Today I closed the chapter of high school after five years. When I started high school I had a master plan. Specific courses I wanted to take, striving to get into UW-Madison, aspiring to grow as an individual, dreaming of growing academically, and much more. Once my sophomore year came, the plan quickly became different. It was merely about finding a way for me to survive. To survive hospice, palliative care, and intestinal failure. To simply make it through each day.
Yet, that is just the surface of high school. I met the most selfless and uplifting teachers and staff. They worked together to make the impossible possible- they made it possible for me to attend school and learn. They made school my safe place. A place free of invasive testing, infusions, and countless appointments. I met some of the most supportive classmates. They went out of their way to look past the tubes and health issues. They created smiles and belly aches from laughing. The experience of high school allowed me to grow academically. It also allowed me to grow tremendously as an individual- learning rapidly to value relationships with others and to treasure every moment. Somehow, despite the challenges that were complicated beyond belief, I also am able to say I am attending UW-Madison this fall.
It is bittersweet to close a chapter full of so much love. I will forever remember the individuals who have left an everlasting impact on my life. It is an honor to have built relationships with so many of these people. I am so grateful I was able to experience the pure magic of our principal, Mr. Kersten, before he retires. He has a way of brightening everyone’s day, and encourages us to achieve our dreams.
Thank you Waunakee High School for lifting me up, and giving me opportunities to chase my goals. I will forever remember this journey- with so much love. I am so thankful I am able to see the day I graduate from high school. I know every moment is such a gift.
Farewell high school, I am grateful for you,
Thank you to the amazing staff, teachers, friends, and family that created a graduation ceremony for me today to receive my diploma.
To every other individual who is not able to graduate on a set timeline due to life’s unexpected challenges: you are not alone. You are just as special. Just as worthy of celebration. Just as accomplished. I stand by your side cheering you on. You are so loved.
Photography by the amazing Teresa Lynn Photography