The Chance to Breathe

It’s crazy how fast the years went by

I remember walking through the West Wing for my first day of high school back in 2019. It’s crazy how fast the years went by. To be honest it feels like I have never had a chance to breathe until now. At the end of 8th grade something clicked in my brain and I knew what I wanted to do when I was older, but I needed to focus through high school in order to obtain the Navy ROTC scholarship so that I would be able to graduate as an officer with hopes of becoming a Naval Aviator. This had consumed me my entire high school career.

Halfway through my freshman year of high school, the COVID-19 pandemic began. I was so excited to hear that there would  be two weeks off of school. Two weeks turned into a month. A month turned into the rest of the school year. 

I can’t wait for my future even more than when I was a tiny freshman.

I became nocturnal. I would stay up all night, do my homework, play video games, and sleep during the day. To be fair it was not a bad school year. Sometimes I look back and wish that I did have the opportunity to experience that entire freshman year, but the memories made when in lockdown are some I will never forget. 

Sophomore year was a little different. This was the hybrid year of school, half in person, half online, but to me hybrid meant sleeping while I was “attending” my online classes. While it was nice at the time, eventually this would cause me to struggle while in person. I look back at my choices and I do regret not paying attention more.

Not paying attention in my classes had caused me to fall behind junior year. I struggled with my math especially. Over the course of Sophomore year I had learned that I am a more physical learner, I needed to be in a learning environment. Due to my house not being a good learning environment, I struggled significantly once I became a Junior. 

I had heard from my older sister that Junior year was the most stressful year of her high school, but I did not expect my Junior year to be as stressful as it was. I took 5 AP classes, and by the time AP exams rolled around, I took 6, adding an AP test I was unable to take due to COVID. 

The stress of college applications around the corner also became bigger as the year went on. Once applications started my Senior year it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders once I submitted my applications, but just as something was lifted a bigger weight was added. I now had to apply for the NROTC scholarship, I had to score high on the ACT and on a physical, after that an officer would interview me. 

Senior year to me was fairly nice as I was focused on the NROTC Scholarship the most, I had one AP class the rest were all electives. After what felt like years I finally got word that I was selected for the NROTC Scholarship, that meant that I would apply for the scholarship to my school of choice if they had room. I chose Auburn University after I fell in love with the campus and the course work I would have to do. 

While Senior year was pretty relaxing I did have one hard class, AP Calculus had been extremely difficult and stressful. This was not good for my mental health, I eventually dropped the class because I need to take it again at Auburn University.

I am excited to pursue my career as a Naval Aviator at Auburn University. I will be majoring in Aviation where I will learn how to fly all sorts of different aircraft, including twin engines. I can’t wait for my future even more than when I was a tiny freshman.