The Breakaway: The Big Rewards of Taking a Little Step



Kate Ramming is 17 years old and a junior at St. Cecelia. She served as Baby and Company’s intern in Outreach and Marketing where she helped design the Guidelights social media campaign.


In my freshman year, I made a big decision to apply to a summer program at The School of the New York Times in New York City. It was the first big decision I had on my own, very uncharacteristic of me, and I had never done anything like it. 

Until the moment I left, I was a little doubtful that I would actually go because of how far away it was. I didn’t know anyone else who would be there. The process of applying was very long and involved and required two essays, transcripts, and recommendations, all of which is more than a little daunting for a 15-year-old. 

Soon, the idea started to seem crazy. Surely I wouldn’t get in. But when I learned I had been accepted, I was in shock. I was so unsure that it was real, that I only told my best friend from middle school about it until nearly the time that I left. I started to get so excited, but I was also very nervous. 

I am from Nashville and not the “new” version of busy and crowded Nashville. I had never been to sleep-away camp, been on a trip without one of my parents, or to New York City itself much less alone. When I arrived in New York City for the first time, I thought it was insane. And I was going to be there for two weeks without anyone I knew. 

I was immediately homesick. I wasn’t sure I was ready for such a significant change. But I was there, and there was no way out but to follow through. I really had to stay open to change and face it head-on. Knowing I would have no one I knew and a whole new city, I had never been to meant that I had to begin to rely on myself and had to trust that everything would be alright. 

The things I learned from this experience were amazing. I even chose to go back to the program last summer. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and to learn new skills in writing and in life. I grew so much in confidence in myself and my ability to handle change. I made lifelong friendships, which I will always cherish. I got to explore my favorite city and learn from some of the best writers for The New York Times. 

I’m different for having taken this step. It has taught me to stay open to change and new opportunities and to take that step even if it feels scary. You never know what you might miss out on if you don’t take a chance on change. 


Guidelights Playlist

Kate’s music choice to accompany this Guidelight is Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson.

See the growing Guidelights Spotify playlist here.


Kate Ramming is a 17-year-old junior that attends Saint Cecilia Academy. Over her years at Saint Cecilia Academy she’s been involved in dance, on the golf team, a captain of wrestling cheer team, parliamentarian of the French club, and she serves as an ambassador for her school. She enjoys volunteering at Room at the Inn. She currently works part-time at Zoë’s Kitchen.


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