You don’t have to be perfect


Photo By: Mr. Cabrera

Journalism senior Camille McWhirter will graduate this year.

Senior year is what most would consider their most anticipated year due to the senior events such as senior sunrise, the elephant walk, and then graduation. 

This year was much different from what I would have expected, but I still wouldn’t have been excited even if COVID-19 wasn’t a thing. I just haven’t been someone who enjoys a lot of school events.

Over these past four years, I’ve been working diligently to keep my grades up, especially this year. I’ve learned that I can’t put too much pressure on myself, that I just need to calm down and focus on my true objectives. I just want to graduate high school and take baby steps into my life. I’m not looking for some grandiose lifestyle with diamonds and expensive cars. All I want is something simple.

During my freshman year, I wanted to belong to something. I joined an anime club but quickly realized the club just didn’t sit well with me. But, my journalism class gave me a place. I was quiet, shy, and easily embarrassed. I couldn’t talk aloud to answer questions without my entire body shaking. I was a newbie. I didn’t understand a whole lot and I still don’t. 

Going into my sophomore year, I was on the newspaper staff. The staff helped me mold my personality and grow into the confidence I have today. Sophomore year was full of so many bumps and hurdles, I can’t even begin to count. I was too focused on how others saw me – how my parents saw my actions – that I didn’t take time for myself.

So in my junior year, I spun things around. I kicked people out of my life who were toxic. I stopped listening to the hurtful things people say and I kept my head up. 

Senior year isn’t what I expected it to be but it’s far from the worst that it could be. 

I joined the National Honor Society during my senior year. I do believe that online NHS is surely different from the in-person NHS others have had, but it wasn’t a detriment. I still got my hours and I still listened to my teachers. Participating in NHS gave me another sense of belonging, even if it was minor compared to how empowered I feel sitting in a newspaper class.

I’m grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve been given. I’m thankful for Mr. Hoxie who, truthfully, saved my life during sophomore year. I’m thankful for Mr. Cabrera for always believing in me and helping me when I fall. I’m grateful for all the friends I’ve had, and have, who have stuck by me through thick and thin and all of my petty issues.

I’ve transformed this hectic senior year into something that makes me feel good instead of sour. I made this senior year yet another learning point for myself. I don’t have to be perfect, no one has to be, and no one can be. As long as I’m happy and nobody’s getting hurt, things should be fine. 

I worried about grades, but not to the point where I was clawing at my hair and having frequent panic attacks thinking about the smallest dip in a grade. I thought over my mistakes and corrected them calmly. I communicated with my teachers and I kept myself above water. 

I reshaped this year into something positive rather than negative; I thought of all the people who helped me get through these years, my teachers, friends, family members, and I thought of myself – how I grew from a shy, quiet girl, to a relatively loud and confident girl. It makes me so undeniably proud of myself and I’m not afraid to admit it.

For one last time, thank you to those who knew me, even if just for a little bit.


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