Quitters can win too

Senior reflects on growth as a writer


Illustration by Victoria Van

Story by Cameron Murry, staff writer

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.