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Surviving Not Just High School

Junior Samantha Cherry Is in the Process of Applying for “Survivor”

Photo by Laura Zaidan/Maclay Andalusian

Imagine having to build your own shelter, find your own food and survive the daily challenge while competing for one million dollars. For junior Samantha Cherry, this is her dream. Cherry is currently in the process of applying for a spot on the well-known television show “Survivor.”

“Survivor” is a show where “contestants travel to a remote warm-weather location where they fend for themselves and compete in various team-based challenges. Every three days the contestants vote to send one of the losing team's members home. The last person standing wins $1 million.” Not only is Cherry a new student here at Maclay, but she also wants to seek a role in one of the world’s most intense reality TV shows. 

The application process for “Survivor” consists of making a video giving basic information about oneself and telling a story. Then, submit a photo of oneself along with the online application. The crew will then contact the individual if they want them to move forward in the casting process. 

“It's [“Survivor”] like one of my favorite shows to watch with my mom,” Cherry said. “It's like our thing.”

The show “Survivor” holds a special place in Cherry’s heart because of the connection created between her mom and the show. 

“I love being out in nature,” Cherry said. “I know that [“Survivor”] is a little excessive, like sleeping on bamboo and sometimes bugs will crawl on your ears, but I’ll bring earplugs.” 

“I’ve never really been afraid of nature,” Cherry said. “I know some people can grow up and they're afraid to walk in the grass or touch bugs or anything, but I've always been fine with that and it just brings me a lot of peace.”

Even if being on “Survivor” means sleeping in the wild and possibly having different interactions with insects, that does not stop Cherry’s love for nature, peace of mind and determination to be on the show. Nature has always been her safe place, it was never something that scared Cherry which gives her reassurance and confidence in her abilities that may be necessary if granted a position on the show. 

“‘Survivor’ is like gameplay and secrecy and trying to get people on your team,” Cherry said. “I feel like that's so fun because you end up with connections. If you win, you get a million dollars, if not, you still got the experience with survival skills.”

To Cherry, the show is about the challenges you face along the way, not winning the game in the end. The challenges create an allure to the show making it more exciting and different from regular television. 

“And also the mental stuff is proving to yourself that you can get through hard times,” Cherry said.

With all the challenges that the show’s contestants face, they grasp the idea that they can do anything they put their minds to. 

“I have a very positive and determined mindset to apply it there and come out of the show with a more formed motivated mindset,” Cherry said. 

Cherry feels like she is a good candidate for “Survivor” because of her strength of character and her belief that she can face anything that comes her way. 

“Nature is something that we bonded on very quickly,” junior Emily Hawken said. “As you know, I'm the Outdoor Club president, and so I also love nature. So that's kind of what brought us together.”

Cherry made connections with students here at Maclay even before she became a Marauder. With both Cherry and Hawken’s love for nature, they knew right off the bat that they would become close friends.

“The first time we hung out outside of Youth Leadership Tallahassee, we went on a hike and climbed trees. She's super outdoorsy and outgoing and she can definitely win,” Cherry said. 

With Cherry’s love for nature, “Survivor” is a great opportunity for her to apply the skills she has learned about nature to a competition while also being completely surrounded by nature.


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Andy Poll

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