Senior Testimonial: Samantha Steinberg: Be Yourself

Gabrielle Delgado

Samantha Steinberg, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Four years ago, I was a freshman getting dropped off at school by my father each day in the morning, running to make sure I wasn’t late to my Spanish class. On the first day of high school I remember trying to make a mental map of the school in my head, not wanting to get lost and having to ask someone for help. Seeing the seniors wear tie dye and screaming in the halls, I couldn’t even imagine myself three years later doing the same thing as them. As the years rolled by, I definitely experienced the inevitable ups and downs like every other student in the school. Even though there are some things that I wish I could forget that happened in the past four years, I am so grateful for the things I have learned–and most of all the people that I have met along the journey.

Whenever seniors give advice to any freshman, it’s almost always “enjoy the time you have here; it goes by fast” or “don’t care what other people think of you; just do what you want” or “get involved in every school event because you will regret it later if you don’t go.” Like many other freshmen, I ignored some of that advice, and I honestly don’t even think I knew what it meant when someone said “just be yourself.” I was just a fourteen year old molding to the people around me in order to fit in.   I ended up not being able to make lasting and genuine friendships because I felt like I had to be a certain way in order to be friends with people. So it took me three years to realize that it’s okay to be my goofy, crazy self. From freshman to junior year I walked with my head down, too self conscious and scared of people’s opinions about me. I would overthink every interaction I had with people, keeping me up at night–embarrassed if I felt like I said the wrong thing.

Towards the end of junior year, my best friend since elementary school was moving all the way to Florida, and obviously I was upset, thinking that she wouldn’t be with me for senior year. I felt like the end of high school was coming a year early.

That summer going into senior year, I took an incredible trip out West with my family to Wyoming. It’s hard to explain an epiphany moment when you, yourself, don’t even understand it, but that is exactly

“It’s hard to explain an epiphany moment when you, yourself, don’t even understand it, but that is exactly what happened to me…””

— Samantha Steinberg

what happened to me as I was traveling through Yellowstone National Park, hiking through nature and experiencing a new way of life out in the mountains. I saw the world in a new perspective, breaking out of my shell and realizing my little problems weren’t important.

When I got back to Westborough after the trip, there were two weeks left until the start of senior year, and I was excited, but mostly ready to finally just be comfortable with myself as I walked through the halls and not worry about unnecessary things. Even though there are still times that I find myself overthinking situations, I have finally realized the importance of just enjoying the ride and being comfortable with who I am. Obviously, I’m still insecure about little things like my obnoxiously loud laugh, but I’ve learned that my true friends don’t care about those things.

So if I could give any advice to freshmen, I would say:  stop trying to impress people and focus on being your true, authentic self.  Be yourself and be genuine while having fun at the same time will make your high school experience worthwhile.

It took me until senior year to realize who I was.  Please freshmen, just be yourself, even if that means losing friends because the best friends will stay by your side through anything and support you through all of it. Have fun, and remember that you only get to experience high school once, so make the most of it!