My sister, my best friend, my partner in crime for life. Also one of the craziest and wisest ladiez I know. So glad she’s mine.
Age: 20 (21 next month!)
Hometown: South Glens Falls, NY
Current City: Oswego, NY
Describe your favorite picture.
My favorite picture is one of my sister and I in Cancun, Mexico. I was in 7th grade at the time. We were running around in the water, laughing and snapping pictures of each other with a disposable water camera. It was the last picture we took in the water right before a wave came and knocked us over. Our heads barely fit in the frame and we were both laughing with water streaking down our faces. I don’t know what it is about this picture that I like so much. I think because this is one of the few pictures that truly capture my sister and I at our happiest.
What are your favorite lyrics?
But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise.
And happiness has its own way of taking its sweet time.
No, life ain’t always beautiful, tears will fall sometimes.
Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride. –Gary Allen, Life Ain’t Always Beautiful
What is your personal mantra?
My favorite would be every song ends, but is that any reason not to enjoy the music? You only live once—you only get one chance to make the most of your life and do what makes you happy. I’ve learned that if you want to do something, do it. Life is too short to make excuses and have regrets. Life is also too short to be unhappy. Everyone makes mistakes but there’s nothing you can do about it except learn from them. You can’t dwell over the past or what could have been, you just have to live in the moment and make the most of what you have.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Everyone’s always giving me good advice, maybe because I’m always asking for it. Lately, I have been driving myself crazy over whether or not I should study abroad in London. There were so many factors that were influencing my decision and I was to the point where I just needed a sign or someone to tell me what to do. It was that same day I received a package in the mail from my mom. It was a book, Lean In, about overcoming challenges to reach success. On the first page, my mom wrote a little note: “Always believe in yourself and never give up on your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Face your fears head on and challenge yourself always—do not be afraid for I know you can and will achieve great things. Just go for it and you will see!” As always, my mom had impeccable timing; she always seems to know exactly what to say and when to say it. This piece of advice was just what I needed to reassure myself that everything will work out and I should pursue my dream of studying abroad. It was in that moment I decided I am going to London.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about friendship or family?
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned regarding friendship is that it’s not about how many friends you have, it’s about the worthiness of the friends you have. Throughout middle and high school, I was always with my friends. I had a pretty big circle of friends and I liked it that way. We all had so much fun together and I honestly thought things would never change. Then I was forced to grow up and go to college. It was hard being away from those people and it was even harder to make new friends, especially because I knew no one could replace the friends I already had. But I guess this is what made me realize that things do change, and people change. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to be best friends with all my friends forever, and that’s just life. It’s hard like that. But as I’ve gotten older, I also realized that there are those few friends that I do see myself being friends with forever—the friends who I can still hang out with after months of being apart and nothing has changed, the friends who go out of their way to see how I’m doing, the friends who have always been there for me no matter what. Times change, but it’s those true friends in your life who stick with you through the changes that you want to hold on to.
What makes you smile?
My mom when she comes home with two new books on choosing a career that’s right for me or when we sit next to each other on the couch playing Scrabble on our electronics. My dog when she attacks my face with her tongue or when she plops herself right in front of my face on my chest so I can’t see. My dad when he points to his cheek for a kiss every time I leave for college or when he always greets me with the same “Boooooooo” (my nickname) every time I see him. My sister when she purposely tries to annoy me or when she doesn’t judge me for finishing a whole pint of ice cream but instead does the same. My best friend when she goes out of her way to make me happy or when she brings my favorite candy to my work to apologize for one of our silly fights. My grandma when she insists on dragging me to every store in town when she knows I’m looking for something in particular or when she makes me a drink with exactly one shot of alcohol in it. I think the people that make me smile most are those special people in my life that go out of their way to show me they care and make me happy.
Who is your role model?
Brooke Davis from One Tree Hill. In the beginning of the show, Brooke just liked to have fun, and by fun I mean party and hook up with guys. Eventually, Brooke slowly discovered who she was and who she wanted to be. Yeah, she still had fun, but she also knew what she wanted and didn’t give up in getting there. She went after her dreams with confidence. She is beautiful inside and out. She is sensitive, yet strong. She is smart, yet silly. She is scared, yet brave. She is needy, yet independent. She is successful, yet modest.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
One word would be independent. Especially over the past few years, I have been feeling more independent than ever. I’ve been slowly realizing what I want to do with my life and started branching out on my own to get there. Another word is grateful. I have so many great people and things in my life and I am very grateful for them. I wouldn’t change any of it! One last word is hopeful. Even though I am always worrying and stressing about things I usually can’t control, I am hopeful that things will work out in the end.
What’s the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely my whole soccer experience. I played since I was six-years-old and I loved it. It was more than just a game to my family. My sister and I played year-round and my dad coached. Junior year was rounding the corner and I was so excited for the soccer season to start. Having been on the varsity team my sophomore year, I wasn’t too worried about try-outs but I still put in my best effort. I won’t get into the whole story, but basically I didn’t make the team due to political reasons. I remember thinking it had to be the worst day of my life. Soccer had always been such a huge part of my life and in the blink of an eye, it was over. It took me a long time to overcome this and I’m honestly not quite sure how I did. I guess time was what I needed… After a while, I really started to miss the game and I found myself wanting to play again. I knew this must have meant something since prior to that I had thrown out all of my soccer gear and swore that I would never touch a soccer ball ever again. I joined a club team at college and played in the few games, but it just wasn’t the same. Not only was I rusty because it had been so long, but something about it was just… Different. This was kind of disappointing but it made me realize that even though soccer will never be the same as it used to be, I still have my memories. Yeah, shit happens, and it sucks, but that’s also no reason to forget about all the good times I did have playing soccer.
What is one of your favorite memories?
South High Marathon Dance. It gives me chills just saying that. I will never get over how amazing the marathon dance is and how involved the community gets. For those of you who don’t know, the marathon dance is a 27 hour “dance” that raises money for people in need. I put dance in quotations because the marathon dance is so much more than a dance. Hundreds of South High students go above and beyond to raise money for the people who need it most, and it blows my mind how every year more and more money is raised. Just this past year, the students and community rose almost half a million dollars! It makes me so proud to be from SGF.
Follow her shenanigans on Twitter @becmtp!