Would you like to have a special place where you could go to be completely and freely yourself? A place to escape your everyday routine where no one had expectations for you? Imagine a place where you were always happy and everyone that you met was smiling and cheerful. Sounds like a nice place, doesn’t it? Fortunately for me, I have just the place … inside my school mascot’s costume. I am the Sewickley Academy Panther, and from time to time, I get to go to that place, inside my huge, black, furry domain.
For many years, we did not have a mascot at our school, but during my freshman year, a gigantic panther showed up during morning announcements to the delight of all of the students. The Panther legacy was created! For a while, there was a trending conversation in our school about the new mascot: who was inside the panther costume? Everyone had a theory, but no one knew for sure. When the mascot was introduced, I had dreams of how awesome it would be to become the Panther. I would have access to so many unique and fun school and community events and be able to enthusiastically (albeit covertly) interact with others at these events.