Reena Mathews and Nisha Rajakrishna
I cannot summarize into only a few words how much you guys mean to me, but over the years, as I’ve gotten to know you better, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are guys are extraordinary people, through and through. There’s nothing you wouldn’t do for me, and whether it be needing help with chemistry, AP Lit, or The Central Trend, you both have always prioritized this trio and getting through it together. I know that although I may be spacey and slow getting there, both of you have always treated me with the utmost kindness, patience, and love. For that and so much more, I want to say thank you. You both have my heart.
Summer Wetherbee and Annie Seeber
To my two best friends, I want to say thank you. Thank you for the shots of espresso at 1 AM and the resulting sleepless nights when we talk until dawn. Thank you for being there at a moment’s notice to make sure I’m actually okay and not just faking it. Thank you for always being the shoulders I can cry on, but also being the people who I can share life’s greatest joys with. Thank you for knowing me better than I know myself and reminding me of who I am when I’m feeling lost. Thank you for being my best friends. Thank you for being you guys. What would I do without you both?
I’ve never had as good of a running buddy as you, and you give me so much hope and faith that the cross country team will be fantastic next year. You are so tenderhearted and genuine, even when you feel the most insecure or most nervous. On the runs where our legs burn from the never-ending hilly trails and our bodies tell us to stop, you are always the cheery one to keeping the conversation flowing, making me laugh until I can’t breathe. During the workouts where the sun is scorching our sweaty bodies and we feel like we’ve never been grosser, you are always the one to remind that we just need to take the run one step, one stride, one breath at a time. You being you is the best gift the cross country team could have, and I’m so grateful for you. So thank you.
Thank you for so many giggles in the middle of math class when Mrs. Heinz desperately wants our attention (oops). You are constant sunshine in my life, and I can always count on you to show me a weird video, start singing Veggie Tales, or be your silly self during lunch. You’ve been such a blessing in my life, and I don’t know what I would’ve done without you this year.
Shalini Bennett (Mom)
Wow. You are my literal rock amidst the crazy storm of life, as cliche as that is. You understand me like no one else does, and I’m still so in awe of how incredible you are. Without you and your healing hugs, deep conversations, and goofy smiles, I don’t know where I would be. When people say I’m your mini-me, I just smile because although I’ll never attain the level of genuine love you personify, it’s an honor to even be compared to you. You know me, and you know my heart, which is something I can’t say for many. Because of you, I am who I am today, not just because you’re my mom but because you’re my best friend and have been for the last seventeen years. I love you with my whole entire being, and I’m thankful for you, plain and simple.
I’ve never met a more gracious, wholeheartedly kind, caring, generous, inviting, goofy, happy person. You exemplify all that I hope to be and more in life, and even though you’re only a freshman, you are one of my role models. You care deeply for everyone you meet, whether you really know them or not. You read everyone around you extremely well, so without them even having to tell you what is wrong, you know exactly what they need. You possess so many qualities that I don’t have, and although you’re young, you have an old soul. I know that God has incredible plans in store for you, and I cannot wait to see His plan for you unfold. So thank you for joining theater, and thank you especially for becoming my second costume assistant.
As another one of my biggest role models, I want to say thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your summer to go get breakfast with someone three years younger. Thank you for answering my countless questions about Wheaton and about the running teams there. I have so much to thank you for, but I especially have to thank you for the influence you had on my younger self. As an insecure 14-year-old joining a new team, I was beyond nervous and absolutely terrified of upperclassmen; but your genuine welcome so many years ago changed me for the rest of high school, I think. And furthermore, although you no longer live in GR, your (and Catherine’s) influence on me has also affected the rest of my life in being the first to convince me that Wheaton College was for me. I am beyond grateful that you persuaded me because now, I’ve never been as sure of anything as I am about wanting to attend Wheaton. So from my 14-year old and 17-year-old self, I thank you.