Thank You OVS

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.

Photo Credit: ocsaledger.com

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.

And for that, I’ll forever be thankful.

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that’ll be it

I’m graduating in less than 18 weeks. 18 weeks seem like a long time, but, when I think about all the things I will be doing from now until may 31st, it suddenly isn’t that far away anymore.

I haven’t gotten a single college acceptance yet. I haven’t gotten rejected, either, but that only means that I’m just as far away from knowing where I want to go next year as I was two months ago.

Photo Credit: ocregister.com

In a few weeks, I’ll be performing in my last ever musical here. I’ll be going on my last ever ski trip with this school. I’ll be going to my last ever prom, probably without a date. I’ll be playing at my last ever talent show (with no talent, still), and I’ll be going to my last ever OVS graduation, but this time it’s mine.

I’ll be walking down the stairs, sit lined up with my classmates on stage, get my diploma, and then that’s it. That’ll be the end of my past four years that were such an important chapter in my life and that contributed to so much of my personality. That’ll be it.

But, before that happens, there are so many more weekends to spend watching movies in the lounge, many more camp trips to go on and freeze my a** off, many more mental breakdowns over tests and AP’s to endure, horse shows to go on, story deadlines to miss, town trips to spend at Bliss getting frozen yogurt, sunsets to watch from the soccer field, and memories to make.

I won’t lie and say that this school and my life here is perfect. There are many things that I would like to change, but I don’t want to get into that now. Because there are so many more things that I am thankful for. Again, my time here hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been amazing. And in 18 weeks, it’ll be over, that’ll be it. And then, it’s time for another chapter.

 

This is the End

You may see a few other posts from my fellow OVS bloggers regarding our impending graduation.

What a trip it has been. I have been at OVS for six years and they have been fantastic.

Like at any other school, we bitch and moan about the problems, and there have been many. But when I look at the growth I have experienced and seen within my friends I realize what I have been given.

Going to a private boarding school as a day student can be tricky, but I have learned to play the game.

I have dealt with having a relative has my headmaster as well as having family intertwined with the school history.

My first day, the headmaster told me “I failed with your father, I failed with my son and goddammit, I’m not going to fail with you.”

Although I loath to¬†concede¬†anything to him, I will admit he has not failed. He has given me “character”, although the integrity may still need some work.

I should have been kicked out many, many times. I have thought about leaving even more times.

But endings change the picture. They throw out the individual memories and give you and overall feeling. I can say that the feeling I have is a positive one.

Although I am ready to leave, I appreciate what I have been given and greatly value that gift.

Finally, my train is here

With the window to my next four years open and the endless possibility flows in like the rays of sun through a dark room, I ask myself, “what do I make of the previous three?”

Like many of my colleagues in their final year of high school, I too have had the fortune of anxiously tearing open a letter to read the words dedicated students wait to see since they began the process oh so many months before, “congratulations, you have been accepted.” At this moment, one may experience a leaping sensation in their heart as the rate increases.

Some may not be able to breathe or speak with excitement. The eyes may start to smart as tears of joy flow freely like persistent waterfalls and some may reveal a small grin while feeling their own sense of great emotion. Maybe you’ll jump maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll scream, maybe you’ll break into random song. Maybe you’ll hug the first person you see. For those of us in boarding school, the cell phone on your dresser drawer rings continuously for hours as family members and friends congratulate your impressive accomplishment. You try to take the moment in while at the same time you try to express yourself, and as you celebrate, you know that for the moment, the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.

Today I’m another one of those lucky people. I’m a person who an institution of great prestige said “yes” to. 14,000 other hopeful applicants completed the process with me and the fact that I made it makes it that much sweeter. Did I mention that it’s my #1?

I came back from the Honors Ski Trip in Yosemite National Park to find an email telling me of my good fortune. The email was from the University of San Francisco. I can yammer on and on and on about each and every detail of the process and the story behind it like I usually do but however, this is not my prerogative.

The significance of this to me is that the chapter of my life lingers as I am about to turn the page. It is the feeling that you get when you’re waiting in a train station you hear your train coming down the tracks, and you think to yourself, “could it be? finally, in this moment, MY train has arrived.” Now it seems that all I have to do is step on. It is a new beginning taking me to destinations not yet treaded and not yet known and not just to San Francisco.

Times like now only add the incentive for me to count down the days until we as a senior class commence under the hot sun of an early June day to accept our diplomas. Yet I can’t help but think back on the past three years and question them, reminisce on them, ponder them, and to contemplate my exact emotions. I can’t say that I approve of all that’s gone down since I came to OVS as a 15-year-old, but for now, I try to stay away from senioritis, keep the grades up, and think about all the future holds while trying to live in the present. Still, it’s hard to keep your head in the moment when your mind’s a million miles away, or in this case, just up the state.