Senior Column — Anna Odell ’23


Anna Odell, Staff Writer

I spent my whole childhood dreaming about getting to high school. I thought it would be just like the movies: new friends, late nights studying things I was interested in, etc. Much to my dismay, it was nothing like this. Instead, I was met with seemingly unreachable standards, friend drama, and a pandemic that took away two important years of my life. Despite the shocking reality, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything.

Looking back, high school has really been a time for me to self-reflect. From trying to join clubs to competing with the “smart kids” in my class, I never really felt like I had a place where I belonged, so I made one. Rather than trying to be who everyone wanted me to be, I decided to take control of my life and focus on what made me happy. I ended up finding happiness in the small things. As cheesy as it sounds, I learned how to create boundaries and make myself a priority.

I’ve spent my time watching silly shows and discovering the consequences of procrastination, connecting with old friends who never let the air between us get tense or awkward, and spending way too much money on Sonny Angels which serve no purpose other than to crowd my already-full shelves. I’ve also discovered the beauty of being alone and how peaceful it is to enjoy time with myself. I feel as though I am prepared to take on the challenges that life throws at me because I know myself better than I ever have before.

Every part of me wishes I could go back to being a little kid, but life is about moving forward. High school has taught me that ultimately, nothing is ever perfect or what people make it out to be and that’s okay. I’ve learned to stop trying to live up to the expectations that people have created and instead live up to the expectations that I want myself to achieve.

As my senior year comes to a close, I seem to have found myself in a similar situation as I did many years ago. I’m excited to grow up and discover what the future holds for me. I’m excited about independence and my future career and starting a new chapter in my life. Maybe ten years from now I’ll be saying to myself, “What was she thinking?” but I truly hope not. I hope that in the future, I’m able to continue to appreciate the small things in life. I hope that, whether or not I’m able to find what’s right for me, I can still find happiness in life. As I’ve learned in my psychology class, positive emotions and experiences are astonishingly important to human survival, yet the negative ones affect us more. My goal is to cherish every positive moment I have because, in the end, that’s what will keep me going.