Senior Reflection – Delaney Juenger

Delaney Juenger, Scratch Paper - Staff Member

Anyone who even remotely knows me is likely expecting me to write about Taylor Swift.

They would be correct.

You know, Taylor Swift wasn’t always my favorite singer. Little Delaney was a Katy Perry girl because Taylor was her older sister’s favorite and she didn’t want to steal. Nonetheless, somewhere between “we will be remembered” and “I’m walking fast through the traffic lights,” Delaney discovered the value in loving what the people she loves love, and followed in her big sister’s footsteps accordingly. Sharing important pieces of each other’s lives has remained one of my favorite ways to connect with people, and has bridged many of my relationships these past four years at Warren. So thanks, Madi.


While we’re addressing Madi, I see it only fit to express my gratitude for another formative part of who I am: cross country. Thanks for dragging me along with you to camp and practice, even though I made you late more often than not. And for letting me hang out with your friends because I am terrible at socializing with new people. And for pushing me to run for captaincy, as you did, which helped me become (slightly?) better at speaking out. You forged the road — or rather, the trail — for me, a sacrifice I’m eternally grateful for, seeing that I’m extremely directionally challenged.


Enough of Madi. Now, back to Taylor.


In the first semester of my senior year, Swift released a song titled “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” which was a very disturbing sentiment for someone dreading graduating and leaving everything behind. However, this track contains a lyric that I find wonderfully encompasses my high school experience: “everything you lose is a step you take.”  

I have never been a “move on” type of person. I remember everything and hold on to words and experiences for far longer than I should. But I’m working on it. One of my proudest accomplishments of these past four years is the improvement I’ve made in eliminating my sunk-cost fallacy mindset. Giving up friends or activities that had been a part of my life for so long was something I really struggled with. It made me feel like a quitter. Maybe I am a quitter. But quitting isn’t an inherently bad thing. I have learned that just because something comes into your story doesn’t mean it has to stay. Few of the girls I entered high school with still stand by my side. I quit soccer and hurt friendships because of it. I fell out of love with running and somehow turned back to soccer. I joined activities I never saw myself doing just to put myself out there and spend more time with my friends. One of those lovely friends taught me that some things serve their purpose and leave your life, but that doesn’t make them any less integral to it. Understanding that these parts of my life were there for me when I needed them has allowed me to expend them once I no longer do. After all, everything you lose is a step you take.


While I’m sure I could conjure up another Taylor Swift lyric to segue into this next section, I think I’ll stick to my own words for this one. I’d like to offer a simple “thank you” to all the people who shaped my daily life here at Warren:

My friends, whom I adore more than anything, have shown me what it means to have a support system and taught me the importance of vulnerability. I have loved being a teenage girl with you all. And yes, I secretly like all the nicknames.

My teachers, who cared for me as a person, not just as a student. They inspired my love of learning, catered to my individual needs, and pushed me to participate to have my voice heard (still hate that last one, not gonna lie).

My coaches, who put up with my attitude and genuinely wanted to see me succeed.

My peers, who may not realize the impact their help, jokes, and sheer presence had on me in the hallways and classrooms alike. I’ll undoubtedly miss you all and randomly be reminded of the memories forged within these walls. 


So thank you.


While I’ve used Taylor Swift to outline my high school experience — and this might come as a shock now — I think she got one thing wrong. You’re not on your own, kid, and you certainly have not always been so. You’ll look around at graduation and know this for certain. But, she was still right about the other part of the lyric: “you can face this.”


She has a doctorate, so I’d say she’s a pretty trustworthy source on that one.