Hey Siri… Play the Knoch High School Alma Mater


Alyssa Gallagher, Sports Editor

How do I even start to say goodbye to the only place I’ve known for the past 13 years?  It’s so weird to think that my time here is nearly up.  Everything that’s happened here, good and bad, is going to be in the past.  I may never see the same faces I’ve seen every day growing up.  Part of me is okay with that, and another part wishes I could have more time.  If you know me, you know I’m the sentimental type, but you also know that I’m so excited for the next chapter of my life.  With that being said, I have some reflecting to do on my years of high school.

First of all, eight year old me would never believe the person I’ve become.  Eight year old me thought I’d be a popular cheerleader, which is delusional because I’ve never been popular or been a cheerleader, but somehow in my head I convinced myself that was realistic.  

Fourteen year old me would’ve never believed how much I’ve changed.  Fourteen year old me was a fairly quiet, somewhat weird, and definitely a naïve girl.  I’ve learned and grown so much in the past four years that freshman me wouldn’t recognize myself.  I started high school with a side part and short hair, which was definitely a move, but it was the wrong one at best.  I wore my blue “hockey” crocs (my crocs with hockey jibbitz) every day I could and at least one Penguins shirt a week.  Today I would unseriously comment that I looked “so sty,” but realistically freshman Lyss needed some help.  Not that I’m particularly stylish now, but it’s certainly a step above whatever was going on back then.  I guess one thing that hasn’t changed about me is that I don’t particularly care about what other people think.  I’ll also probably never stop dressing up as Dora, but that’s another story.

The hardest lesson I had to learn was how to stand up for myself.  I know what you’re thinking, really Alyssa, it took you that long to figure that out?  Yes, unfortunately it did.  Growing up, my mom always taught me to be kind to everyone, so I didn’t understand how to stand up for myself without hurting people’s feelings.  The truth of that is, most of the time you can’t walk away from a serious situation without hurt feelings.  I’ve learned that sometimes you’re going to hurt people’s feelings in order to get them to understand that how they’re treating you isn’t okay.  

In the past year I’ve become more confrontational and I’ve learned to respect myself.  

I’ve learned a few other valuable lessons in my time here.  For one, not every rule or punishment is fair.  Life isn’t fair and neither is high school.  

I’ve learned to not care so much about what other people think and honestly, that’s been the most freeing lesson I’ve learned.  Once you stop overthinking, your mind can overcome so much.  I know for myself that the main reason I played so much better this volleyball season compared to all the past seasons is that I was relaxed and confident in myself.  I wasn’t worried about what people would say if I messed up; I just walked out onto the court and played the best that I could.

I’ve learned that not everyone that comes into your life is meant to stay, which is another tough pill to swallow.  People you think will be your best friends for life can leave in an instant, and it’s not always for a good reason.  In these cases you have to understand that there’s a bigger plan, although you may not be able to see it now.  Someone new will walk into your life and a new chapter will begin.  

Some people will be bothered with your existence and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Don’t give them any time or attention.

Don’t get hung up on someone that can’t even give you the time of day!  I can’t emphasize that enough.  This goes for friends, significant others, and anyone else that isn’t showing you that you’re important to them.  If the people you’re close with are making you feel bad about yourself, get out.  As hard as it is to leave friends or people you love, you have to prioritize yourself.  You won’t regret leaving; take that from the girl that left 3 friend groups in high school.  

Sometimes school and life are overwhelming, and during those times you need to find an outlet to distract your mind from all the stress and business.  I know for myself that lifting, playing volleyball, and listening to music have gotten me through the worst and the best.  Find a hobby or something you’re passionate about and do it consistently.  If you’re considering joining a club or sport, or taking a class, just do it.  The worst thing that can happen is that you hate it, and even then you can be content with the idea that you tried it.  

Before I wrap this article up I’d like to thank some people who got me through high school and my senior year.  To my closest friends- Hattie, Kelsea, Makenna, and Brynne, thank you for sticking with me all through high school.  I love you all more than you know.  To my sister, thank you for making me laugh and for always listening to my stupid ideas and rants.  To Ms T, thank you for listening to my life drama every day and for putting up with me.  To my volleyball team, thank you for all the love and support through the years.  To my college friends and friend group that I don’t go to school with, thank you for all the laughs and for always being there for me.  To Knoch High school, thank you for all the memories in the last 4 years.  Time goes by so fast, and it’s hard to believe that in a few days I’ll be in a cap and gown saying my official goodbyes.  I’m so grateful for all I’ve learned and for the person I’ve become.  As we sing in volleyball practice, Hail Alma Mater.