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By Marrika, a junior at MHS. You never know how good or bad a situation is until you’re out of it. Enrolling at MHS was a paradigm switch for me.

Is Your Cup Full or Empty?

By Marrika, a junior at MHS

You never know how good or bad a situation is until you’re out of it.

Enrolling at Milton Hershey School was a paradigm switch for me. Looking back at the situation I was in, I realize that being in my hometown of Reading was like jumping off a crumbling stepping stone to get to the safe place that is MHS. I went from hearing police sirens to the chimes of Founders Hall’s bells.

At home, I viewed myself as a cup half empty. I saw myself as a girl who was unattractive due to the darkness of my skin. But after coming to MHS, I met my best friend who indirectly taught me to love my complexion. I made myself a better “me” by being down-to-earth and true to myself and others around me. At MHS, my cup became half full.

On campus, my self-love and self-acceptance has grown. Back home, I never loved myself like I should.

I’ve also learned how to concentrate my anger. I used to take my frustrations out on teachers and peers, but later, I would regret it and know it wasn’t the way to live.

Music has become one of my biggest stress relievers. It’s a gift and one of the best presents I could ever receive. I see everything with a different and deeper meaning. When I hear a song I like, I research the meaning and I’ve begun to do that with my friends, schoolwork, family, and opportunities. I’ve learned to enjoy life and what is has to offer.

At MHS, I wake up to a better outlook on life—there’s so much out there to see, touch, and feel.


Marrika enrolled at MHS in ninth grade from Reading, Pennsylvania. 

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Student Voices Blog

Milton Hershey School students are confident leaders, global citizens, compassionate members of the community, focused scholars and fearless problem solvers. They also have strong voices and inspirational stories. Follow our Student Voices blog series to read students’ perspectives on service, graduation, internships and more, written in their own words.

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