I’ve been a student at Whitmore Lake Public Schools since kindergarten. I would say I have come a long way since kindergarten, growing a few feet and learning a lot along the way. I’ve experienced 12 plus years of building relationships, connections, and bonds that will last a lifetime. Since the beginning, my teachers prepared me for middle school, high school, and now finally, my future outside of Whitmore Lake and my plans for my secondary education at Michigan State University.
Whitmore Lake shaped me to be the person I am today, in the small community and the relationships I’ve built over time. I knew everyone from the teachers in and out of my classroom, the students, and even the parents. I will forever be grateful for growing up in a community so small and connected. From my years at the elementary, some memories have been embedded in my head permanently, impacting who I have become; specifically, being in Ms. Carbary’s classroom played a big part. Having a close relationship with Ms. Carbary taught me a few of the most important life lessons I learned early on in my life. She influenced me to want to help people in any way that I can and the importance of being friendly and kind to everyone because you never know what they are going through behind the scenes. I remember her blasting Pharrell Williams’s song “Happy” in the halls every Wednesday morning just because it was hump day. The little things she did put me in a better mood. She wanted her students to be better, and she did anything she could to make her students happy and ready to learn. She implemented art and hands-on activities into her lessons. Since we didn’t have a traditional art class, she prioritized us to have an outlet, even though she was my math teacher.
One of the biggest takeaways and advice that I would share from the time I’ve been at Whitmore Lake is to get involved. Build relationships with your teachers and other students. Since we are such a small community, these people will affect who you are and where you will go in the future. You will be surrounded by these people for the next four years; there is no room for hatred. We need to work together and be one; we are a community. This has rung true especially from the end of my junior year going on to my senior year. I have had multiple friend groups from the time I came to the high school in 7th grade, and at one point or another, I have been friends with every student in the senior class.
Seeing where I have come from and ended up is mind-blowing. As a freshman, I would have never thought I’d be where I am today as a senior. I was an entirely different person. No matter how bad of terms you are with someone, you still have a connection with them, history. Everything will change and shift in the next four years–it is enviable. My advice would be to embrace it, accept that relationships and people change. It doesn’t have to be looked at as a bad thing. By getting involved, you build new relationships with people you may never think to be friends with. Be the person who you would want to be friends with. Everyone has their bad days, but be the person who is there for everyone; be a friend to everyone in need.
Knowing I am going from such a small, inclusive community to a college where more than 50 thousand people attend is terrifying, but knowing that I will always have my small town and community to lean back forever is comforting. These past 12 years have really shaped me into the person I am today. My Whitmore Lake experience is something that I will never forget or let go of. I’ll carry it with me as I transition to being a Spartan, knowing, at the core, I’ll always be a Trojan.