For me, 2020 has unquestionably been the epitome of a total dumpster fire. I’m sure many people can relate! However, entering my final year of high school this fall brought back a bit of normalcy, and definitely included some highlights as 2020 FINALLY drew to a close.
I knew that senior year would hold a ton of “firsts” and new beginnings, however, nothing could prepare me for all of the “lasts” and chapters ending for my high school career which I will certainly treasure.
It began with driving to 600 Blue Jay Drive for my last “first” day of high school. This time, my younger sister was riding shotgun about to begin her high school career. This is our first and last year going to high school together. Next year I won’t get to see her crazy self every day, wake her up for school, or embarrass her in hallways, at sporting events, and at school functions. I certainly treasure our time together in and out of school during this crazy COVID year.
Jim's Garage! Who would’ve thought that a student section would have been possible during a pandemic? Not me! With limited attendance vouchers and mandatory masks, the school allowed students to attend sporting events towards the end of fall sports. It has been different, but the opportunity to bring students back together through sports to support athletes was something that I really missed in my life. I am glad to have it back.
Homecoming! Whoop-whoop! Was it the same as years previous? Absolutely not! But did we still pull it off and make it a spectacular week? You know it!
Being in both Student Council and Leadership, I get to see a lot of what goes down behind the scenes. I know about all the hard work that gets poured into events such as this. Needless to say, through all of the adversity, we were still able to have a COVID-friendly Homecoming spirit week, parade, court crowning, and football game! Somehow, I ended up actually being a part of the court, which was super neat! But, by far, one of my favorite parts of the night was the crowning. I shared it with my amazing friends; “Queen” Grace Bryson and “2nd runner up” Joie Heien! We all share BJJTV class together and have been friends outside of school for years, so it was truly special!
Last, but not least, a highlight better known as a chapter that closed far too soon, was my high school volleyball career. I grew up playing a variety of sports. Volleyball, basketball, softball, track, you name it. As I slowly lost interest in several of those, volleyball always remained a constant for me. I started as soon as I was old enough for the YMCA league and could attend all of the summer camps. Later, I was playing club ball as soon as I was of age.
However, little did I know that those same girls I was trying out with for a spot on the 11u team, would later become some of my best friends, and continue the journey with me into our high school years. This is why saying goodbye to playing this sport with these incredible girls has definitely been the most bittersweet moment for me so far. We grew up experiencing every practice, win, loss, and championship together, which is something that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I am so grateful for everything that my coaches and teammates have taught me on and off of the court.
Through the tough moments, awkward changes, and isolating situations, the terrible year that was 2020 has passed us all by. I have to say though, that seeing the good is so important! I am appreciative for the experiences that made my fall semester, and the end of 2020, memorable for the better!
So, now I have to say, bring it on 2021! It's time for my final semester at WHS.
Bye for now!
7 a.m. - Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for school
8:15 a.m. - School starts
3:25 p.m. - School ends
4 p.m. - Track Practice
6 p.m. - Practice ends
6:30 p.m. - Drive home, eat dinner
7:30 p.m. - Volleyball Practice
9:30 p.m. - Practice ends
9:40 p.m. - Arrive home
9:50 p.m. - Shower and start homework
11:30 p.m. - Finish homework and get ready for bed
7 a.m. - Wake up, and do it all over again
I have a question. How come nowadays people can’t even manage to find time to breathe, get a solid night's sleep, or just sit back and relax for a bit? Asking for a friend here!
On a real note, life is SO ridiculously busy that even the simplest of necessities seem to get shoved to the side, day in and day out. I can’t remember the last time my sleep schedule hasn’t been out of whack, or I haven’t been attempting to juggle more than one thing at a time. By doing so, I find myself losing the things I should value most.
We, as a society, not only struggle physically and mentally with our overfilled schedules, but emotionally as well. We miss out on those personal relationships, deep conversations, and human interactions that are SO important, yet so undervalued, in today’s society.
But why? Why does it seem as if everyone is always SO busy in today’s world? What happened to simply unwinding and slowing down, without feeling as if you are falling behind? There are so many reasons why we are, the way that we are, but I really do think social media is a key component of the issue. I myself am guilty of getting sucked up into what other people are doing, how others view me, and seeking validation from strangers. But what can we do to break this cycle?
The solution, whether it be simple or spectacular, is being okay with taking a break. Book that flight, watch the sunset, call an old friend, paint your nails, sit outside and listen to the rain. Don’t be afraid to unplug yourself from the world every once and awhile. No posting, no liking, just living. Updating nothing, impressing nobody, just living your authentically original life to the fullest.
Life is so crazy busy, but never get so busy trying to make a living that you lose sight of enjoying your life.
Take a YOU day!
Individuality! It’s such a fun and interesting concept to think about. Literally every single person in existence right now is different, and no two people are the same. Like, HOW cool is that!?
I asked a couple of my closest friends if they could describe me in any word, what words would they choose? Then I took a minute to reflect on myself. Finally, out of the 1,022,000 words that the english language has to offer, I think I found five that suit me pretty darn well!
This one is a friend-picked word! At first I was like, “Ehhh are you guys sure about that one?” But the more I thought about it, I realized they were right. I am often motivated by my emotions, and tend to surround myself with people who make me feel loved. I have an undeniable love for almost everything that I do, and pour my heart into my work always. Passion is energy! It’s such a power that comes from focusing on the things that excite me!
When others talk or think about Emma Duncan, I hope that kindness is a word that they would pair up right next to my name! I strive to love and show empathy for others! I believe that just being a kind human speaks so many volumes. Which is why I pride myself in my efforts to be kind-hearted!
Sports and competing have always been a huge component in my life. I live for that adrenaline rush when I’m waiting for the sound of the gun, crouched in the blocks, heart pounding, ready to lay it all out there for the 400m dash. I absolutely LIVE for that indescribable feeling when I cut a hard line shot, scoring the game point in the third set of a tight volleyball game. Competing brings me SO much joy in life! I definitely would not be the person I am today without it. In fact, just writing about it makes me smile!
Ahh, I love this one! I thrive on traveling to new places, stepping out of my comfort zone, and chasing all the beautiful and exciting things that life has to offer. There are so many things to do, places to see, and such little time to do it all. I am constantly looking for new adventures and finding the excitement in everyday life!
No, I did not just make up this word. It’s a weird one, but hey it’s kinda fun! An exuberant person is “full of joy” and “has a lot of energy to show it.” I had never even heard of this one, but last year my club volleyball coach used this word to describe me. I think he kinda nailed it. I find myself always trying to look on the bright side of life. I am always telling myself not to get caught up in how I think my life should look like, and just learn to find joy in the story that I'm living in. I think exuberant is a swell fit for me!
These words, along with many others, are all a special part of what makes me who I am. I am forever growing as a student, daughter, friend, teammate, sister, and the list goes on. I am so thankful for my uniqueness and sense of individuality. I hope these five words gave you a little taste of what makes Emma, Emma!
Peace out for now!
After the docudrama, Cierstyn and I were interviewed by two local news stations. We spent time with each reporter, answering their questions about the conference and how preventable traffic crashes have impacted us and our community. We were both nervous, but after the interviews we were so glad that we took the opportunity!
Some of my favorite TRACTION moments, aside from the seriousness, had to be when we all got to come together and bonded as a team. TRACTION Olympics, building the giant whale, and Bob’s iconic drum circle are just a few of the activities that helped us come together as a team. It was so nice to get closer with several staff members before the start of the year. Another way we bonded was over some great meals. Yes, the food provided was also quite stellar!
Aside from all of the dance parties, epic team challenges, and heartfelt moments shared at the conference, the best thing was the moment that WE WON THE BUCKLE, AND IT’S GOLDEN! Yes, THE GOLDEN BUCKLE AWARD ON NIGHT ONE WENT TO OUR TEAM! We won it the very first night of TRACTION for all of the hard work that we put in during the day.
Overall, my experience at TRACTION was filled with all sorts of emotions, great food, and the best new staff members/friends. This experience would not have been the same without each and every person who made the conference possible.
Thank you to all of the TRACTION staff, my teammates, and our adviser, MT, for making this 72-hour adventure one of my favorite summer memories!!
Thanks for reading,