Senior Changes

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Damon Linville

Alannah Stone explains the changes students go through socially from freshman year to senior year.

It is hardly a secret that peoples’ experiences change them, so it is not unreasonable to expect high school to bring many changes for students.
Though high school is only a four year journey, students may evolve significantly over that period of time, and they may surprise themselves and others with the extent of that change.
“I’ve definitely grown as a person since freshman year,” said senior Alannah Stone. “As a freshman, I was very awkward. I wasn’t outgoing, because it was the phase in between middle school friends and new friends. I’m still not the most extroverted person, but I’m definitely more outgoing. I’ve found friends that I’m comfortable around, and finding my own personal identity has definitely changed me.”
Stone is not alone in feeling that her high school experience has greatly influenced her socially.
“As a freshman, I was shy, quiet and reserved. I didn’t have a lot of friends, and I didn’t want to make a lot of friends,” said senior Emily Shively. “Things have definitely gotten a lot better since freshman year. I’ve become a lot more confident over the years, and I’ve come into myself.”
Some credit for students’ changes is owed to their electives and extracurriculars.
Both seniors had at least one activity during their high school experience that really pushed them out of their comfort zones while also significantly affecting their confidence.
“Newspaper and yearbook made me talk to more people and be more comfortable doing it,” said Stone. “Just being put in different situations changed me.”
The influence of extracurricular activities was also apparent on Shively.
Though she has had many interests over the years, Shively’s time in marching band was one of the factors that affected her confidence the most.
With all the talk of change and growth in the air, some may feel left out or disappointed that their circumstances are not better.
Fortunately, Shively and Stone had some advice for those that feel unhappy with their present circumstances or feel discouraged by their lack of progress in the social department.
“Things may seem really bad now, but they’re only going to get better as time goes on,” said Shively. “I think a lot of it (your happiness) has to do with the people around you. If the people around you aren’t bolstering your self-esteem, and if they don’t elevate you when you feel down, then you might want to change the people around you and find someone to support you.”
For students that are happy but just searching for a change, Stone had a recommendation.
“Don’t force yourself to change,” said Stone. “Don’t force a certain personality on yourself. If you aren’t satisfied with who you are, or comfortable in your own skin, make little changes day to day, and it will happen eventually. Eventually everyone becomes comfortable in their own skin.”