Back where I began

I would not call myself shy or quiet; rather I wait until I need to speak. Nor would I call myself a bandwagoner (unless Obama tells me to be); rather I am often outspoken.

In middle school, I’d gone from end-of-grade finals to end-of-year celebrations to saying farewell to having classes with my some of my best friends. By the end, I was tired and more than ready for a change of people and scenery. Luckily, come August, I would be in a new place (five minutes away) with new people– Apex High School.

I can vividly remember my first day of freshman year. I awoke at 5 o’clock in the morning to be dragged by my senior brother to the senior parade and was probably the first underclassmen in the courtyard that morning.

But now history is repeating itself.

This time, I attend (most of) the end-of-year celebrations, say farewell to those that I’ve gotten close with, count down the days until graduation, and thank myself for having the strength to qualify for senior exemptions. Luckily, in just a few weeks I will be beginning my next four years at my dream school, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I will be getting a jumpstart on college– graduating June 13th and starting college on June 20th. I surprised myself by getting into UNC’s summer program but everyone I tell, rather than sharing my surprise, seems genuinely proud.  

My parents can see my transformation since freshman year as I’ve now begun to chauffeur my younger sister and work nearly everyday at TJ Maxx. But I often forget about the teachers that have also watched me mature firsthand. The teachers that have gloated about me on letters of recommendations and pulled me aside during class to give me words of encouragement, these teachers are the reason that I got into my dream school.

If Mr. Coffey hadn’t assured me that I was a valuable addition to discussions and the classroom environment, or if Ms. Fackler-Bretz hadn’t recommended me as a kind human being and an all around good person, or if Mr. Obaigbena hadn’t told me that he wishes future successes on my like he would his own children…

Mr. O once told a story of how an interaction may seem so insignificant to one person and mean the world to another. I’m not sure if these moments came across as important to them as it was to me, but I do know that these teachers and these particular moments have forged me into the person I am.

Mrs. McGee, more than anybody, has seen my transformation from freshmen year. She’s seen my personality reveal itself. She’s provided me with reassurance and trust by putting me in positions of leadership. She’s saved me from almost exploding in tears that Friday of junior year when I had the ACT and a five-hour drive to Howard University for a college tour. And she can genuinely tell when I’m upset, whether I want to admit I’m upset or not.  Since freshman year, I’ve been a student in Mrs. McGee’s class five times. I was in Mrs. McGee’s class room on the first day of school, and I will be in her classroom on the last– and I will definitely be crying on that last day.

Luckily, in just a few weeks I will be beginning my next four years at my dream school, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and I have some of the great teachers of Apex High School to thank.

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