I can’t wait to leave you behind and move on and climb a new mountain, make a new place my new home. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t miss you.
It’s crazy to think that a couple years ago you were nothing to me but three letters. Just another place in another country in another town that I had never even heard of. Now, your little green campus means the whole world to me.
You taught me to be happy on my own, you taught me to be sad and to think. You taught me English, you taught me how to write. You taught me how to love and to hate and how to cut people out of my life for my own good and how hard and nearly impossible that can be. You taught me to speak up and to find my voice, just like you taught me how to listen and be there for the people around me.
You’ve also taken a lot from me. You’ve taken my last four years of living at home. You’ve nearly taken one of the best friendships I’ve ever had and you’ve taken a part of my home country from me. You’ve taken my feeling of absolutely belonging anywhere at all.
But, then again, maybe that is just a part of growing up, a process that you so conveniently sped up for me and now I can move along with that advantage. I thank you for that.
I am ready to keep going and keep moving just like you’ve been telling me to do. But I’ll miss you.
I’ll miss your oak trees and pink afternoon hills. I’ll miss your lunch lines and movie nights, your encouraging words and worthless meetings. I’ll miss the people you’ve brought into my life. I’ll miss the rooms that we’ve lived in and the road up the hill we all hate. I’ll miss your flaming hot skies and succulents and I’ll miss your stars, your beautiful stars. I’ll miss your tired breakfast conversations, your van rides and the songs we’ve belted on them. It’s really been a wild couple of years.
I’ve started this draft several times. I’ve written sentences and sentences only to change them, revise them, and, eventually, just completely eradicate them and end where I started: with nothing. Because every time I try to write about this, I can’t formulate the right words to say. Even though I’ve discovered at OVS that one of my biggest passions is writing, I’m speechless when I try to write about what these last four years meant to me.
When I came to OVS for the first time, I was an awkward freshman. I had no friends, no idea what I was doing, and no idea who I was or who I wanted to be.
The four years to follow threw me in for a loop of highs and lows in self development, friendships, and life. Now I have just a couple days until the craziest, most amazing four years of my life come to an end. Every year at this time, I had a strong desire for the days to end as quickly as possible so I could enjoy my summer break. This time, I’m scared for the inevitable last day of school to come. I’m holding on to every last second I can.
I’ve been to three graduations here. Every single one making me sadder than the rest, but there was always happiness in my heart when I’d hug my friends goodbye for the summer, especially because I knew I’d see them again. On May 31st, I’ll hug all my friends, but, when fall rolls around, I won’t see them again on the hill that’s been my second home for the past four years. We’ll all be scattered across the country taking on different cities and pursuing different passions. We won’t see each other at breakfast every morning or at the barn at the end of every day. We’ll see each other through FaceTime calls and at reunions during our holiday breaks. I’m bound to cry at graduation because of it all.
I’m happy we’re all going to colleges we want to go to and I know that these friends are the ones I’ll have for life. But the realization that this is our last week as high schoolers together is still sending a wave of shock over me that I’ve been drowning in the past couple weeks.
I’m horrified for what the future holds, but, at the same time, I feel so ready. Four years ago, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be ready for college and eight years ago I didn’t have any faith that I would even be going to college. Now, I’m excited to walk into the unknown and I have OVS to thank for it all:
For being a school that’s given me the opportunity to branch out and try everything I could ever want to try. I didn’t have to stick to one niche. I got to be a risk-taking athlete, an unfiltered writer, a confident leader, and everything in between.
The equestrian program for giving me a horse I love more than myself. For giving me a place I’ve made my best friends.
The camping trips where I went running through the Yosemite forests at night time with no flashlight and rode the bull of the raft while river rafting on the Kern trip. For making me push my limits and having them turn out to be the most rewarding moments of my life. For making me realize I love camping even though I hate going days without showering.
For my AP Spanish class making me fall in love with the language all over again and decide to study abroad in Spain instead of France. Law/Gov class that furthered my excitement to move to D.C. to study politics and intern on Capitol Hill. Especially for my journalism class that provided a source of gossip, a place to rant, and an endless supply of snacks, but more importantly, it has given me an outlet to explore writing and inspire me to pursue it in college.
Thank you for everything. For the good, the bad, and everything in between. No words could say it all.
I’m not gonna lie and say this school is perfect. There’s so much I’ve complained about and so many things I would change. But if I’m going to be honest, it was perfect for me. It was the place I needed for the kind of person I was to become who I am today. I had no idea what my purpose was or what my passions were and, while I’m still on a road of self-discovery, OVS put me on the right path.
I wanted time to speed up. Everything seemed like it was moving slower than a tortoise going for an afternoon stroll. I wanted everything to end. It seemed like those 4 years would drag on and would take up my whole life. I always thought that those 4 years would be filled with tears of stress and sadness. I really believed they were going to be the worst 4 years of my life.
But, now, I’m sitting in my last class of high school and all I’m asking for is five more minutes. Everything flashed by in the blink of an eye. I want to relive so many things. Those 4 years went by too fast and seemed like they were one of the smallest parts of my life. The years were filled with tears of stress and sadness, but they were also filled with happiness and love. So far they have been the best 4 years of my life; I made so many friends, had so many new experiences, and really learned who I was. I just want to live in it for five more minutes.
You called me beautiful underneath the blue midnight light. Your hands were around my waist, your face illuminated with your favorite color, my thoughts were with you and only with you.
I can feel your breath hitting my cheek as I remember it all. I feel your warmth surrounding me in the otherwise cold air, I feel your hair falling into my face, followed by your fingers, gently pushing it back into place.
It’s a heart-wrecking game you play with me, and you don’t even know it. With all my willpower I’m desperately trying not to fall for you more than I already have, trying not to lose myself in another illusion and another love. But this is different. You are different and my weak little heart can’t handle it. Because with seemingly every blink of your existence, I fall.
I want to let it happen. I want to fall and not stop until we both hit the ground. I want to see where we can go, what we can do. But I’ve been hurt before and I’m scared. Mainly, I think, because I don’t want you to ever feel that way. It’s taken me so long to recover, and, deep down, I know that we are so much more than anything I could have ever experienced. I can’t imagine what would happen to us if we let ourselves go the way I wish we could. I know it would be beautiful.
One more week. I could spend that week thinking about all I just said, dwelling on the sadness that flushes through my body whenever I think of the little time we have left. But I shouldn’t. I should use that time, use it wisely, use it happily. I should enjoy it, every second of it, because I don’t want to regret anything. I don’t want to look back on the time we have wasted, I want to remember all that we had, even if it wasn’t enough.