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High school musical

John F Martin

As the youngest of four children, I had seen the high school process many times before. The late nights spent with friends, the swim meets that took up every Tuesday night, the Friday night football games and moving away to the next step at the end of it all. Not to mention the fact that I had seen the Disney Channel original movie “High School Musical” about a thousand times. It is safe to say that when I was going into freshman year, I thought I knew what I was getting into.

My freshman year, I logged onto Zoom every day to complete virtual schooling. High school quickly became nothing like the musical I had thought it would be, but it was still filled with music. My days were filled with looking at my computer for class and then for homework.

Quickly the theme song for “Grey’s Anatomy” became the musical score for my second quarter of high school as I binge watched as many seasons as I could squeeze in during our virtual passing period. School didn’t stop being less musical while class was in session either, I can still remember when Taylor Swift released a new song during my third hour Spanish class. Without missing a beat my best friend—and future Tower E.I.C.—locked eyes with me over the screen and we watched each other’s live reactions to a song that brought us so much joy in such a dull time of our lives. It was the third quarter of freshman year when I got to spend my first late nights with friends in high school as COVID regulations began to be more navigable and the same best friend from Spanish class spent the night in anticipation for “Fearless (Taylors Version).” Looking back, that was the first night I felt like I was growing up, even if it is something so small now.

Moving into sophomore year, the Tuesday night swim meets that I had seen for the last eight years became my own. I swam each meet like I depended on it. I raced with everything I could every time I dove in, often coming up just short of my goals. During sophomore year, mental health became a struggle and I began to seek help. No matter how much help those around me were able to provide, swimming was my true solace. It was a place where I could prove myself and always have higher goals; it was a place where I could be excellent or fall short. This balancing act fueled my passion for life in and out of the pool. Throughout the year, the soundtrack of my life became the many songs we danced to as a team. “Wobble,” “Cotton Eyed Joe” and almost every Pitbull song brought me closer to the girls around me and brought joy into my life when I had a hard time finding it on my own.

As I rewatched “High School Musical” with my mom, I realized that the first movie took place during junior year. A year that was so filled with sports, homework, drama and college visits, I can’t even fathom splitting my time between basketball and the spring musical like my childhood icon Troy Bolton did. Despite a stressful swim season and Honors Chemistry taking almost all my free time, Friday night football games proved to be the perfect escape. And provide my soundtrack for junior year. Reconnecting with one of my best friends—The Tower’s current Social Media Manager—at a home football game as we sang along to “Party in the U.S.A.” proved to be a core memory I won’t forget. Screaming to the trademark University of Michigan football song “Mr. Brightside” with my two best friends who are now headed there this fall was the first time I realized just how fast high school was going. And blaring “Super Bass” on the way to get ice cream after every game helped me see through all of the pointless drama that comes with growing up. Junior year was filled with stress, joy, late nights and early mornings, but it was most importantly filled with friends and music.

As I entered my final year of my high school musical I could not have been more excited. I was thrilled to discover my path for the following year, even if I was reluctant to accept the change that was going to come. This school year has been jam packed with lasts, some big and some small. Some big last events, like my last Tuesday night meet that led me to know that having swimming in my life is important enough for me to continue to pursue it at Aquinas College this fall. Or other big lasts like the last time my dad took a first day of school picture followed by cinnamon rolls. The year has also been filled with small lasts, like the last Wednesday nights spent on the couch watching ¨Survivor” with my mom. Or the last time driving home from swim practice listening to “People Watching” with my best friend. As a whole, the soundtrack for my senior year has been a blend of laughter, change and reminiscing and I wouldn’t ask for anything else.

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About the Contributor
Dailey Jogan '24
Dailey Jogan '24, Supervising Page Editor
A master of taste-testing around the Pointes, Dailey Jogan ’24 is an expert at broadening her horizons. Not only is she a summer lifeguard, Jogan does swim team during the year. Along with that, she has the brain and the brawn, considering she’s one of this year's third-year staffers and a Supervising Page Editor. She loves her position for many reasons, but the artistry of Tower is what hooks her the most. “I love the creativity aspect because I feel so much of school is about getting to the unit test, while Tower is really about creating something new each week,” Jogan said. “Especially with page design.” Finally, Jogan takes the wisdom of being a senior and shares it through her work as a Link Crew leader. “When I was a freshman, Link Crew was on Zoom, so it was zero percent hopeful,” Jogan said. “Becoming a link crew leader myself, I want to help freshmen realize that high school is more than just a checklist of assignments, and there is fun to be had if you allow it to happen.”

Comments (3)

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  • S

    Sally Jo TartoniMay 17, 2024 at 4:34 pm

    Beautifully written, Dailey! And onward you go for a lot of firsts that will impact your life. Congratulations, Sweetheart!! 💕🦋💕🦋

  • J

    Jeanne BocciMay 16, 2024 at 8:02 pm

    As an Educator for HS 30 yrs College 15 years I am more than impressed with your POST !! Congratulations on your Accomplishments !! & being a true friend to all 👏❤️

  • L

    Linda SilagyMay 16, 2024 at 2:47 pm

    You have mastered your life “inside & out of the pool” with smiles, some sadness, laughter, determination, goals achieved, family & friends. Congratulations on successful completion the pathway to young adulthood. Turn the page on, yet another, pathway in your life. I have no doubt you will succeed. You will embrace you challenges with determination, joy, honor, respect, and of course, excitement.
    Congratulations Dailey! Your achivements in education, family, & friendships, becoming a young woman are to lauded. Go NELSON (Love it!)