My senior year confessional


Hi. My name is Courtney, and this is me taking a risk. 

Let me back up a bit. I actually started writing this a long time ago— the night of senior retreat to be specific. At the bonfire, everyone was making speeches, even the quietest kids. So badly, I just wanted to jump up there and say my piece, but I didn’t. I couldn’t get past the fear. The fear of embarrassing myself. The fear of being ignored. The fear of not having something worthy to contribute. 

No longer. I didn’t say it then, so I have to say it now. 

Hi. My name is Courtney, and this is me taking a risk. 

Depending on how you know me, I’m either the loud, obnoxious girl chatting with the English teacher or the terrified, confused girl trying not to break down in math class. I might be quiet and shy, anxious and jumpy, or cheery and bold. I don’t know how you see me or even if you see me, but this is my story — one that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently as I soon go off to college and write a new story.

I’m Forest Hills born and raised. I attended Thornapple and can probably still name every single one of my teachers, though I’m certain they wouldn’t recognize me now. I don’t mean to say that they forgot who I am or that I look different. I simply mean that I’m different. I’m a different Courtney than I was in elementary school, than I was in middle school, than I even was freshman year. 

Hi. My name is Courtney, and this is me taking a risk. 

Obviously, I don’t need to say how scary it is to step outside of my comfort zone; risks are made to be scary. I’ve never been one to take risks, and I’m not really sure why. Yet, it’s always the risks I’ve taken that have fundamentally changed me.

I took my first major risk when I joined Powderpuff junior year. I didn’t know many people going to the practices, and I know I’m not the typical “sporty” girl. However, that first leap changed me so much that I had to write about the experience. 

Ever since then, I’ve been trying to live that daring way. Yes, I’m going to continue to be annoyingly passionate about English, and I’m not going to apologize for it. Yes, I’m going to raise my hand in math class knowing that there’s only a small chance my answer is right. 

The more I think about it, I’ve taken more risks than I realize. I competed for a dance solo in eighth grade despite having panic attacks and major self-doubt, and somehow, I managed to walk away with a first-place trophy. I joined The Central Trend and even applied to be an editor— a title I never thought I’d earn. I joined the dance team as a timid, little freshman, and now I’m the team’s loud-mouthed captain. 

Risks are everywhere. They’ve taken me everywhere I ever dreamed about being in life. Not only am I senior now— a leader of the school— but I hold two leadership positions. And wow, leadership is just as scary. 

Hi. My name is Courtney, and this is me taking a risk. 

Again, how do you see me? Do you see me?

I’m supposed to be a leader, and yet, I’m not sure I ever know what’s going on, though there are always people looking to me. This facade of knowledge and authority I’ve put on— one I assume all leaders put on, though I suppose I can’t say for sure— has taught me the most crucial lesson I’ve come across throughout senior year: go with the flow. As cliché as it sounds, it was one I desperately needed to learn. 

Underclassmen, I hope you learn this sooner than I did; it will save you countless sleepless and anxiety-ridden nights. It truly is the key to the greatness of high school and idealism of senior year. 

Seniors: comfortable in their own skin. Seniors: friends with everyone. Seniors: exempt from the rest of the school’s anxiety and stress. 

Seniors, we go with the flow and make it up as we go—make it up as we leave and hopefully succeed. 

Hi. My name is Courtney, and this is who I was and still am. 

Hi. My name is Courtney, and it’s time for me to write my new story.