Quitters can win too

Senior reflects on growth as a writer

Illustration+by+Victoria+Van
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Quitters can win too

Illustration by Victoria Van

Illustration by Victoria Van

Illustration by Victoria Van

Illustration by Victoria Van

Story by Cameron Murry, staff writer

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The flag glides out of my opened palm with gentle ease, the silk flying high as my smile widens in its direction. In that moment, I am ecstatic.

I found joy in these moments my freshman and sophomore year. I enjoyed being on a team where we worked together to accomplish our goals. However, I wasn’t a fan of the stress it brought on my life. I loved it, but I needed a change.

I have seen people give up on something they have practiced for years, only to truly blossom elsewhere. I myself have done the same thing.

I once was a devoted band member. I was in the first band during concert season; I was even third chair. I was in the top jazz band. I was a dedicated color guard member; I twirled a flag at half time and smiled with every toss and catch.

But things changed. I grew tired of the pressure and scrutiny. I cried my entire sophomore year; I didn’t want to quit music, but I had to. I had to find somewhere that I belonged, somewhere I could call home.

I hit rock bottom at the beginning of junior year; I threatened to kill myself, landed in a mental institution and ended up on medication to control my major depressive disorder. I went through a wave of emotions and crashed into room 50B with great force. I wasn’t anything special, just another staff writer. I showed no exemplary talents or interests. But I didn’t let my lack of experience stop me.

I was watched like a hawk and treated with great caution by everyone; I had nowhere else to focus my attention but newspaper. I began to write with heart-wrenching emotion and rawness. I told the story how it was and didn’t sugar coat anything.

The anonymous story told of my whole experience, from being strip-searched to dealing with my newly developed distrust at home. I was watched closely, as if I were some kind of endangered species on Animal Planet.

Things were falling down all around me; my classes were hard to manage, I was taking 100 mg of Zoloft, an antidepressant, every morning, and I couldn’t quite adjust to my new persona. My emotions most likely would have gotten the best of me once more had my medication allowed them to.

I had given up on everything, not just band. Things at home weren’t what I was used to anymore. AP courses added stress to each day. My counseling sessions weren’t interesting enough to hold my attention. My grades struggled with each unexpected nap I took, both in class and at home.

I had to drag myself through each day, my past weighing me down each morning.

But that didn’t stop my writing process.

With each story I wrote, I felt myself regaining strength. I wasn’t going to let one roadblock get the best of me.”

— Cameron Murry

I kept writing and writing until I was satisfied long enough to take a break. I used my newfound talent to express how I felt both in and outside of the newspaper room. My friends and family noticed my growth and were proud of me. I began to feel proud of myself.

We go through rough patches in life for specific reasons. I was blessed to have experienced this so early on in mine; the experience opened my eyes and created a new love for journalism in my heart. Had I not quit band or tried to give up on life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.

So quit. Give up if your heart’s not in it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a job, extracurricular or relationship. Without devotion and interest, life amounts to nothing.

I may have given up, but I wound up on top. Sure, I can be seen as a quitter, but I double as a winner.

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