Senior Reflection: Change can be scary, but growth is vital

John Dugan, Staff Writer

People often ask, “What was high school to you?” To me, high school was about growth.

What eighth grade me assumed would be four years of jocks, cliques and me counting down till the last day of senior year but it ended up being very different. 

I entered Algonquin as a typical kid rising up from Trottier’s halls to the big leagues of high school. When I was a freshman, my sister Abby was a junior and helped me learn the ways of the maroon and gold, and she helped me feel involved from day one.

Freshman year was a great introduction to the high school scene and the sights and sounds that come with it. However, it was sophomore year that I really embraced Algonquin as a home for me to grow.

My dad, my forever best friend, was diagnosed with brain cancer that fall, leaving me speechless and lost. There were nights spent breaking down crying in my room asking God why this had to happen to me and what I was supposed to do. Words cannot describe the pain I felt.

However, it was in Algonquin’s hallowed halls that I found comfort and friendships that had I not found, I’m not sure where I would be today. As a result of my dad’s cancer, I was forced to grow up a lot quicker than many other high schoolers when it comes to loss. However, in the end, it was the smiling faces of my friends and teachers alike that got me through such challenges. 

Whether I was picking Mr. Barry’s brain about the Red Sox or being elbowed by friends in the halls, Algonquin gave me an outlet to laugh, love and learn as I overcame my biggest struggles through my dad’s death in June of my junior year. 

Now, I’m an eighteen year-old senior who is eternally grateful for Algonquin for helping me grow from the fourteen year-old kid I was to who I am now.

To those who still have time left at Algonquin, please listen. Change is natural. You’re going to face challenges during your high school years that may seem unfair and make you sag your head. Don’t be the person who stares down at their feet when things get hard. Face the difficulties that come to you head on and understand that Algonquin is a community of students and faculty alike who will be there for you from start to finish.

Thank you for helping me to live, smile and grow, Algonquin. You’ve been a ride.