Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs

Seymone Russell

 Looking back on high school it all feels like a blur. This sounds ironic considering the fact that when the school year was ongoing, each day dragged along. I remember watching the clock and counting the time until lunch and the second half of the day. Although I hated waking up at 6:00 a.m. each morning and spending countless hours of my free time completing homework, high school was definitely an important milestone in my life.

Throughout my four years of high school, I have found the interests that I am most passionate about. I have been allowed to express my self through fashion each and every school day. Each day was an opportunity for me to create an outfit that expressed who I was. I was allowed to grow more passionate about the topic of race and diversity. Being in Minority Empowerment gave me a chance to talk about this passion and give a different perspective to students in the school. I love teaching others about specific struggles that minorities face in everyday life. Though I may not have been able to impact the whole school, the small change that I made will lead to others making a change in the future whether in high school or throughout life. This passion for helping people understand systematic racism and fighting against the discrimination that many minorities face is definitely one I will continue doing in the future. 

One of the classes that had the biggest impact on my high school career was Clarion. Writing for the school newspaper gave me an opportunity to express the thoughts that I was never able to before. Before Clarion, I didn’t have an outlet to express the frustrations and worries that came along with being an African American woman in a predominately White school. In a way, I felt trapped before being presented with the opportunity of joining Clarion. It seemed almost forbidden to talk about things such as non-black people throwing around the n-word in the hallway or African American students being judged by stereotypes such as being “loud” and “ghetto” before even getting a chance to speak. Being on the Clarion staff allowed me to not only write about these things but also connect with people who shared these same thoughts and feelings. Each school day of senior year, I would hold in all of the stereotypes thrown at me when I walked into the classroom and all the microaggressions performed in previous periods. All of my thoughts would be bouncing off of the walls in my head, just waiting to get out and let go of the frustration. The only thing that would get me through this was knowing that I had Clarion fourth period in which I would be allowed to spill all of my thoughts to my teacher and friends. Without Clarion, I don’t know who’d I’d be today or how I would act today. It allowed me to become confident in my beliefs and proud of the person I am despite the ignorance and thoughts of others.

Overall, I would say high school was a learning period. I will definitely not be remembering these days as the best years of my life. It was not some mind-blowing experience for me and I am happy to be moving on to new beginnings. I believe that I will take what I learned and use that to make my future better. My advice to others would be to not worry about making high school into some amazing experience. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely should make the best out of these four years and any time period of your life for that matter. But, if you struggled during high school or it just wasn’t your best time, then that is okay. You have your whole life ahead of you to create new experiences and receive new opportunities. While some relationships are ending, new ones are being created. Don’t force yourself to act a certain way or do things you’ll regret in the future out of fear that opportunities will cease in the future.

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