Enjoy the Little Things

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Enjoy the Little Things

Llyra Roe as a freshman at SWHS.

Llyra Roe as a freshman at SWHS.

Rally Ershig

Llyra Roe as a freshman at SWHS.

Rally Ershig

Rally Ershig

Llyra Roe as a freshman at SWHS.

Llyra Roe, Editor

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The week before freshman year started, I chopped off all of my hair. I wanted a fresh start, a new look, and a new me. Of course, I regretted it the second I did it. I remember being on the verge of tears for orientation because I couldn’t figure out how to style it or make it look decent. My mom was in the bathroom comforting me, and telling me that it looked really good, but of course I didn’t believe her, until she told me that it looked like Alice’s hair from New Moon. After that, I didn’t mind my hair.
I went to orientation with my dad that day. I took my picture, got shown around, and found all my classes. A senior boy showed me the ins and outs and then asked for my number in case I had any difficulty finding anything. I mistook his flirting for friendliness. He asked me to homecoming later that month in the biggest, dreamiest way I could imagine. I bought a dress, made dinner plans, and had everything figured out. That was, until, the day before homecoming when he cancelled and told me there was someone else.
That was my first high school heartbreak. Senior guys, don’t go after freshmen girls. It’s yucky. Freshmen girls, don’t talk to senior boys. They’re yucky.
Freshmen year, I joined the debate team. I was in the debate class and McCartt asked me if I wanted to join the club. My first tournament was crazy intimidating. I ended up losing five of my six rounds, and I think that one might have been a pity win. Later that season, I got my first state bid. If we’re being honest, I sucked at first. I don’t like to admit that, because I wish that I could have gone in and kicked butt and became a legend from the start. But that wasn’t the case. I came in, got my butt kicked, and kept going. It was hard. I was embarrassed. But I kept going until I made it to state.
Sophomore year, I joined my first play. The Princess Diaries was an incredible experience and a super fun show. Sophomore year, I got my first trophy in debate. It might be a little materialistic, but that piece of metal (or plastic maybe?) made me so happy. It felt like I could physically touch my accomplishments. Sophomore year, I got my second state bid for Speech and Debate. I later joined my first musical. Bye Bye Birdie is still my favorite musical I’ve been in. There was a magic in that show that was unlike any other.
Sophomore year, I also dealt with my mental health deteriorating. My grades slipped, I isolated myself, and I lost all motivation. That period of letting myself go is one of my biggest regrets. I lost a lot of friends, it really messed up my cumulative GPA, and caused a lot of stress about if I was going to get into colleges.
Junior year, I got down to business. I took AP classes, had a pretty good GPA, and pushed myself to do my best. I continued doing shows and debate. I got my third state bid with Speech and Debate and did better than ever. I made a concrete plan for what I was going to do after high school. Setting a plan and something to work toward helped me get my act together.
Junior year, I staged a walkout to end gun violence after the Parkland school shooting.
Senior year, I wanted to make my best year yet. I tried to balance my social life with my school life. I have been ready to graduate since I walked in those doors with my short, Alice from New Moon hair my freshman year.
I got my first lead in a show! I played Annie in The Parent Trap and that became my favorite play because the bond we all created with our characters and with the actors was truly amazing.
I got my last state bid in Speech and Debate. McCartt told me toward the end of the season that I was in second place for the most points earned in Sedro-Woolley High School history. When I asked, how close I was to beating it, he told me there was no way. But of course, that didn’t stop me. I last minute picked up an event to rake in all the points I could get and ended up breaking the record by 67 points!
I got cast in my last high school show. I played an activist named Gwendolyn in Robinhood and it was probably the easiest role I’ve had the privilege of playing. I felt like everything my character said was something that I would say. (Aside from falling in love with the character who terrorized our town) Saying goodbye to that stage was one of the hardest goodbyes of my high school experience.
Someone asked me what my biggest piece of advice for freshmen would be. First of all, just ignore senior boys. Like seriously, don’t even look at them. Second of all, attitude is everything. If you walk in those doors hating everything and ready to graduate, these next four years will drag on. If you enjoy the little things, you’ll find so much happiness in your high school experience.