Megan Cushman has found that balance and togetherness is key to her high school career

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Dana Kistler

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Megan Cushman has found that balance and togetherness is key to her high school career

Amidst the silence of anxious rowers, sophomore Megan Cushman tells the bow to take one last stroke to align the boat straight in its lane. The air is quiet for a minute, but it is quickly disrupted when an ear-ringing beep sounds to signify that the race has begun.

“When I’m out in the boat or the water, I’m just doing whatever,” Megan said. “I’m just speaking, and I’m with my people, and we’re working towards a goal together that just seems right.”

For Megan, the crew team has always been like a little family. Whether it’s on or off of the water, everybody takes care of each other, making a peaceful refuge.

“I love all the people in my boat,” Megan said, “and in crew, that’s a big thing. I feel like you shouldn’t do something if the people that are a part of it aren’t your best friends. If you don’t become great friends with the people in it, [it is difficult because] the environment is such a big thing in everything you do.”

Despite day to day challenges and the responsibilities of crew, Megan finds herself happy in the sport. Having close friends around makes the experience rewarding.

“It makes me a lot happier, just automatically exercising every day,” Megan said. “A healthy body is a happy body. It improves your overall mood and mental health.”

Getting into the sport was merely a suggestion from sophomore Abigail Cool that eventually turned into a passion after getting into it.

“Abigail walked up to me, and she said ‘You’re gonna do crew,’” Megan said. “And I said ‘Okay,’ and then I showed up to practice. I did some research on it, and I learned about being the coxswain and everything. So, I really wanted to do that. I like it because it’s a leadership opportunity.”

Another passion of Megan’s was discovered in school, rather than outside of school. Writing first came to her during Honors English while writing a short story.

“It makes me a lot more happier just automatically exercising everyday. a healthy body is a happy body it improves your overall mood and mental health.””

“[During the] first semester of Honors [English] Ten with [Ken] George, he gave us a short story assignment for the semester [that was] due before winter break,” Megan said. “I started writing, then I kind of fell in love with my story. So now, I’m taking an independent study with him, where for the entirety of fifth hour, I’m working on my writing.”

But just like most writers, Megan has trouble with consistency because inspiration comes on a whim.

“I try to write in journals every night,” Megan said, “but I get bored. I haven’t been doing that for like five months, but sometimes I get into spurts where I write. It’s a weird passion. It creeps up on me sometimes.”

Megan has also participated in the school’s band, which is another big part of her high school career. Just like crew, the persistent need for balance and togetherness is an outlining theme throughout her passions.

“You have to pick up your [pace] in band because with your playing, you could screw up the entire band if you’re not together,” Megan said. “You have to improve yourself so you can improve everybody [else].”

Throughout the year, band has affected the way she has lived, making sure she is on top of school work and other needs.

“Band literally has me practicing every night,” Megan said. “[Doing] many different things is very stressful but rewarding. Challenges are a lot of work, [such as] juggling with school and sports, especially in marching band.

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