Genoa Central High School 2024 Senior Perspective

When my guidance counselor asked me to write this article, part of her description really resonated with me. I asked her what I should focus on, and she said, "Maybe something that happened to you or changed you." This experience has been the most eventful part of my life, and I am incredibly thankful for its impact on my perspective. I learned that obstacles are really opportunities for growth. This was a hard lesson for me as a Type-A perfectionist who wanted to excel at everything immediately. Since changing my perspective to see opportunities in challenges, I've achieved many accomplishments and faced challenges I never would have had the courage to tackle before.

On June 9th, 2023, a close friend and I were on a run for summer cross-country training. As we were finishing our run, two dogs ran up, and I was bitten on the leg. My parents drove me to the ER, where my wounds were stitched up. During the night, I began to run a fever. The following morning, I went to another ER, where it was discovered that my leg was infected and the infection was spreading through my body. The doctors believed I would have to have surgery on my leg, so I was sent to a hospital in Dallas. During my stay in Dallas, I received antibiotics that appeared to be treating the infection, and surgery was postponed, allowing me to come back home. The fever continued and the infection worsened as the antibiotics began to not work anymore. Within a few days, the infection had taken over my body, and my internal organs were starting to shut down. I was incoherent and almost nonresponsive. Again, I went to the ER, and it was determined I needed to go somewhere else. Because of the critical level my white blood cells were at, I had to be airlifted to UAMS hospital. Several treatments and tests were done to try to determine what was happening and how to treat it. At some point, an arrangement of medicines began working, and my body showed signs of healing. After several days, I showed enough improvement and was well enough to come home. The recovery process was humbling and challenging, but through it all, I was never scared. I knew God had me and would take care of it all.

Once I was healed enough to begin reflecting, I was very sad at the thought of all the things that were now "ruined." I was unable to attend my senior year cheer camp, missed several of my friends' birthdays, and vacations were postponed. However, I was most worried about how my senior year would continue. It was uncertain whether I would be able to cheer or run cross country in the fall or even be able to do track in the spring. The process of getting back to "normal" was, as I said, very humbling and challenging. This is where I first took the perspective of using obstacles as opportunities. I began to celebrate the small wins. The progression I made is absolutely remarkable, and I owe it all to God. Starting off, it was exciting I could leave the hospital room while my mom pushed me in the wheelchair. Once I was home, it thrilled me when I could finally take a shower by myself again. Being able to walk down the driveway to take out the trash or get the mail was a step in the right direction. Then, I decided I would try to run again. I only ran half a mile before I could barely breathe, which seemed disappointing because about 3-4 weeks prior, I was running about 5 miles. With time, I progressed and steadily built myself up. I am so blessed to say that I was able to cheer and run cross country and track that year! This process taught me to focus on my progress, not what was left to be accomplished. I carried this knowledge into the classroom, personal relationships, and everyday life problems. Learning that little successes lead to big successes gave me a much more positive outlook on everything.

Photo by Tracey Rogers, TR Photography

This "obstacle" also gave me the opportunity to really enjoy my senior year. I soaked in all the senior activities and events because I was truly grateful for them. My world suddenly came to a halt when I was unable to do things as I had before. I couldn't drive at first or go out and risk getting sick. I experienced missing out on a few things that were important to me, so I knew how significant each senior event was to me. This helped me when the "senioritis" began to kick in. Some days, I would dread having to get up early and attend school or sit through class, but I reminded myself that these moments are a blessing. Senior year is significant because of all the "lasts" you experience! Closing up that chapter of my life was special. It was made up of many little moments, from the last time I checked myself into school at the front desk to the last time I put on my track uniform, and finally, the last time I walked through the hallways, I grew up in. Even now, as I write this article, I remind myself to be thankful for this opportunity. I was nervous about writing this, so I continued to put it off until I began writing. I realized how amazing it is that I am able to write about my experiences for others.

Photo by Tracey Rogers, TR Photography

Since freshman year, I had the idea that I would one day want to pursue a career somewhere in the medical field. During this chaotic time, I met several nurses and doctors who secured this idea and convinced me even more that this was what I wanted to do. I am forever grateful for the support the doctors and nurses provided, not just to me but also to my family, during this frightening time. Not only did they do their best to heal me physically, but they also mentally encouraged me. The nurse in the emergency room before I went to Dallas was as confused as everyone else, but she never showed it. She comforted my parents and me the entire stay and did her best to do anything she could to make us feel better. I will never forget her kindness. The emergency room nurse reassured my parents that they were making the right decision before I was flown to UAMS. She did her best to make them comfy that night, and when it was time to load up for the helicopter ride, she continued to calm and comfort me. The helicopter pilots tried to ease my mother's nerves as best as possible by explaining everything to her as we flew. While I stayed at UAMS, several nurses made me feel welcome. Whether complimenting my nail color, talking about their hometown, or sharing their weekend plans, these conversations put me at ease. I remember the nurse transporting me around the hospital, always making jokes with funny greetings. The doctors at UAMS were diligent, doing several tests and lots of research to determine what was happening as accurately and timely as possible. I was so amazed by everyone involved during my time at the hospitals. I want to make people feel as important as they made me feel. I want to heal people like they healed me. What seemed to be an obstacle in life was just an opportunity to inspire me. This experience gave me a deeper meaning of why I want to become a nurse one day.

The love and support from my family, friends, and community during this time was overwhelming. The texts, calls, prayers, and hospital visits were unforgettable. God's grace shone through the love of these amazing people. His blessing of incredible nurses and doctors was remarkable. I am grateful for this experience, as it changed my perspective on misfortune, failures, and obstacles. Viewing obstacles as opportunities transformed my life for the better.


< Previous Story Next Story >



© 2024 All Rights Reserved.
Design By: Web Design