every morning. I don’t take it too seriously. I like to start with ‘wagon.’ I think it’s funny.”

Every morning, Sammie and her friends will send their Wordle results in their group chat. Wordle propensity aside, Sammie enjoys the little ways, such as sharing their Wordles, that her friends’ pivotal role in her life is illustrated.

It was a combination of Sammie’s evolved understanding of her priorities and her desire to undertake nothing alone that acted as a catalyst for her to move on from her job at Walgreens. 

After a year and a half, the environment that provided Sammie with a valuable first job and retail experience wasn’t the environment she felt she could thrive in anymore. Instead, she was called to the more laid-back environment of the family-owned PJ’s Pizza in Kentwood, where her friend, senior Molly Dixon, worked.

“Walgreens was surprisingly a really stressful job,” Sammie said. “There [were] a lot of 40-year-olds trying to feed their kids. We’re making the same salary, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I get [to get] new clothes,’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah, I just have to feed my family.’”

The transition from Walgreens to PJ’s Pizza presented a stark contrast. Sammie is now working with mostly teenagers her age, and the small-business atmosphere is far mellower than the fast-paced nature of Walgreens. 

In general, she’s grateful for the opportunity to experience an entirely different kind of high school job—one where she gets to “just make some pizzas and have fun.”

With an affinity for new experiences and an array of friends to undertake them with her, Sammie’s adventurous and affable mentality is one that she believes has genuinely made her happier.

“I like to do things for a fun story,” Sammie said. “I feel like it’s so funny to tell someone that you got your varsity letter in high school for bowling or that you eat the cheese at your pizza job. I just like to do things to have a fun story to tell.”