A Montage

I suppose this is the end. My last blog. The last post I write, and the last one I publish. The last piece of writing I do for Ojai Valley School – the place that has taught me how to write.

I came to school my freshman year having written essays before, but only formal, structured pieces for English class. I’ve always been one to write down my thoughts – I carry around a journal and have always documented my raw emotions. But before coming to OVS, I had never shared my writing with others.

Freshman year, I sat down in my first Humanities class, unaware of the flood of writing to come. Reading journals galore, I had little blurbs of writing due once or twice a week. Those reading journals were analytical, but they allowed me to delve into my thoughts and share my own interpretation of the material – something I had never done for school before.

And I think those reading journals, back in freshman year Humanities, bridged the gap between writing for myself and writing for school. And that allowed me to delve into Journalism, which introduced me to writing for others.

Fast forward four years. Here I am, at the end of senior year. Freshman year, I learned the value of my own thoughts in writing. And sophomore year, when I started taking Journalism, I truly learned the wonder of writing. I found my voice, and learned how to tell stories. I learned how to paint pictures of other people’s accomplishments and what goes on around campus. I learned to blog – to write metaphorically, and to eloquently share my deepest, most honest emotions. I truly learned to put my thoughts into words, and to fearlessly share them with the world.

So, again, here I am, writing my last blog post. I have written all sorts of blog posts over the past three years – ones that are funny, sad, sarcastic and honest. And now I have to wrap it up. This is the last thing I will write this year, for any class. The last bit of work I do before I graduate, the last bit of work I do in high school.

That’s pretty crazy.

Today is Wednesday, May 31st. On Friday, June 2nd, I graduate. I’m beyond excited, but also terrified. It doesn’t feel real. I always knew I’d get to this point, but now that I’m here it’s hard to grasp. It’s hard to believe that it’s me. I’m about to graduate high school. I’m about to be in college.

I can’t believe I made it. I know that’s a cliché thing to say, but I really mean it. These past four years have been pretty hectic. But here I am. T minus two days and I’ll be walking across the stage.

And I can’t wait.

I’m sad to be leaving – OVS has done so much for me and I’m going to miss it. All my friends, all my teachers, they’re going to be hard to leave. But OVS has prepared me well for college, and now I’m ready to move forward.

So goodbye and thank you to OVS, to Journalism, and all the writing I’ve done here. It’s the end of an era, and a great one too.

T minus two days.

Photo Credit: i.huffpost.com
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The Truth About Boarding High School

What is your impression of a boarding high school? Maybe you think it’s a place where bad behaved teenagers are sent. Well, this is not always the case. For example, I came to boarding school to get an American education.

I’m dyslexic, and I grew up in Japan where the disorder isn’t known at all. I was terrified to go to school there because my parents told me that if people found out I was dyslexic I would get bullied. I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone. The constant fear of someone discovering my secret crushed my spirit and my school life. Even though I studied hard late into the night, my grades were terrible. As an excuse for not doing well I pretended to be dumb and lazy. I couldn’t be myself, and no one could offer me help.

My life has changed completely since I came to OVS (my boarding school.) I’m getting good grades and am in student council, something I always dreamed of but couldn’t do in Japan because it involved a lot of reading. I’m able to play tennis, which I quit at home because I needed more time to study. I’m able to work on my photography and Photoshop skills. And most importantly, I’m able to tell people that I’m dyslexic without being ashamed about it or worried that I’ll be bullied.

It wasn’t easy to leave my friends and family, adjust to a language I wasn’t fluent in, and start life at a boarding school with new people. But my decision saved my life.

The video below shows a glimpse of what boarding school is really like.

Senioritis

After I got accepted to a few colleges, I started to become extremely lazy. I just want to be done with high school and I don’t have the motivation I used to have, due to the fact that senior grades don’t affect the chances of being accepted.

I don’t know if I am simply becoming lazy, or if I have senioritis. Senioritis is a word I hear a lot these days. The definition is: “A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation (Urban Dictionary).”

After reading the definition, I am pretty sure I have senioritis. Previously, I never knew it existed, and I am surprised I have it. I have 130 more days until graduation and I hope my senioritis does not affect that time. Instead of just thinking about college, I want to appreciate the last days I have at this school, and as a high school student.

Photo Credit: collegetransitioninitiative.com

What does it take to be a lacrosse goalie?

Photo Credit: syracuse.com

Lacrosse. A sport that was played by the Native Americans. A sport that solves the problems of war. Instead of killing each other with swords and bows, many chose to play the game of lacrosse. (The solution of the problem would be decided by the winner of the game.) Since then, lacrosse has evolved into a modern sport, although it is not as popular as American football or basketball. Lacrosse industries have seen immense growth in the sport in the past ten years.

There is one specific position in lacrosse that requires the player to have a tough mentality, and good reaction: the goalie. If you think hockey goalies have it tough, imagine guarding a six-by-six foot goal with almost no body protection. Considering that the shots are usually taken five or ten yards out, an 80 mph condensed rubber ball no smaller than a baseball is flying towards you. Knowing that you only have a helmet, chest pad, gloves, and a stick with a net on it, would you stop it or would you get out of the way? The feeling of hot rubber scrapes your legs as you try to stop it, and it burns. Are you able to picture being in that position?

I started my lacrosse career in my 8th grade year at Ojai Valley School. Since then, I have fallen in love with the sport. At the beginning, I was introduced to the goalie position when some of my friends encouraged me to try it out and see if I liked it.

I had no idea that the position I was about to take was one that is high risk and requires a tough mentality. It was tough start to a new sport that I had never even heard of and had never even seen. My coach saw my potential in the position as well as my teammates and friends. With their encouragement, I continued and persevered. I played throughout middle school, and continued playing at the high school level.

There were not a lot of injuries during my 8th grade year, but playing at the high school level, I have suffered injuries to my knees, ears, and more. I have realized the sacrifices I have to make in order for my team to win and for me to be a successful goalie. Now I am a senior in high school and a team captain. After multiple losses and meltdowns in past seasons, I finally realize and understand what it takes for a person to be successful in a position as tough as lacrosse goalie.

So, are you tough enough to try the position out?

This is the end

Today is Thursday, May 26th, 2016. Today is the last academic day of school. Today is the last day of my junior year.

Tomorrow is the first final. One week later is graduation.

Three months later, the next school year will begin. I’ll be a senior. Time is ticking, and we are nearing the end. Everything is coming to a close.

Photo Credit: az616578.vo.msecnd.net

It’s surreal. All the seniors will be gone, replaced by my class. We’ll be the oldest. The top of the top.

I’m aware of all that is happening, but it hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m waiting for that day.

Technically, this is the last blog I ever need to write. Next year will be so different.

I’m only a junior now – the middle child – neither the oldest nor the youngest. But this is the end, and soon I will be the older child.

It’s so close, I can almost touch it.

The Infamous Gap Year

Image Credit: gapyear.com

Currently I’m writing an article about a senior who is taking the path less travelled. Rather than jumping straight from high school to college, she’s taking a year in between. Before I started writing this articles I knew what gap years were, but I associated them with partying and messing around. That is not the case. Students who take gap years get to travel, do charity work, take a break from the competitive atmosphere of high school before going into even more rigorous college academics, work, and discover themselves out in the world on their own. Even Harvard recommends gap years. Just look at Malia Obama. Gap years are finally starting to drift away from the notion that they are filled with parties and are starting to be recognized as beneficial. I’m grateful I was given this article to write, because now I am aware all the benefits gap years can yield, and who knows, maybe I’ll take one now.

8 Carrie GIFS That Describe Prom Night

When you’re feeling really great as you put your makeup on

 

When you finally get your dress on and a teacher tries to dress code you

 

When you walk into prom and you see someone wearing the same dress as you

 

When you start losing hope for actually having fun but then they start playing your song

 

When someone tells you that you look really good

 

And then realize the person who told you that is notoriously fake

 

When you finally get home and you realize you sweat all your makeup off

 

When you are allowed to wash your face after a long night

But all and all, prom is super fun!  So kick off your shoes and dance!!