I only have one more day of high school left. It’s unreal and crazy, but I’m somewhat calm about it all. I’ll soon be in college and no longer a high-schooler. For many of you readers, this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I’m really excited! I’ve changed so much in the past four years.
Freshman Year, I was a quiet, shy girl. I loved ballet and I danced as much as I could. I thought I might dance in college.
I attended Interlochen Center for the Arts the summer after freshman year. I danced 6 hours a day, and then partied all night, haha. Look at those braces!
At the end of freshman year, I ran an 8k race and won 3rd place female. I had never been a runner, but I figured- it’s high school, why not? I tried something new and joined the cross-country team.
I also joined a new dance company that was less focused on ballet and more focused on jazz and contemporary dance. I was a busy bee! February of my sophomore year, I started having convulsive episodes. We didn’t yet know I had POTS, so it was a confusing, scary time. My family and I still took our yearly Spring Break trip- to Grand Cayman! My favorite place on earth.
That spring, I also helped the track team win the JV conference meet! I contributed 1 point to our score by winning 6th place in my 2-mile race, and I was really proud of myself! This is also when I had to quit dance because my illness was taking too much out of me.
That summer, I ran. A lot. I enjoyed every minute of it, but my body just said “NO!” I quit running the fall of my junior year when I was diagnosed with POTS. I felt helpless to my condition. But I tried not to let that stop me from having fun! I enjoyed helping out at XC meets. Er… and doing this?
Found my happy place on a trampoline.
Took a 3-week neuroscience course at Northwestern University. If I hadn’t had my POTS experience, I probably would never have gotten interested in science at all. Funny the way it is…
I started senior year by applying to Northwestern, and I got accepted! One of my biggest accomplishments thus far.
I was a debutante.
I started to feel a bit better, so I worked out some more. And eventually got to perform a dance routine in front of people to one of my favorite songs, “Fix You” by Coldplay. I won 1st-runner up and some $$$ for college!
I tried out and made the Northwestern Wildcats cheerleading team! Wooo!
I went to prom again!
And now here I am. I’m almost finished with high school, and I’m a completely different person from when I entered. I’m more outgoing, more confident, and stronger than ever both physically and (especially!) mentally. I’m so excited for whatever the next chapter in my life holds.