Senior Testimonial: Ben Grossman ’22

Ben Grossman , Executive Producer

I’m sitting in Ms. Smith’s room writing this testimonial, and as I look around I can’t help but feel emotional. I don’t understand why I feel any sadness towards leaving this school, I never loved my time here. For years I struggled with this concept, during my freshman and sophomore years I was often trying to squeeze myself into groups I didn’t belong with. I didn’t play any “exciting” sports so I didn’t fit in with a lot of athletes, I didn’t party so I couldn’t group myself in with a lot of those people, I was just lost.

This was 200% true up until the pandemic hit, with COVID shutting down everything, my life (along with everyone else’s) got thrown for a loop. Many people see the time during the pandemic as a negative; however, I don’t. I loved my time during COVID. I was able to stay safe while doing my favorite activities with some of my best friends. School during the first few months of quarantine was a joke, we were finished by noon which gave me plenty of time to do other things. Every day I was either golfing or fishing with my friends, my life was awesome. I only saw people who I wanted and never had to worry about getting a hard time from some people as we would never see each other anymore.

Once September rolled around, summer had concluded and I had to go back to school and work. It would be my second year working as an assistant through the Community Education Department. As an assistant, my job revolved around kids, whether it was helping with their homework, playing sports or just overall guiding them through the day. I still have this job now and I love it; working with kids keeps me on my toes and there is never a dull moment. I highly recommend that all high school students get jobs as they teach responsibility and it feels good to earn your own money.

Junior year was the first time in my life I felt some freedom. In December, I got my driver’s license which allowed me to spread my wings. I could finally drive myself to school, ski practice, and work. This was huge for me as I finally had some control in my life. Around this time I also started to become content with who I was–I didn’t have to be a great athlete or an amazing scholar and that was okay. I grew even closer with my already tight-knit friend group and realized that friends are more about quality than quantity.

The rest of my junior year was pretty common; a couple college tours, a few late nights with my friends, etc. The summer after my junior year I got a job at Camp Burgess, an overnight camp in Sandwich, MA. Working at Burgess was one of the best experiences of my life, I started the summer not knowing a soul, but within a few weeks I had made some of my best friends. I feel that being at camp helped me grow as it was my first time ever being away from home for more than a week.

Throughout the summer I was in charge of taking care of kids between the ages of seven and sixteen; this wide variety of ages helped me learn how to deal with issues that arise at different levels of maturity. Many of these campers were also on their first time away from home, homesickness affected a lot of these campers as they were not adjusted to being separated from their parents.

After camp ended, it was back to school. The start of my senior year was pretty traditional; however, this year I had a new class on my schedule. AP Microeconomics, I signed up for the course knowing nothing about economics thinking it would be an easy business class. From the first day, the class was a grind. Rigorous notes, weekly quizzes, questions with words I didn’t even understand; it was truly the first time I had ever felt overwhelmed due to school. After a month of being in the class and failing the second quiz, I decided to drop the class. This was a tough thing for me to do. I had never felt incapable of doing schoolwork and this class made me feel inadequate. I was down on myself for a couple days before I realized that it was okay to drop the class, the course was above my level and that is okay.

On October 28 I received my first college acceptance letter from the University of Louisville. At the time I was over the moon with excitement, I had officially gotten a guarantee that I wouldn’t be in Westborough the next year. Although I was content with myself, other people didn’t have the same view; people slandered Louisville to my face, telling me that it was a “trashy school” and that they “accept everyone.” This did upset me for a few days–until I realized that it was a tough time for people who were anxiously awaiting results from their future schools.

My senior year continued on a hot-streak into December where I was named captain of the high school’s varsity ski team. This meant a lot to me, anyone on the team could attest that I was not an elite skier by any stretch, yet, Coach Lipke saw something in me. This was Coach Lipke’s first year as the coach of the WHS ski team, almost all of the seniors were brand new to him, except for one that he had previously coached on another team. The first day I met Lipke, I shook his hand, introduced myself and told him my intent to be a captain for my senior season. Coach told me at the end of season banquet that having the guts to ask a complete stranger to name me captain showed him how much I cared about the team, locking me into the position.

From the end of ski season to now has been a complete blur as the days have felt long but the months have flew by. I’ve committed to college (UMaine ‘26), seen dozens of promposals, and watched my fellow seniors slowly begin the slide into graduation.

Although I will miss WHS, I feel that I will miss the connections I have made in school more. Not my closest friends necessarily, but the kids who help you get through the day. Whether it’s a guy who sits at your lunch table, or someone who you share the first few classes of the day with. People who you may not hang out with outside of school, but people you’re glad to have in it.

Finally, I want to thank my closest friends. These guys are some of the best dudes I know, and I will miss them tremendously at school next year. So, to everyone in the “Screaming” group chat, I love you guys and I’m beyond excited to see what the future holds for us.