Senior Perspectives: Jackie Cotter

March 3, 2020

Looking back at the last four years feels like re-reading a book from childhood and picking up on a billion tiny things you never understood before, making it much more special. Although high school presented me with the most challenging moments thus far, I know now that without those moments, I would not be who I am today.

I spent the majority of this time on stage. Although I eat, sleep, and breathe performance, my heart lies in the entirety of art. One of the most pivotal moments in my life was joining the Stage Crew. From there, my love for painting flourished and I jumped at every chance to be creative. This year, I had the opportunity to help design and paint the theatre  and film murals: an idea that would be laughable to freshman year Jackie. As officer for Belles, Co-Mime Company Manager, and Thespian Society Co-Vice President, I delved even further into creative exploration. Despite the difficulty my involvement in the arts presented me, some of my fondest memories are overcoming those challenges. I will never forget intermittently memorizing lines as Eulalie and learning the synonyms for nebulous (hazy, vague, or indistinct). Or rushing to get all of the paint off my body between crew calls and the opening night performance. Or late nights practicing trombone, assigning bell parts, and even making a puppet.

It is easy to get caught up in the pressure. However, there comes a moment, after you have poured your entire heart into a project, when it all makes sense. The moments happen when I see a familiar face around D-Wing after a particularly challenging day. They happen when you find yourself laughing to the point of tears in a mime rehearsal, or when a chord in the middle of a choir song gives you goosebumps. They happen whenever you realize just how lucky you are to have the opportunities to do what you love and to have the support of a community who wants to see you grow.

From all of the things that Cherry Hill High School East has taught me, the most important is that life is not about each individual person. I would advise anyone who still has time remaining in their high school journey to not get caught up in themselves. High School, especially at East, gives you the chance to collaborate with new people every day– to see the world through the perspective of others. It is with this in mind that I have dedicated the rest of my life to taking what I love and using it to tell the stories of others. With my whole heart, I am grateful for the opportunity to explore myself and push the boundaries of my capability.

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