This is my last year in high school where my grades need to be A’s, where my extra curricular activities matter. This is my last year where cramming in PSAT prep will benefit me, and the last year where SAT prep is a dreaded ritual.
After this year, the hours on hours of work, sleepless nights, cramming for texts, student leadership applications, struggles I faced, fun memories I had, volunteer activities, extra curriculars, and sports achievements will all be put on to a single document… The last three years of my life will be put on a document; an application.
By the end of this year I’m supposed to have a general idea of my life plan, my career, and my identity.
By the end of the year I’m supposed to have perfect SAT scores, ACT scores, and 5’s on AP tests.
By the end of the year I’m supposed to be a person who will stand out amongst millions of other applicants.
This is my last year to become who colleges want me to be while still trying to stay true to the person I want to be.
In less than 365 days, I will need a paper explaining who I am, what I want to do, what I stand for, what sets me apart, and why I belong at the college receiving the paper. All of who I am, all of why I’m special, and all of why I belong in 650 words.
A transcript and 650 words which will determine my future, career and where I will be for the next four to eight years.
A lot to think about… a lot to do, a lot at stake. Welcome to junior year.
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.
Tonight, I am writing my last blog for the Ojai Valley School Journalism class.
I have has such an incredible experience here at OVS, and a part of that was being involved in this class.
Being given the opportunity to express my opinion on whatever I feel like has been amazing. Blogging has been an amazing outlet for me and writing articles has allowed me to strengthen my writing skills in a fun manner.
I would like to thank Mr. Alvarez for his incredible support for the past two years, academically and personally. He is truly one of my favorite humans in the entire world, and he is someone I would do nearly anything for.
This time is bittersweet. Leaving high school, and the journalism program, will be upsetting; but I am growing up and moving on, and that is a beautiful thing in itself.
I cannot wait to share my experiences in college with my family, friends, and former teachers. I wish everyone at OVS the best, even Harley.
I will be forever thankful for my time here at OVS.
In order to graduate from Ojai Valley School, each senior must successfully complete a senior project. These projects range from visiting Alcatraz to camping on an island for a week. My best friend, and editor, Kendall Shiffman and I have decided our senior project is going to be “burger telephone,” more commonly known as “taco telephone”
We will begin the journey at Stout Burger in Santa Monica, California. At this first location, we will ask the employees what their favorite burger is there, and order it, with fries of course. We will taste the burger and fries, and rate them on a rubric we have created.
After finishing our meal, we will ask another person where their favorite burger is in Los Angeles, and so on and so forth.
We will continue this cycle until we have tasted around ten burgers over the course of two days.