(Photo Credit: Auntbeulahblog.files.wordpress.com )
Looking back five years, I still remember when I first stepped on campus at Ojai Valley School as an 8th grader. Fear of the uncertain filled my heart; I didn’t know what to expect and what challenges I would have to overcome at my new school. I gave my parents one last hug right before my dorm parent called me back into the dorms, and in that moment I knew I wouldn’t see my parents for at least three months, the longest I had been away from my parents at that time.
As scary as being a boarding student was, I have overcome it and made it to the very end, which is being a senior at Ojai Valley School. I still can hardly believe that it has been four years since I graduated middle school, and five years since I decided to leave home in Shanghai to come to school in the United States. There were a lot of things that I wanted to do during my high school years, and I have done many of them and feel accomplished because of it. Checking each thing off in my mind is a relief. I’m that much closer to my goal.
Looking forward, graduation is almost here. I have been through four proms, at least eight camping trips, played on a lacrosse team, was a stagehand for three plays, survived English 11, and lived with six different roommates. There are countless other memories, including having seen a lot of my former classmates/teammates graduate high school. I’m wondering what it will feel like to finally check off the last thing on my “To Do” list in high school — to sit on the stage listening to Mr. Cooper address us for the last time, and for his last time, because as we graduate he is retiring. It’s the end of an era for both of us, and the beginning of something new.