Senior Reflection: Dana Morgan

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Co-editor-in-chief Dana Morgan is seen as a baby.

Dana Morgan, Editor-in-Chief

When I first walked through the doors of South Campus those many moons ago, I had quite a few hopes and expectations for the next four years. I was assuming high school was going to be just like the movies, and I’d enjoy every second of it. Boy, was I wrong. My high school experience was basically the complete opposite of what I expected it to be, and I don’t just mean the pandemic that’s cancelled the rest of my senior year indefinitely, though that does add to my point. 

When I was thinking about what I would write this reflection about, I thought it would be filled with negatives because in all honesty, I didn’t enjoy high school. There were parts that I definitely did enjoy, but for the most part, it wasn’t too great. I didn’t have many friends, I wasn’t very smart, I spent almost every day since my first day of freshman year thinking about how I didn’t look like all the pretty girls in my classes, and the last year was basically just one long, drawn-out rough patch. I suppose there wasn’t really anything wrong, but at the same time, it felt like everything was wrong. It made it hard for me to get through the school day, and that started to show in my grades, which isn’t ideal in your last year of high school. Somehow, I managed to make it through, barely, but I still made it. With all of that being said, I decided I wouldn’t dwell on the tough parts, and instead tell you about the minimal amount of good memories I have from the last four years. Hopefully I can leave you with a smile on your face rather than a heavy feeling in your chest. Without further ado, here is Dana Morgan’s (average?) high school experience. 

The summer before freshman year, one of my best friends, Emely, introduced me to lacrosse. Her older brother had played and she told me I HAD to play because she knew I would love it. I didn’t believe her at first, but I decided I’d do some camps with her and try out for the school’s team when the season came around. To be completely honest, I was really bad. Like, really, really bad. But she, of course, was right: I loved it. For some reason, after my countless failures I was still so obsessed with this sport, so I kept playing. For the first few weeks of the season, I rode the bench like a pro and only played when they absolutely needed someone on the field. But on one random gameday, my coach told me they needed an extra person on defense, and he decided to have me try it out. Of course I was terrified because I hadn’t had any defensive practice and the only thing I was good at was cheering the team on from the sidelines, but they were desperate, so I sucked it up and walked out on the field. And, it somehow went well. From that day on, I was a starting defender for the team, and my freshman season finally started to get interesting. By the end of the season, I was playing with both the JV and varsity team, and I knew defense was the position for me. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where the excitement ends. My sophomore year, we got new coaches that I just didn’t click with (no shade to them, they were great people) and my skill set went back to where it was at when I started playing in eighth grade. Then, towards the end of the season, I had a back injury that kept me out for the rest of the year, and that was about it for my lacrosse career. And as sad as I am that I wasn’t able to play past my sophomore year, I’ll always have my freshman season to look back on. The girls on that team, the fun I had, and the memories I made are some I don’t think I’ll ever forget

Now, we have the Peace Pipe Chatter, the school paper that I know everyone read. The only reason I signed up for Journalism my sophomore year was because I needed an extra credit. I never thought it would be a class I would love and take for the rest of high school. Three years later, here we are. As much as I love the class and the people in it, I’m really at a loss for words. There’s so much I want to say, yet I can’t think of more than these next few sentences. The PPC staff has truly become my second family, and I’m really sad we had to say goodbye so early. Everyone that’s been in that class has a special place in my heart, and I’ll never forget them. Thank you for letting me be a part of your family for the last few years, and I wish you guys the best in whatever it is you do in your final years of high school and beyond. Of course, I can’t talk about the PPC without mentioning our favorite “dad,” Mr. Thomas. Not only is Mr. T the best advisor one could ask for, he is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He truly cares for everyone in his classes, and only wants the best for them. I’ll never forget the countless laughs and dad jokes he’s thrown my way since I started my journalism journey. So, Mr. Thomas, even though I never told you, you really helped me through a pretty rough time of my life simply by asking if I was okay on days when I clearly wasn’t, and I can’t thank you enough. 

I’ve realized my high school experience wasn’t as happy or as memorable as others, though it really could’ve been worse. High school was not easy for me, but I think that’s okay. High school doesn’t have to be the best four years of your life. I think that saying is part of the reason why I had such high expectations for myself. Up until my freshman year, I was told high school was going to be amazing, the years where I’ll enjoy life the most and make the best memories with my friends. That’s just not realistic for some people. 

So, as I wrap this up so you can get on with your lovely quarantine plans, I have one piece of advice for any incoming high schoolers that may read this: don’t waste your high school experience, but don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out to be everything you hoped it would be. Try your best to enjoy every part of it as much as you can because you never know when or if it will be cut short. Take risks, stay out late with your friends (but not too late because curfew is still a thing), drive with the windows down and play your music too loud. Do whatever it is that makes you feel most alive, but remember that high school doesn’t have to be the highlight of your life. You have a lifetime to drive with the windows down.