My name is Ian Loree, and I was born in Lansing, Michigan. Even though I live in Haslett, a suburb to Lansing’s northeast, I’ve attended school in neighboring Okemos for nearly my whole life. While I’m healthier now, I had a lot of health issues as a baby because I was born 3 and a half weeks earlier. Primarily, I had holes in my heart and had to go through surgery at five months old to fix them. While I don’t remember that operation, being so young, my parents and extended family members tell me they were extremely worried about me during that time and are grateful that I’m able to grow into a happy, healthy, adult. Also, my right eye is droopy, so I have to wear glasses or contacts to see clearly. Finally, I was diagnosed with asthma at a young age and had to go through treatments for it; fortunately, I’ve never had to use an inhaler as a teenager and have no trouble during intense physical activities.
I have many interests, although, of the core subjects, my favorites are the sciences and math. I especially enjoy their problem-solving aspects. I would say that I am strong in all areas, but struggle most with studying another language. Understanding the complex grammar and large vocabulary of a language like French, which I am learning right now, is very difficult and an area in which I hope to improve. When it comes to extra-curricular activities, I run cross country and track, play the trumpet in marching band and jazz band, compete on the Quiz Bowl team, and build a fully-functional solar-powered car with Okemos’ Solar Racing Club. They take up a lot of time, especially in the fall, but I never regret doing them because of the friends I’ve made and how much I’ve learned.
When reading through the survey, the question that asked, “I am scared that I will be a failure in life,” resonated with me more than any of the others, as it is a statement I would have strongly agreed with several years ago. Although it seems funny that I, someone who excels in school, would be worried about failure, that characteristic doesn’t tell the entire story. Compared to regular classes, advanced courses were extremely competitive environments. I never failed a class, but there was always someone better than me at something. I didn’t feel like I as a person had anything unique and worthwhile to share with the world. Furthermore, I saw others with bubbly personalities easily making friends and was jealous of them. I was quiet and reserved and didn’t feel very comfortable in social situations. Fortunately, this attitude started to change as I entered high school, which I credit to joining cross country and counseling. Cross country was (and still is) a community full of people who truly care about others. My best friends run cross country, and it’s more than a team; it’s a family. Meanwhile, counseling helped me to better understand the intricacies of social situations and how to feel at ease around other people, especially by believing that I have valuable, important things to say, (because I do!). Today, being around people who genuinely value me, and, just as importantly, learning to value myself, I’m no longer scared about being a failure.