Sean Coen (’20)
June 4, 2020
In a year marked by disappointments and “what ifs,” being appreciative of the time we had at Cherry Hill East is vital for staying sane. Entering a school like East as a freshman can be daunting. I remember walking in on my first day and feeling like I was on a busy city street with students and staff darting by on their way to class. However, high school was always something so fascinating to me. I’d seen so many movies about seizing every day and how high school was supposed to be the best four years of your life. I imagined a packed gym at basketball games, dying of laughter in the cafeteria and making memories that would last a lifetime. Although we never got to finish the way we anticipated, East gave me all I wanted and more.
Looking back, it definitely was not the classic high school movie I hoped for. We never beat West on Thanksgiving and I missed half my sports career at East because of a knee injury. At East, I realized that high school wasn’t going to be that classic movie. It was my own story that made me who I am today. All the “what ifs” started to not matter as much when I realized that everything that happened got me to where I am today. East didn’t give me everything, and it didn’t have to. It gave me what I needed to take me to the next step in my life.
East, and high school in general, has a way of showing yourself who you are and allowing you to express yourself in whatever way you choose. I was able to grow as a leader through SGA and student government day, and put the lessons I learned to the test by attending New Jersey’s Boys State. I was able to pursue my passions on the football and lacrosse field with guys I would now call brothers. I was able to show my school spirit by getting covered in body paint and screaming my head off at sports events.
With that being said, my experience at East would not be the same without the people that helped make it possible. As more and more time went on, the more people I came to know created more friendships that I will have forever. Some of my best friends are people that I had never even met before stepping into the halls of East. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a group of guys, collectively known as “Ethel’s Bois,” that defined my East experience and made every single moment along the way that much better.
If I were to leave any advice for people entering high school I would say this. High school is only the best four years of your life if you make it that way. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to be the one to step up and don’t be afraid to get involved. Thank you East for the best four years of my life. Roll Cougs now and forever.