Madeline Topf’s senior column

Madeline Topfs senior column

First, I want to thank Mr. Johnson for overseeing this publication and allowing me the opportunity to be Editor-in-Chief. The WEB as a class is truly a place where open discussion occurs daily. We take for granted our freedoms and the supportive community that is Ames High School.

I have certainly grown in my four years here, and unlike my freshmen year self, I now believe I have something useful to share. It’s certainly been an emotional journey in establishing my voice and my confidence.

When I was younger, people would joke about how quiet I was. “Taking Madeline home was crazy! I couldn’t get a word in!” I hated that. I’ve always been shy, and part of that shyness was being very passive. I never felt the need to insert my opinion, because I didn’t think it valuable.

But over the years, I’ve learned that what I have to say does matter. If not to other people, than at least to establishing myself. I was sick of being overlooked. I was sick of being denied opportunities because I wasn’t well-known, because I was quiet. I made the Freshman soccer team when I should have made Varsity. I got a B in Physics because I was too afraid to ask for help. And I didn’t even get into SCIBA.

Slowly, I became more vocal in my classes, asking questions even when I didn’t have them. Socializing more with people around me. Sharing stories about myself, what I like and dislike, as well as what I want. Give ME the ball.

I realized I needed to become. Become myself. To the world. I needed the confidence to establish my beliefs and opinions. The kind of confidence that allows me to KNOW I will make All-State Band. Because I’ve worked too hard to let myself down. I went out of my comfort zone to try new activities that would allow me to build social connections. I did things that scared me- like public speaking or confronting a teacher about my grade. There is something to be learned in confronting what you think you can’t do.

Ames High, its students, staff, and programs helped me build my confidence and discover my voice. Sometimes it’s not the wisest, it’s the loudest voice that’s heard.

You go to Ames High.

Be both.