This year’s senior class graduation marks the start of new beginnings. For senior Kimberly Anderson, affectionately called “Kim,” the close of the 2021-2022 school year means merging her childhood passion of cheerleading into her adult life.
Anderson will attend the University of Texas Tyler (UT Tyler) where she has committed to the school’s three cheer teams. Anderson loves cheerleading and refuses to let the transition from high school to college stop her growing ambitions and vast dreams.
“It’s [cheering at the college level] definitely going to be a different experience and of course I’m a little bit nervous but I’m also really excited,” Anderson said.
Although cheer was the least of her worries a few years ago, cheer was responsible for instilling friendship, teamwork and an outgoing spirit into Anderson. Since she first started cheer in seventh grade, Anderson has continued to be a back spot, the person who stands behind the stunt group and provides extra support, for every team she has
“When I first started meeting, the team was an amazing experience,” Anderson said. “Before then, I was really shy and didn’t want to talk to anyone. Cheer really forced me to open myself up, it really got me out of my shell and made me more comfortable with meeting new people.”
Although being on cheer all four years has inspired a sense of teamwork and community, cheer has also brought out the competitive and driven side of Anderson as well. This forced her to do all that she can to be her best self in every aspect.
“You never want to be that one person who’s dragging down your team so I push myself the hardest that I can,” Anderson said. “I tend to be really competitive, that’s definitely one of the ways that I have gotten better over the years.”
Aside from the obvious excitement that comes from joining a new team, there comes the also just as obvious bittersweet taste of moving on from an old one. Especially for Kimberley, someone who has worked and grown with Lamar’s cheer squad for the past four years.
“In the beginning of senior year, I was definitely just ready to get out, go to college, and start my life,” Anderson said. “But now that we are here and it’s almost time to go, I’m really nervous for college.”