For Elise Rapeyko, happiness is a priority

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Elise Rapeyko

In her senior year, Elise Rapeyko realized how important it is to be herself and be happy.

From dawn until dusk, senior Elise Rapeyko is unapologetically herself. At her core, her main goal in life is to bring a little bit of happiness to the world around her. With a kind heart and contagious smile, she moves through every day with this objective in mind.

“Each hour, I try to keep a positive mood and try to boost everyone else’s moods,” Elise said. “If I see someone upset, I try to make them happier by making them laugh or something like that.”

For Elise, happiness and confidence are intertwined. She believes the happier you are, the more confidence you exude—and vice versa. During her journey towards becoming the best version of herself, Elise realized this link between happiness and confidence with the help of how she chose to present herself fashion-wise.

“Freshman year, I cared a lot [about] what people thought,” Elise said. “I literally wore full faces of makeup, foundation and everything, just to cover up everything, and I would always try to wear cute outfits. I cared about what people thought [about what] I was wearing, but now, if I’m confident in my clothing, nobody notices.”

Elise, however, is so much more than what meets the eye. 

Though she takes pride in the clothes she wears, her acceptance of her personality is what has most influenced her confidence. From her perspective, self-love is just as much external as it is internal, and she has found her inner beauty using the oldest trick in the book: realizing that the answer is not changing yourself.

“I tend to not care what people think anymore,” Elise said. “I’m still weird, and I’m more crazy, too. I just don’t care what people think, so I am more myself now than I was back then.”

From freshman year to senior year, Elise’s dedication to carelessness when it comes to judgment has truly taught her how to care for herself. 

Self-care for Elise is finding comfort and happiness in her own skin. Everyone is unique, and Elise is no exception to this rule; one of her many talents is being able to break the silence in a room.

“I just blurt out a lot,” Elise said. “[To say that] I have no filter is a good description [of me]; I say whatever I want, and I don’t really care if people say something back. I just keep going with what I’m saying. Nothing stops me from saying whatever I’m feeling.”

Elise’s commitment to narrating her own life, however, has not always been a full-time job. Similar to her fashion taste, Elise’s confidence in her humor and opinion has grown tremendously since she entered the doors of FHC for the first time in 2016. 

“Freshman year, I was super quiet and really self-conscious of what I wanted to say,” Elise said. “Now, senior year, I say whatever I want, and I feel like people notice me more now that I don’t try to hide myself.”

Outside of school, Elise’s tendency to speak her mind never falters and is a factor in the relationships she has built. As a friend, what Elise tries to do most is make the people she cares for laugh and smile.

“I say the most random things. I like to crack some jokes to make people laugh—that’s how I express myself,” Elise said. “I definitely try to lighten the mood all the time. If not, then I’m either the one that’s always laughing or the one that’s always crying; those are probably my two roles in my friend group.”

I feel like people notice me more now that I don’t try to hide myself.”

— Elise Rapeyko

Now that she’s quelled her fears of speaking up and wearing what she wants, Elise’s newly found happiness and confidence have transformed her life. From Elise’s standpoint, becoming the best version of herself is one of the greatest decisions she’s made, and she’s more than happy with the person she has become.

“I don’t want to change,” Elise said. “I think my personality is the best part about me, so I don’t want to change that in the future.”

Elise’s advice to become the happiest version of yourself is really quite simple.

“I think you really just have to stop caring what other people think because you’re not going to be happy if you pretend to be someone you’re not,” Elise said. “The more you’re yourself, the more you actually have true happiness and are able to spread it to other people—it’s actually contagious.”