Senior reflects on lessons learned and says farewell


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Senior Cali Heisey throws “deuces” at the Laurens Elementary Graduates Parade in 2018.

Cali Heisey, Staff Reporter

How I am already having to write a senior column for the Sword & Shield is beyond me. What I do know, however, is that I’ve grown. I remember walking into the Gym the first day of freshman year feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and scanning the crowd of freshmen to find a friend. I remember going to House of Pizza after basketball games instead of going home to tackle whatever load of homework I had that night. I remember summer bus rides coming back from basketball camps. I remember reading the Canterbury Tales prologue until I fell asleep. I remember sometimes feeling inadequate and sometimes feeling overly competent. I remember thriving and struggling.

I have learned so many lessons and have experienced so much in my four years here. One column is nowhere near enough to sum all the things that I have learned up, but I want to try, and in doing so, I want to share a few of the lessons I’ve learned.

Number one: Do not try to please everyone. You do not have to pretend to be another person or hide whatever makes you happy. In my experience, pretending to enjoy things or ignoring your personal preferences can leave you feeling empty and unhappy. Billy Joel once said: “If you are not doing what you love, then you are wasting your time.” It is better to disappoint others for your well-being than to be miserable to preserve the opinions of others. So at the end of the day, really contemplate whether or not you are doing what makes you happy.

Number two: Always maintain sight of who you are. At this age it is easy to find self-worth in materialistic things. Your intelligence is not just your GPA. Whether or not you get that text back does not determine how attractive you are. Sacrificing your morals will not make you more likable. Most of all, what others say or think about you does not determine the truth about you. Only you can determine your worth and who you are as a person.

Number three: Four years is a short amount of time. Do not waste time when you are here. Some of my best memories are with people that I met freshman year. The high school “lasts” happen fast. Senior year really makes you realize how limited your time is with the people who have surrounded you for a majority of your life. You become so aware of the inevitable end. You have your last schedule pick-up day, attend your last Friday night football game, play your last game. All of a sudden, the days that always seemed so far away are now today. Everything is coming to an end, which is why you have to cherish the moments you get. Sometimes it’s worth it to go over to your friend’s house instead of writing that Corley paper you were probably going to fail anyway. Sometimes it’s worth watching the basketball or baseball team play on a Tuesday night and doing your calculus homework in the lunchroom on Wednesday instead. The time goes by fast, so make sure you make the most of every day.

Yes, high school is not all Student Section themes and spicy chicken sandwiches. There will be days where you are ready to move on to bigger and better things. There will be days where you are ready to leave LDHS and say that when you do, you will never look back. However, high school gives you the opportunities to make some great memories that are worth looking back on. There are lessons to be learned and experiences to be had for everyone who walks these circular halls. Try your best to get the most out of the time you have here. As always, Go Raiders.


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Senior Cali Heisey walks in the Laurens Elementary Graduates Parade.