Caroline White’s Senior Testimonial: Enjoy the Ride

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Caroline White, Co-Editor

When I started Journalism I my sophomore year, I never thought I’d be sitting here my senior year, Co-Editor in Chief of The Lobby Observer, writing a Senior Testimonial. I like to tell everyone that my parents forced me to take journalism, which is true. I started my journalism career reluctantly and begrudgingly, but I’m ending it full of gratitude for all the things I’ve learned in this class. Not everyone can say that they have career goals when they leave high school, and before I started journalism I couldn’t either, but now I can thanks to Mrs. Stoker and The Lobby Observer

From the very beginning of high school, I didn’t know exactly where I fit in in our school’s community. I was a chorus kid and a cheerleader, and yet neither a student athlete nor a D-Winger. I didn’t feel like I belonged hanging out in the locker room with the athletes or in the D Wing with the musicians. I loved my friends from both “worlds”, but I felt like I was missing out on some sense of community and belonging that everyone else was in on. When I started journalism, and eventually joined The Lobby O staff, I finally found it.  I realized it’s not about being 100% dedicated to a certain activity; the sense of community that I’ve found in The Lobby O comes from everyone’s shared enthusiasm and passion for journalism and our school newspaper. 

If I could tell my freshman self one thing, it would be: Don’t burn bridges and have confidence in yourself. You never know who your classes will be with, or in our case, what cohort you’ll be in, so it’s important to always treat everyone with kindness and open-mindedness. It’s easy to get caught up in high school drama, but don’t let it turn you into someone you don’t want to be. It’s also easy to feel insecure in high school; everyone thinks that middle school is the awkward social period, and I don’t think people like to admit it, but high school can be pretty awkward too. It’s so incredibly important to be confident in yourself and surround yourself with people who make you feel supported and bring out the best in you.  

I can’t necessarily say that I am friends with all of the same people I was friends with when I started high school. However, regardless of who I am still in touch with and who I’m not in touch with anymore, all of the people I’ve been friends with helped me become who I am today. My best friend from freshman and sophomore year taught me how to stand up for myself. My friends from junior year taught me how to have fun and relax even in Westborough’s rigorous academic environment. And all of the people I have spent my time with this year have taught me how to make the best of every situation, even a global pandemic. Never forget that, no matter where you stand with old friends, your time with them and the lessons you learned from them will always be precious and important. 

At Westborough High School, there is an enormous amount of pressure to take the hardest classes, the most APs, and cram in the most extracurriculars. Sometimes it feels like Westborough High School is a college applicant machine, taking in middle schoolers and producing seniors with perfect Common Applications with transcripts to match. But high school is what you make it. Take that art class. Join Chorus. It’s so so important to take classes you’ll enjoy whenever you can, otherwise, you’ll be ultra-stressed.  And whatever you do, DON’T take two APs your senior year. Take it from me. 

As I begin my last week at WHS, the beginning of the end, I feel envious of the college freshman who are already gone and the high school freshman who are just beginning. By the time I was a sophomore and I started to have friends who were seniors leaving for college, I wanted out. I thought that Westborough was too boring and Westborough High School was too stressful. But keep in mind: You’ll get there. You’ll have your time. My friend Sam Anzede told me “Don’t wish away your time here,” and despite his advice, I did.

  Everyone has to be here for four years, so make the most of it. Embrace your time in Westborough for what it is. However, I’m excited to see what comes next. In the fall, I’m heading down to Washington, DC to study Journalism and Mass Communications at The George Washington University. Maybe I’ll be a news anchor, or maybe I’ll be the youngest Press Secretary to work in the West Wing. I don’t know what the next several years will bring, but what I do know is that Westborough High School will have helped me get there. We’re all incredibly lucky to have such amazing teachers here. Mrs. Stoker is the most passionate and inspiring educator I’ve ever learned from. This class and The Lobby O have helped me find my calling. With all of the different classes and clubs at WHS, everyone can find their “thing,” you just have to search a little. 

Before I finish, I want to say thank you to my family. My mom and dad have always made sure that every possible opportunity has been available to me. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. To my mom: Thank you for forcing us to visit historical landmarks and thank you for forcing us to read books outside of school. You’ve inspired my curiosity of the world around me. You’ve shown me that learning can be interesting outside of school too, and that is an invaluable lesson. To my dad: I remember one time when I was in second grade I got so mad about my math homework that I snapped my pencil in half, but you were sitting with me and you kept helping me with my multiplication. Thank you for always being (fairly) patient with me and for always pushing me to work as hard as I can. Without you guys, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And last but not least, to my brother, Nathan: Every day when I come home, you always have a smile on your face. Even when I’ve had a bad day and even if you can’t tell, it’s nice to have someone around who’s almost always cheerful. I’ll miss you so much next year and I can’t wait for you to fly down to DC and visit me for basketball games (Go Colonials!). 

So, I’ll say it one more time: Make the most of your time here. Make as many friends as possible, take classes that interest you, and find something that you’re passionate about. Don’t look too far ahead into the future, because you’re not there yet. Right now you’re in Westborough High School, so enjoy the ride.