The Student-Run News Site of Randolph High School


Breaking News
  • RHS graduates 331 members of Class of 2024
  • Good luck to all RHS Class of 2024 grads
  • Rampage wishes everyone a happy, healthy and safe summer
  • Rampage is officially on summer break and will be back online in September



Personal Essay: How My RHS Teachers and Friends Helped Me, a Missouri Transplant, Regain My Sense of Self  

Personal Essay: How My RHS Teachers and Friends Helped Me, a Missouri Transplant, Regain My Sense of Self   
Olivia Berlin

Moving to Randolph from Missouri two years ago was an enormous change, especially since I was nearing the end of my sophomore year of high school at the time. When I first started at RHS, I felt nervous and scared of interacting with the new teachers and students here. Making matters worse, my emotional health suffered; I was depressed. Over the past two years, however, some very special RHS teachers, staff and students positively impacted me and turned that around. Now that I’m on the verge of graduating, I will do so with a new sense of purpose and inner peace.

The transition from depressed junior from the Midwest to happy senior in the East was not a simple one. The first time I walked onto the RHS campus, I looked at my mom and cried. I immediately felt unwanted here, like I was never going to fit in. Everyone looked prettier than I was and seemed smarter too. I kept telling myself that no one was going to like me. I never tried to talk to anyone, thinking I’d sound stupid, even though I wasn’t. I feared showing interest in my peers, worried that they’d make fun of me.  I felt lonely. My depression deepened. I never wanted to come back to school.

I felt like I had no one to turn to, as I had moved here with just my mom, since my 20-year-old brother was a college student in Missouri, and my parents were divorced. Because I was too young to completely understand what had happened between my parents, I naively blamed myself for the breakup of their marriage. This weighed on me so heavily, it impacted how I acted or responded to certain situations, and not in a good way.

I did return to RHS, however, and that was when my life began to change for the better. One reason why was the expert help I received from the high school’s social worker and counselors. They let me talk about what I was feeling and helped me understand why I was feeling it.

But with Teacher Appreciation Week having just ended and graduation just around the corner, I’d like to focus instead on the two other groups of people at RHS who helped me the most: my teachers, who loved and supported me through my journey toward emotional wellness, and the awesome group of girls who ultimately befriended me.

My life is still far from perfect, but the love, patience, guidance and support I received from the teachers and students here helped me understand and overcome my struggles.

— Adrianna Cope

First off were my junior teachers, especially Mr. M., Mrs. M. and Ms. J., who always pushed me to be the best person I could be. In physics class, Mr. M. taught me not only about motion and acceleration, but also important life lessons. He recognized that I was just a kid learning how to live my life. He knew I could be hard working; I just needed someone to see me, really see me, and hear me out. He was an inspiration to me; he saw my capabilities and never let me forget how smart I was. He even helped me set my future goals.

Mrs. M. was like a mother to me; she made me feel cared for, supported me and always told me that I was smart and would succeed in life. Ms. J. was equally supportive, an amazing English teacher who told me I should have been placed in a higher-level class. She said my writing always sparked her interest. After her class ended, I never thought I’d still be writing as much as I do now. She instilled in me a love for expressing myself through poetry and creative writing in general.  

With these three teachers the support was constant, even after I cried repeatedly to them about how sad I felt and how much I thought I was never going to graduate and how I never believed in myself. They allowed me to have these moments to let go of the emotional damage I was holding onto somewhere deep inside of me.

These three teachers made me feel like I was more than just a girl that no one in school wanted to get to know. They told me it was okay to make mistakes and to stop being so hard on myself. I had always struggled with accepting the fact that I was human, flawed; but that was okay, they said, just as asking for help and learning how to navigate my issues was also okay.

As junior year went on, my grades improved. This was a huge change from my student days back in Missouri, when I was distracted and unmotivated, sleeping a lot, trying to catch a break from my troubles. I zoned out 24/7; life never felt real to me. At RHS, however, seeing my grades go up, my depressed mood lifted, and I even began to enjoy my classes.

This was when I met the group of girls who also helped change my life. I had always struggled with feeling accepted or making new friends. In Randolph, a new environment, it was doubly difficult; at first, anyway. Suddenly, or so it seemed, these girls began including me in conversations, asking me questions, making me feel like I was worth the effort. Becoming friends with them was enlightening. Each girl was unique, with a personality I’d never experienced before. Through them, I learned that there was so much to do here, in school and around town, and I began to see my new environment in a different and much brighter light.

Now that I’m a senior, my current teachers continue to love and support me. That includes Mrs. F., who advises me on how to be a better person, helps me understand that life goes on no matter what and reminds me to keep my eyes on the prize and stay focused on my continued success. As for Mr. M., he still has my back, and he never lets me fall back into the hole that I was in when I arrived in Randolph.

I can’t leave out Mrs. A., who really gets me and is hilarious. She knows I have a lot going on but still finds ways to make me laugh. It’s not only that; she also helps me with math, and I am horrible at math. As for Mr. S., he always looks out for me. He is caring and makes sure I know I can move forward and have a successful future. All of these teachers constantly help me and go above and beyond for me, just as they do for many of their other students.

In about a month, I’ll graduate from RHS. A few months after that, I’ll head off to college, and I couldn’t be happier. I attribute these successes, to a great extent, to the amount of support I received from my junior and senior teachers and newfound friends, all of whom helped me turn my life around.

RHS has had such a positive impact on my emotional health. My life is still far from perfect, but the love, patience, guidance and support I received from the teachers and students here helped me understand and overcome my struggles. I’ve learned that I am someone special. I’ve learned to work hard for what I want. I’ve learned what I need to do to keep my emotional health strong. I’ve learned that it’s okay to focus on what matters to me and no one else. I’ve learned that I do not have to suffer alone or feel like a disappointment. Finally, I’ve learned that I already have everything I need to become someone great in the future, an even better version of my current self.

About the Contributor
Adrianna Cope
Adrianna Cope, Staff Reporter
Senior Adrianna Cope is a staff reporter for Rampage. She is enrolled in Mrs. Finnell’s Journalism 1 class this year, Adrianna loves learning new reporting skills in order to become a better reporter. Adrianna moved to Randolph from Missouri her sophomore year and has been invested in becoming a better and more involved student at RHS. She strives to be reliable, honest and proactive. With this being her final year at RHS, it is Adrianna's goal to continue her journey toward becoming the best possible student and adult she can be.
Leave a Comment
Donate to Rampage

Your donation will support the student journalists of Randolph High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to Rampage

Comments (0)

All Rampage Online Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *