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Junior Plans Ahead for a Look Back at High School
Chris Lindley
Our “White Out” cheer block poses for a picture.

All of my life, I have made it a point to always have community. Community in my mind does not exactly mean a large group of people. In fact, I believe community could just be a person, or maybe even your dog. Community is important to me because although I do try to maintain success, I can not do it alone. Even if it’s just my friends being there for me while I am upset, it means so much to me, and can help turn a bad day into a good one.

There are many specific communities in my life that help me get through different challenges. One of these groups is my sixth period Chemistry class. It’s just a small group of six, but since we all are taking the same difficult classes, it makes us all feel a little less alone through it all. And yes, we do distract each other from time to time, but overall I’d say that I’m not sure I would be able to work this hard without them.

Another group of people who were there for me was my first period study hall during last school year. There was no better way to start my day then going into that room, listening to music, and just having some genuine conversations with good people. Admittedly, for a study hall, we didn’t get much work done, but I’d say that I’ve made some friends that I’ll keep for a lifetime, which in my eyes is worth so much more.

The tennis and golf teams are two other groups that just made me feel as if I belong. I’d get out of school, and after a rough day, those people were there for me. Sure, we were working hard to improve, but at the same time, we were just having a good time, and it was always the days like those that were the most memorable in my mind.

Although most of these groups are pretty chill, there is one that brings my personality out more than anything: the cheer block. If you’ve been to a game, then you have most likely heard me and Jason Beavers screaming our full heads off. And it’s not because we’re trying to be obnoxious, it’s because we are having so much fun.

That’s why I encourage anyone and everyone to come to games and support. It builds community, and everyone needs community. I know that when I graduate from Paoli, it won’t be the SAT or Lindley’s reading logs I will be looking back on, it will be those moments. I’ll look back and see my chemistry class talking about the wildest subjects while we could be doing our work. I’ll see us playing cards with Barb, and Just Dance, and doing puzzles, and having the dumbest conversations imaginable. But those are the good memories. I’ll look back on the bus rides home from a golf meet,
listening to loud music, talking about subjects that you probably wouldn’t expect a group of golfers to talk about, and I’ll remember some of the great matches we had during tennis season, and seeing the joy on everyone’s face. And I’ll always remember being by Jason’s side at basketball sectionals, and I’ll remember us practically crying because we were cheering so hard. I’ll remember those great cheer block moments where I was given the opportunity to lead the cheers, and bring joy to all of those peoples’ faces.

It’s all of those moments. Those moments are the ones that will stick with me, because those are the ones that I didn’t have to go through alone. I had my friends, my family, my teachers, my coaches, and everyone in between. They were, and always will be, there to make me laugh, brighten my day, get me through tough times, and pick me up onto my feet when I need it most.

So, I leave you with two pieces of advice. If you feel like you don’t belong, find a community. Find community everywhere you can. Find it in your job, your school, your sports, or anywhere else you can. We are meant to be here for each other, and it no matter where you are, you can find people who will be there for you when you need it most.

The second piece of advice I give is for the people who already have some community in your life. Share it. Don’t keep people out of your community,
because you may not know what they’re going through, and being there for them could be exactly what they need.

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About the Contributor
Brian Fullington, Paolite News Editor
My name is Brian Fullington. I enjoy golf, tennis, and working for my evil overlord Mrs. Nichols.
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