Bataineh Swan Song: Worthwhile

My journey in accepting that my high school experience was not conventionally “successful,” and finally shedding light on how far I have come.


Sarah Bataineh

Me and my preschool squad celebrating my birthday. (I’m the really tall one upfront.)

Sarah Bataineh, Staff Writer

As the end of year swarms towards us, I spend time reminiscing and interrogating myself. I can’t tell whether the past four years have been worthwhile. 

I see all the people around me, celebrated, placed in a nice frame in the main hall. I used to think that’s what made it worthwhile, and it took a while before my mind started thinking from a different angle. 

Freshman year was nerve-wracking. I arrived at Rock Ridge and left all of my friends at Potomac Falls. Students were different in ways I still can’t understand, even after these four years, and teachers became kinder; they seemed to finally genuinely care. 

I could say I was popular. I could say I was valedictorian. I could talk about all the honor societies I participated in. There is only one thing stopping me from doing so is the fact that none of this would have been true. It wasn’t in the cards for me, and I came to terms with that after COVID-19.

The time where the pandemic put all of us in confinement was the time it took for my mind to figure out what my truth would have been. I found what I really cared about, I stuck with it, and it pushed me this far, so I guess it was the right choice. 

The one thing I wish I could have had would be time. I lost half of my freshman year, and my whole sophomore year due to the pandemic. I feel that with that time, I could have gone further than I did. It disappointed me to say the least, but looking back on all the things I got to accomplish, I used the time I had wisely. 

In junior and senior year, I flourished. I found who in the school I could understand, and they seemed to understand me too. I became an OG member of a wacky club called ‘juice club,’ which I hope stays around for years to come. I helped build many of the RRPA sets, and even managed projection for one. I found my passion in fighting for people and started spreading awareness, and going to marches and rallies.

I even found my voice and built the courage to hold a walkout during my senior year, which was nerve-wracking, but due to Mr. Colston’s somewhat absurd public speaking class, it was not too much of a treacherous task. Who knew what barking on desks could really do?

I learned who I was as a person, and it led me to find what I wanted to use the rest of my time being alive doing. 

I may have not been given a spot on a wall, but I found where I wanted my place to be. I solved one of the biggest questions I will face in my life, and with my answer I am confident, that makes these disturbed four years worthwhile to me.