Zoë Helmers ’15
Currently Attending: Wake Forest University
Years at Shipley: 14
Activities, Positions, Awards: Crew, Cross Country, Sprouts, Yearbook, Environmental Club; Cross Country Co-Captain, Photography Intern with Shipley Marketing & Communications Office; Robert Elliot & Annette Field Worden Award
What I Learned in Middle School
Middle school taught me organization and self-discipline. As everyone knows, these are usually the awkward years of adolescence. Despite this, I have so many good memories, and my favorite would be our eighth grade Latin trip to Italy over spring break with the amazing Dr. Iozzo.
Developing the Confidence to Explore
In Upper School, I was able to experience many different activities, meet new people, and find how I learn best. I have always been an organized hard worker, but Upper School has taught me how to work without someone holding my hand. I have become more confident talking to people, especially people I do not know. Sports like crew and cross country have made me into a leader, even though I am not a captain in crew (but I am in cross country). I never imagined I would row or run when I was younger, but now I love it. I have transformed from a shy middle schooler into a positive and more secure girl, and this is because of Shipley.
Lessons from the Boat
My novice year in crew impacted me a great deal. I participated in an entirely new sport that I never dreamed of doing before high school, which was frightening in the beginning. Crew is demanding and exhausting, but it is the most rewarding sport I have ever been a part of. In my novice year I went from having anxiety and a fear of racing (to the point where I could not sleep) to becoming closer to my best friends, bonding with those who weren’t my friends before the season, winning gold at City Championships (one of the best moments of my life), and deciding to commit to this sport for four years. Crew taught me to know how to push myself, work with others, and also calm my self down when big races or tests were approaching. These are important lessons which I apply to my everyday life, and I truly believe that I would not have been as successful as I am now (not only from the awards or grades I have gotten but also the friendships I have made) if I had not rowed during High School.
Plans for Fall 2015
I will be attending Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
I do not have any set goals for what I want to do in college or my future. All I know is that I want to make a difference in the world – be it a small impact or a large one. Shipley taught me that you don’t need to become the President or cure cancer to make a difference. Being a good human being is, in the end, the most important thing. Maybe someday your ethics and goodness will help you become President or cure a disease, but helping out friends or volunteering is just as important. My passion for sustainability and the environment is due to my time at Shipley. Since taking Ecological Biology with Mr. Shepherd and Environmental Science with Mrs. Willing, I have learned a lot about topics like pollution from factory farming or how circulation of energy works in the Earth. These topics led me to dive into research on my own about the environment, which is why I became a vegan for a while during my senior year. I cannot wait to take sustainability courses at Wake Forest. The school’s passion for conserving the environment and service to the world in general is one of the reasons why I chose to apply to Wake Forest.