Senior Reflection: Natalie Helsel

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Cristal Lopez

Natalie Helsel reflects on her four years at Watkins Mill High School.

It seems like when I talk to friends and family that have graduated from high school they either loved it or hated it, but I don’t think I can choose just one of those options.

While looking back on my high school experience, I realized most of it is all a blur. Not just because it passed by extremely fast, but because my main goal was to get by; to finish one week’s tasks and move on to the next, to study for a test and then the next and the next. For the first two and a half years, I was comfortable focusing solely on assignments and grades.

Then the middle of junior year hit and the word “college” started to surround me. To prepare myself for college, I started to participate in more after-school activities, and this ultimately helped me find one of my passions.

Junior year I started to dive into hobbies I’ve enjoyed in the past, like art. For some reason, at the beginning of high school, I had just stopped. But I tried out new mediums of art and found ones I really enjoyed.

There are a few people I have to thank for that, my art teachers Mr. Ives and Mrs. Dekel. These people helped me improve in one of the things I enjoy doing the most. I also want to thank Mrs. Confino for giving me a platform to write and for being so supportive. I’ve learned a lot from my time on the newspaper and here at Watkins Mill that I wouldn’t have learned anywhere else.

I also want to thank my friends that have supported me for the past four years. This year, I grew closer to a few people who now mean the entire world to me and created bonds with them that I will take with me after high school is over, which is something I am so thankful for.

If you had told freshman year Natalie that she would be attending art school in New York City, she would not believe you.

My focus now is not to get by, but to spend my time doing what I enjoy—and I have Watkins Mill to thank for that.

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