Ashton Worstell: Senior Testimonial

When I moved to Westborough in sixth grade, I was terrified of this new chapter of my life that was starting. At school, I didn’t know anyone and all the students already knew each other. I braced myself for an isolated experience. It felt like I was looking at life through a new pair of eyes: new environment, new understandings, and new avenues I had to quickly adjust to. As I sit here now, after seven years of commuting to the town of Westborough from Worcester, I would describe my experience as anything but isolated.

There are many standout moments and people from the many classrooms I’ve sat in over the last four years that I believe have profoundly influenced my outlook and developed my perspective. Mr. Mcintyre, for example, is a history teacher who has made me deeply appreciate the subject. I genuinely looked forward to sharing my thoughts in his class because the atmosphere was so inviting and welcoming. Mr. Cullen’s room, on the other hand, was also my favorite because of the scent of dark roast coffee and the sound of Paul McCartney and The Beatles playing could always be counted on. Mrs. Papetti was not only my teacher, but my friend. Often times I would stay after school, either just to chat about nothing or to discuss something personal that was going on in my life. She would always listen without interrupting and she’d help me through times where I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone else. Mrs. Stoker, of course, has a special talent for fanning the tiny flame of creativity in any student who comes through her door and turning them into a writer, just like herself. I’ve learned more about myself in four years of journalism than I have in any other class. When it comes to giving my opinion, connecting with others, and adapting my work within a deadline, I’ve been able to recognize my strengths and weaknesses because of journalism.

I could go on and on about the teachers who helped mold me into the person I am today, but I’ll stop here and say this: the people you surround yourself with can shape who you are. It took me a long time to realize that the quality of the relationships you build is more important than the quantity. Surrounding yourself with people who are not only like-minded, but also people you know you can rely on, will transform your life.

My time at WHS has been like no other. Many of the relationships I’ve created here are bonds that will never be broken. To a kid from Worcester who has transitioned schools three different times, I can say that Westborough truly took me in as one of their own. As I reflect on my time here, I see teachers and staff who pushed me to be more than who I thought I could be, and classmates I’d never think I’d be able to call my friends showing up to my football games just to cheer me on.

High school flew by much quicker than I had expected, but I am thankful for the many memories I was able to make during my four years at WHS. As rapper Nas once said, “The world is yours.” The lessons I have learned here have made that statement feel true. Not only is the world full of opportunity waiting for us to reach out and grab it, but I also leave these four years with a better understanding of my position in the world. To leave it better than I found it.

With that being said, thank you to those who have made my time here special, I wouldn’t trade these memories for the world.