Living and learning: Students share stories about their growth this past year at Marian

by Samantha Fabian

This year has been a year unlike any other, as it has presented Marian students with a variety of different challenges and opportunities. Although it has been a year of ups and downs, each moment can be taken as a learning experience that ultimately makes each student stronger in the end. Read below about the stories of four students’ 2017-2018 academic year and what they have come to learn from this year’s trials and tribulations.

Emily Folts ’18

Emily Folts“Senior year has been one of the most rewarding years of high school for me. I have always had pretty good grades, but I never really put full effort into school. I went through most of high school barely studying and hoping it would get me by. First semester of this year, I took control and went to Starbucks or DoSpace almost every day after school and I studied for every single test. At this point I have some of the best grades I’ve ever had because of how hard I worked. It is very rewarding to accomplish goals you have set for yourself. I brought this confidence into other aspects of my life, like working out and healthy grocery shopping, and it has made me a happier person.

One of the most difficult things I’ve had to accept this year is that there aren’t answers to all questions. It’s really frustrating to not know what I want to do in life, and it’s even more frustrating when you have to actually make commitments without being fully sure. It’s also very hard to grasp the concept of losing people without really knowing why. Sometimes not knowing everything pushes me out of my comfort zone to really learn more about the world. I’ve grown intellectually in the sense that I answer my own questions and give my own reasons. 

I’ve had quite a few friends throughout my years of high school. Friends are meant to lean on each other, but I felt like I leaned on them a little more than they did to me. This year, however, I learned to be there for myself a little more. Since I was much more confident with myself and following my own advice, I was able to be a better friend to everyone that had supported me when I needed it. My friendships are much deeper and are more than just someone to go to the movies with. They’re about the late nights driving to Fremont for no reason, walking through every aisle in Target because maybe we’ll find something cool and talking about problems and throwing out any ideas for solving them. I truly found people that only want to lift me up, and it has made all the difference.” 

Jayden Rocha ’20

Jayden Rocha.JPG“Academically, I have changed how I go about learning the material I am given in each class. Freshman year I was so focused on just memorizing the material and getting the questions right that I failed to understand the point of school is to learn information you can later apply. This year I have done a better job understanding the concept of the material. 

Personally I have changed how I react to situations. We all know that sometimes things just don’t go our way, but if we are constantly freaking out about things, they will never get finished. My saying for this year is ‘if you have time to worry, you have time to pray.’ 

The most difficult thing I had to accept this year was knowing that some people are gonna be better at me than some things and I won’t always be good at everything. I am a very competitive person, but I’ve come to understand that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and I have strengths and weakness just like everyone else. The biggest obstacle I have overcome this year is being my biggest supporter instead of my biggest critic.

My relationship with my mom has grown immensely this year. Honestly, she is my best friend. With all the challenges and wonderful moments sophomore year drags you through, she has been my rock. I hope everyone has someone in their lives that support them like my mom supports me. My relationships in general have grown a lot this year because I just realized the importance of others in my life.”

Avery Streeter ’19

Avery Streeter BW.jpg“This past year I’ve grown so much academically because it finally hit me that if I wanted to be successful, I’d have to work hard. This last year I’ve learned that I needed to let go of the things that weren’t making me happy, and I needed to put myself first and do the things that made me happy. The thing that changed me most is when my mom told me that at the end of the day my grades weren’t everything, and she wouldn’t care as long as I was giving it my all. 

The greatest moment in the last year was when I was sitting in the choir room before final performance for play and they were giving senior speeches. I just looked around realized just how much that group of people had made me confident, loved and accepted, and I couldn’t even think about how hard it would be to watch them all go.”

Paige Foley ’21

DSC_0010“I have learned to prepare a week before a big test, and to make many different Quizlets. I figured that going to a teacher or tutor to help you figure out what you are doing wrong helps you in the long run.

This year I have become more independent, outgoing and I have grown in my personality. For example, I have learned that I am kind of funny so when other people are upset, I try to use my mistakes or something really stupid that I’ve done to make people laugh. I have become more able to stand up for what I believe is right and know what’s best for myself; I have had to let go of some people that were very close to me because it was the best decision for myself. 

I have also learned that not everyone is going to like you for who you really are, and you don’t have to change yourself to fit in or make yourself seem normal. Not everyone is normal, we are all weirdos in our own way, and if people like you for that, then they are your real friends. Your real friends will be with you through thick and thin and won’t judge you for your mistakes. One idea that has changed the way I think is not everyone is gonna live tomorrow, so you have to live every day like it’s your last.”

If you learned a life lesson this past year, feel free to share in a reply/comment below or email us to share your story.

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