Embracing the Evolution: I Learned Who I Am at NAHS

Embracing the Evolution: I Learned Who I Am at NAHS

I am thankful for my time at Norristown Area High School. Beyond the English and science lessons in the classroom, I uncovered the most important lesson: self-acceptance. During my four years, I took classes that I never would have thought about taking (AP Seminar and Journalism),  participated in clubs I didn’t know that I felt so passionate about (Unidad and Newspaper!) and created strong friendships I treasure so wholeheartedly with people who I once perceived as strangers (my newspaper friends, Gabrielle DeFrangesco and Duyen To). It was through these four years that I was able to learn more about myself, like where my strengths and weaknesses lie and where my values and morals stand. I even learned that I love spicy food (I liked my Cheetos plain before coming to NAHS!!!).

I entered high school barely knowing anyone so I saw it as an opportunity to really start out fresh; although, my idea of fresh was to “glow up” and learn how to act “cool.” I even tried to fit “jawn” into my vocabulary. It didn’t work out. Over the four years, my appearance hasn’t significantly changed.  What has changed, however, was my thought process, and it has changed immensely.

Through the help of my friends, classmates, and clubs, I was able to immerse myself in different cultures and backgrounds. I am lucky to have friends who are not only open about sharing their culture and traditions but also eager to learn more about mine. It was compelling to share similar experiences we had and where we differed in certain situations. Listening to the stories of others taught me how to properly educate myself on important social injustices and use my own voice to stand up for my community and others.

While growing up is exciting and important, it’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re still in the midst of the journey. My advice to underclassmen would be to not procrastinate. I know it sounds basic and everyone tells you that but it’s true! Missing work and waiting until the last minute creates this unnecessary amount of stress and anxiety. Try to develop a routine after school that works for you and use your free time to get a jump on your work. I admit there were days when I would lounge off in the afternoon and scramble to get my assignments done at two in the morning. The morning after, I would feel icky. It’s that feeling of agitation you get when waiting in a long line during the first day of spring, under the blazing sun for a small cup of free water ice at Rita’s. Except you don’t actually get the Rita’s. The fact is this whole miserable feeling could have been avoided if I used my time wisely.

 My name is definitely not one that people would scream down the hallway, but I have never been happier than I am now. My four years at Norristown were a gradual growth. I didn’t do a complete 180 but I’m thankful for the subtle changes that did happen. For example, I’m pretty shy but I have learned to overcome uncomfortable situations, like public speaking.

There are definitely hardships throughout high school and parts I wouldn’t want to redo, but overall, this whole experience has helped me grow, and I got some great friends out of it too.*

*Editor’s note: especially the love of my life, my soulmate, my muse, my entire world, Duyen To (we won Best Couple!)

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