I wish I wasn’t making this metacognition right now. This whole graduation thing doesn’t feel real to me. Mentally, I’m still waiting for March break to end, but physically, I’m in high school! Like, what! I still haven’t wrapped my head around this whole situation. The more I think about my memories at Fenn, the more my heart sinks, and the more tears form in my eyes. I don’t want this to be over. I want to start all over again. I wanna be my old, innocent, wide eyed and curious fourth grade self once again. I don’t want to be old. I don’t want to leave. Next thing I know, I’m gonna be writing my college essays. Honestly, I never thought that Fenn was gonna end for me. At the beginning of this year, I thought to myself, I’m ready to leave. I”m ready to take the next step in life. And honestly, I was. Now, I feel like I have unfinished business at Fenn: my last lacrosse season, my last real field day, and finishing my year out strong. My last term was anything but that. My grades have slipped to B’s (they’re normally A’s), I struggled to keep up with work, and I missed out on my star lacrosse season. I wasn’t gonna be the terrified seventh grader on the field anymore. This year, I was ready to scare the life out of everyone I played. I was ready to size up any and every single one of my opponents, whether they’re 6’5, or 4’5, I was ready to say, “I’m gonna kick your ass”. I was ready to dominate on the field, and run all the plays. I was ready to end my Fenn career on the highest note possible. I probably couldn’t end it on a lower note than how I am right now. I’m probably never going to see half the kids again. I wish I had the time to thank each and every person at Fenn for making my experience so powerful, and forming me into the person I am now. Without Fenn, I wouldn’t have any discipline, self control, manors, social skills, drive, motivation, you name it. I can’t put into words the amount of gratitude I have for all my teachers and peers. Every hello, every goodbye, every smile or wave in the halls, every time someone pushed me to be my best self, to put my heart, sweat, and tears into my work, every scolding, every lesson, every laugh, every cry, I can’t count how many times something has happened that changed my life for the better. I could go on forever thanking everyone for what they have done for me. Whether its my teachers, the chefs, my peers, the landscaping crew, or anyone who I’ve interacted with, they have helped me so much, and I don’t know where I’d be in life without Fenn. All I know is that I wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful as I am right now. As I flip the page into the next chapter in my life, I know that I will represent Fenn well and use the lessons Fenn has taught me to be my best self. Whether that’s what the teachers taught me: how meaningful a simple “Hi, how are you?” is, or how school and homework come before everything else, or what my friends taught me: not to judge people, how to have a heartfelt, down to earth conversation, or how to help pull someone out of one of the darkest, saddest parts of their lives, or what my coaches taught me: hard work beats skill, I can do anything I put my mind to, and how to preserver even when it feels like I’ve hit rock bottom. Damn, it felt good to get all that out. Thats the first sob I’ve had in a while.
If there was one thing I could say to everyone at Fenn, it would be thank you. I know that’s simple, but it comes from the bottom of my heart.
P.S. I tried recording it, but I couldn’t do it without getting choked up. I want to say a HUGE thank you for all you have done for me. You were so wise and patient with me all year. You knew and understood me on another level then most of my friends did. Thank you so much, Fitz. I don’t know where I’d be without you.
Success is a Beautiful Thing
Persistence pays off
“Never go to sleep angry. Stay up and fight” -Random quote on my aunts wall
ZZZZ! My line shot out of the reel pried between my fingers. The largemouth bass at the other end of my life surfaced, shaking his head in an attempt to free himself from the grasp of the hook in the side of his mouth. The sun blazed down on my back, charring my bare skin. It was a Sunday afternoon in July, and the bass were feeding. The thrill of the chase exceeds the need for comfort.
Despite the heat and sweat dripping down my back, I pursued the fish which swam about under the glassy surface. I so badly wanted to walk back through the forest to the comfort of my cool, air conditioned home, but the need to feel a fish on the end of my life kept me on the muddy, scorching banks of the river. The fish were there, and I knew it; I just needed to find them. I was throwing a slow moving bait; a black senko. The overheated, slow moving fish could not resist the small bait fluttering in their faces. I trudged down the shores in search of the perfect cove or patch of weeds for fish.
At long last, a fish took my bait. This was exactly what I had been waiting for. Fighting for its freedom, the fish launched itself high out of the water, shaking and rolling to escape. Once it hit the water, I ceased the opportunity. The fish was off guard, and I was able to reel in some of the slack line he had created. I gained around a foot of line, but more line came in. By the time I was done reeling, the fish was right at my feet, and I landed it successfully. I could have so easily given up, but my persistence payed off.
Success might be hard to come by; however, once achieved, you’ll realize that it was all worth it.
Journal Entry #7
Fun Entry on How School is so Far
If I do say so myself, I was a little bit skeptical coming into 8th grade. Everything seemed to get worse: the homework load, I get home a lot later, and more stress about high school. Having been in school for three weeks, I have come to the realization that school isn’t all that bad. Although we do get more homework, and get home later, I have come to find ways to deal with it and enjoy school. I’ve started to use study halls more wisely do homework on the bus to ensure that I can still have fun at home. Another thing that I have done is I’ve started to put in the extra work to help with my grades, and I am a lot more satisfied with my grades this year. One thing that I have learned from this year is that school is what you make of it. Of you go into school with a positive attitude, you’ll most likely have a positive experience at school. If you have a negative attitude, then you’ll most likely have a negative experience. I have also learned that having fun on the weekends can even help. Planning something fun for the weekend gives you some motivation to help you work hard during the school week. Having fun on the weekends can also help you relieve the stress that school gives you, and can help you feel refreshed for the upcoming week. This year, I have already had much more fun than last year! For me, a lot of my success at school reflects on how I do outside of the classroom. Whether its working hard on my homework or studying hard, I have found out in eighth grade that if I put my mind to something, then I can do it. One “subject”, you can call it, that I’ve really put my mind to is community service. This year, I made sure to become a better person and give back to my community for signing up for the community service program that Mrs. Mott is offering for eighth graders. This course will be all year round, and we will be doing many different activities and fundraisers to help local organizations raise money for their causes. Even though I am barely through the first month of school, I can already tell that this year will be a successful one for me.
The Power of Place
The Pond That Changed my Life
This place has changed many lives. The pond may be normal to the average eye, except it means a lot more to myself, because without it, I would not be the same person as I am right now. It is very small, around the size of a large swimming pool, and it is not very deep, but it has a deep meaning to many people. This pond is the exact pond where I learned how to fish. Whenever I’m there, and fishing, I always see fathers and sons fishing together, little do the children know, this pond will become a memorable place for them. It was just me and my trustworthy fishing rod. I was standing on the bank that had a slight overhang of trees, casting out into the muddy pond. It was late October, and the water was cool. It was the perfect time to fish. At this time of year, I never waste a good opportunity to get my line wet and catch some fish. This is exactly how I got into fishing: almost the exact same conditions. I cast my lure out into the middle of the pond. I’m using a square bill crank bait, diving anywhere from 3-5 feet. I retrieve this steadily, because the fish are normally lazy with the cold water temp. Suddenly, I feel a weight at the end of my line. At first, I thought that I just hooked weeds, but then the “weeds” started to jump. The fish got wrapped up around a log that was near the shore, so I had to pull hard, but not too hard, to get the fish free. I managed to bring the fish into shore without breaking off. I put it on the scale, and it read at 1.06 pounds. No matter how small this pond is, or how polluted it is, all that matters to me is the memories I have. Even if the quality of the fish in the pond is not the best, I still enjoy fishing there, simply because of my connections. The only thing that matters to me is how I feel about the pond, not what others feel. Nothing can ruin how I feel about this pond, and I will always continue to fish it no matter what happens to it.
The Importance of a Friend
How friends help you fly
“A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world”
Friends give you wings. Without the power of my friends, I could barely make it through a day. My friends have always been there for me, even during my lowest lows and my highest highs. When I am down, hurt, or I feel bad about something, my friends are always there to lift my head up. It was just me, myself, and I, in my dark, gloomy basement, with the TV blaring in my face. It felt as though there was a heavy weight pinning me to the couch, preventing me from standing. This weight was one of a bad, or in other words, unexpected grade. Two words: eighty three. My worst grade in years. While I was drifting off into my deep, dark thoughts, I hear a discreet ding and feel a small vibration in my pocket. I peered down at my phone, and a text notification from Oliver Ali pops up, saying “Hey, how was your day?” I texted him back and told him about the math test, and as he always is, he lifted me back up with his kind and caring words of enjoyment, and made me much happier. Friendship is important in this way. No matter what happens to you, your friends will always be there to lift your spirit, and make you a happier person at the end of the day. What I mean by “Friends give you wings” is that friends help raise you in your lowest times. Friendship is more important than money, because money can only make you happy for a short period of time. A true friendship is eternal, and will bring you a lifetime of joy and support.
The Power of Respect
How respect ties into my mornings
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
You do not have to love everyone, but respecting everyone is important. I have found that having respect for people takes me many places. Respecting someone means that you never talk bad about them, you never underestimate them, you never harm them, and you never talk back to them. Having respect has served me well in my years at Fenn, especially when I am not exactly “fond” of someone. Even though I like mostly everyone at Fenn, for the people I don’t, I never talk bad about them, and I never say anything mean to them, even if they say something mean to me. I was in the gym lobby on a Monday morning with a group of kids, and we were all joking around and having a good time. I cracked a joke, and everyone but one kid laughed. That one kid then proceeded to say “hahaha so funny” in a mocking tone, even though my joke didn’t have anything offensive in it. Of course, I was slightly offended by these remarks, but I said to myself “keep cool, retaliating will only make it worse. Respecting the person is the only thing you can do to make the situation better.” I did just that; I respected the person, and I kept my mouth shut. It took a lot of respect and self control for me to not retaliate at all. It could have been easy for me to shoot him a look or say something back, but my respectful instincts took over. Moments like those happen to everyone, and they test the respect you have for the other person. Being respectful to everyone is an important attribute, and can take you many places.
The Power of Music
How music can lift the heaviest of moods
“Without music, life would be a mistake”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Music has a power greater than any human. Singing or listening to a song can help you express yourself in a way that nothing else can do. Music has had a great affect on me; before a game, I’ll listen to loud music, when I’m feeling down, I’ll listen to slower, sadder music, and when I’m in a good mood, I’ll listen to music that’s not too loud and not too quiet. Music has helped me as recently as yesterday, when I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I always set my alarm to happy music, so that I’m optimistic about my day, but I woke up before my alarm. I was laying in my bed, staring at my ceiling. I was not feeling happy about the day, especially after only six hours of sleep. I felt as though nothing could lighten my mood, and I did not want to show up to school feeling this way. As I was sulking, I heard the slight tune of music, which kept growing louder and louder. I the brightness of the music leaking into my body, overtaking the darkness I had woken up with. Yet again, the power of music saved me from a bad day at school. I felt the music, and even sung along a bit. Once the song ended, I jumped out of bed, ready for a great day at school. Music is reliable, and it is rare that your favorite song will not cheer you up. No human could cheer me up as well as music did, especially in that moment.
Doing Things With a Friend
Friendships craft memories. In my life, my friends have helped turned simple experiences into unforgettable memories. Going up to my New Hampshire house is a normal outing for me, but when I invite friends up, the experience is anything but normal. The sun dipped under the towering pines on the snowy golf course in Twin Lakes Village, New London, New Hampshire. Bennett (my neighbor) and I plummeted down the hills on our sleds. As we bolted down the hill, we would always try to knock each other off of our sleds, and try to go off of the jump we had made at the bottom of the hill. As we walked back up the hill, we would laugh and laugh about whatever had happened in the past run. The only reason we came home that night was because our parents forced us too. This experience is a prime example of friendships creating fun and memorable times, and my friendships have created many positive memories in my life, and memories are important. These memories help me when I am at my low points in life, because they always give me hope, and reassure me that life is fun. Sledding is not normally as fun as it was that night, but with the aid of a friend, the night was filled with memories and fun.
Hard Work Pays Off
Practice makes perfect
In the years past, I have started to lose confidence in my lacrosse skills. I am usually on a high team for my club, but last summer, I played on a lower team for a few tournaments. This brought my confidence down tremendously, and at the end of the season, I knew I had to do something about this. Hard work and determination pay off.
Immediately after the last tournament of the summer, I got to work on first, gaining weight and muscle, second, bringing up my confidence in my playing skills, and third, improving my playing skills. Before I started training, I was 5’4, and I weighed 100lbs. Looking back on this, I saw that I was noticeably underweight. I had no clue where to start, so I started by going to the gym. As I started to work out more often, and my trainer got to know me better, he gave me tips on how to gain weight. “Carbs and protein,” he said “that’ll do it; once you improve your diet and work out, the muscle will come. You just need to give it time.” I did exactly that. I made sure that my mom bought high protein and carbohydrate foods, and that I made it to the gym on a consistent basis.
By the end of summer, I had already gained five pounds, so I decided to try practicing some lacrosse. I could tell that I had a lot more stamina, but my stick skills were rusty. Thats when it struck me; I actually had to practice lacrosse to get better at it. Going to the gym would only improve my strength and size. From that day on, I would do wall ball every day. As the practices when the coaches evaluate you came closer, I practiced more and more. In the offseason, I had gained a total of fifteen pounds, and grew an inch. This was already improvement. I went into practice confident, and played my heart out. I could notice a difference in everything: my stamina, my stick skills, and my confidence. I could take on almost anyone on the field, and I had the energy to do it multiple times. Now that I’m good in practice, I need to apply these skills to a real game. I need to be able to execute under pressure, and not be nervous about messing up. Making mistakes will only make me better. I already have the skills, now I need the game awareness.
Sometimes, working hard is the last thing you want to do, but you have to work, because it is in these moments that you will become a better person and player.