Throughout my school years, I’ve never felt appreciated or accepted. Each day I would go through the motions and be the best person I could be, but it never really mattered. I started my first high school year in 2016 and I tried my best, as I always had. I got straight A’s and played sports, as well as participated in various co-curriculars. But I kept coming down on myself because I thought my work and efforts were worth nothing and that I wouldn’t become anything.

All that changed, though, with one ten-minute meeting with my principal. He said that I would be the face of the school one day, and that I would go very far in life. He was impressed by my achievements and was astonished that I balanced all these activities at once. This gave me confidence, knowing that I was neither the most athletic nor the smartest person in my class yet was still special. He also said to keep on doing everything that’s available to me and I will become a great person because of it.

Never in my life until this day had I felt I mattered or was successful. I realized that just one person in your community can change your perspective. A year later, I’m the class vice president, in multiple clubs, play four sports, and I’m even in this year’s musical. With his advice, I’ve broadened my horizons and taken many more opportunities that have come my way. I do things today with a greater purpose. I try to live in each day instead of through it because otherwise, I will never grow as a person. I hope all students have this type of mentor, because you will do and be great things, even if you can’t see it now. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.” Your qualities may not be seen by some or even by you yourself, but others have seen that they are there.

—White Mountains Regional High School