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’ve started to realize it’s the little things I change about my day that make me feel so much better.
I’ve started studying outside during my free blocks. Even when I’m not doing work, I just sit outside on my phone instead of inside my dimly lit, stuffy dorm room. It feels so much better having both the sun and light breeze against my skin, keeping me warm and cool at the same time. It’s more refreshing, though I’m not doing anything more than sitting outside.
I’ve started getting up early again. I get up around six a.m. now and, despite sleeping less hours, I feel more awake than when I’d sleep in until 7:40. I get up and force myself to go running because even if I’m tired in the moment, I feel wide awake for the rest of the day. I have time to go to breakfast, less time to rush to get ready for classes, and more time to hang out with friends in the morning. I’m no longer starving by the third class of the day or falling asleep by the fourth.
It’s a good feeling finally being motivated to do the small things that make drastic changes to how my days turn out for me and I’m appreciating every day so much more because of it.
I never thought those numbers could ever mean so much to me. I have five weeks, twenty-five weekdays, and thirty-two days left of my senior year. I will be free once those are all zero.
I will officially be done with school. I will be a college girl. I still can’t believe I am almost done with the four years I dreaded the most my whole life. The four years I wanted to be done are almost that: done.
I am a very different person from who I imagined myself to be and I know I am not done growing and figuring myself out, but I love who I’ve become and don’t want to change anything. I almost wish I could pause these last few weeks and live in them for a little while longer.
I can’t wait to get away from here. To start my life with no boundaries. These weeks are something that can’t go by fast enough.
I wish these weeks would pass by in the blink of an eye, but I wish I could look back on them and remember everything I am feeling now.
I’ll admit, I over dramatize situations in the moment without thinking that the universe is working in ways I don’t understand. It’s one of my many flaws. I, also, realize that maybe the situations I’m crying about will be the ones I’m thankful for looking back at them.
Just two weeks ago, I had a different idea of where I wanted to go to college. When I found out I was waitlisted, I had a breakdown just thinking about it. Yesterday, I committed to a university on the other side of the country, a school completely different from the one I wanted to go to and, in some ways, better.
Last year, this university wasn’t even on my radar. When I was asked back in September if I wanted to consider applying to schools in Washington D.C., I laughed. I never even considered D.C., but I applied anyways, just for fun.
And, by applying, I mean put the application in my Common Application account and completely forget about it. The questions were thought provoking and daunting and my top choice was a school that was supposed to be a safety school. So, I missed the deadline, and I didn’t care.
But, the universe does work in mysterious ways, because the following day, I got an email from the school saying they extended my deadline. Now, I wanted to apply.
It was funny, because right after I applied it quickly became one of my top choices, but I ignored it. I didn’t think I would get in. I didn’t want one of my top schools to be one I didn’t have a chance to get into.
I never thought I would get in. I already got denied and waitlisted from schools with easier acceptance rates and I was getting myself excited about other schools just in case the ones I actually wanted to go to denied me.
Then, last Thursday, I got an email saying decisions would be released at 2:00 pm. The next ten minutes were agonizing; ready to face another rejection letter and accept that I’d go to a school I only really wanted to go to for all the wrong reasons. Then, I opened the portal and clicked the decision. The first words I read were “Congratulations.” Congratulations for being denied? It had to be a mistake, but it wasn’t. I was accepted, I was so happy, and now I’m going to a school on the other side of the country, ready to take on new challenges, a new school, and a new city.
Two weeks ago I was devastated and when my family said something better would come my way, I didn’t believe them. But, they were right for what I want in life, to be immersed into a world of politics, journalism, and law. To have great internship opportunities, explore amazing cities, and study abroad. I couldn’t have ended up in a school better for me.
Those hours of crying were worth it, because if they were hours spent happy, my next four years would be completely different from how they’re going to turn out. I don’t know what will happen. Worst case scenario: I transfer. Best case scenario: I absolutely love the school and spend the next four years there, but one thing’s for sure now: things really do turn out better in the end.
It’s that time of year again where high schoolers across the country spend hundreds of dollars to prepare for one amazing night that defines their high school experience: prom.
Admittedly, I’ve been desensitized to the excitement of prom. This year is my sixth year attending prom, an occasion usually reserved as the most magical night for seniors, and some lucky juniors, across the country. For me, it’s always been just another, slightly more, glamorous dance.
But this year is my senior prom, so I’m putting more effort into it and I’ll admit, I’m also more excited for it than usual.
I bought my dress back in February. I love my dress, a long rose gold sequined dress that brushed the floor, two slits going to the middle of my leg. It fits the disco theme this year and I’m happy though it wasn’t at all what I was going for. I love my accessories just as much. Glittery silver heels, a matching clutch, rhinestone earrings, and bracelets.
Surprisingly, my dress and accessories were the least expensive and I still have much more money to spend just to prepare for this night.
Tomorrow, I’m getting my nails done. I already emailed the artist the nail art I want to do. I’m getting gel nails for the first time. Then, I’m getting my eyebrows done, threaded and tinted, something I never tried before. Prom is giving me new opportunities to try new things. I’m also getting my eyelashes permed, something I’m horrified of trying, but I hope works out as well as all the reviews and blogs I’ve read about it online.
Prom is only two weeks away and that’s it. I’m done. I won’t be going to another prom again, but I’ll have the memories from the photos to remember it by. But, once prom ends, I’ll get on spring break, then count down the days to May 1st when I have to choose where I’ll go next year, then May 31st: the day I graduate.
It’s so scary how high school is suddenly coming to an end. That, next year, all my friends from high school will be spread across the country, maybe even different continents. I don’t know what’ll happen then, but I’m finally, truly excited for prom. Excited to dress up glamorously with all my friends one last time and dance until the last minute for one more memory to make.
One of the most satisfying things for me as a horseback rider is when I make a breakthrough with the horse I’m riding.
Over the past four years, I’ve constantly ridden the same horse. Though I would never give up riding that horse until graduation comes, there wasn’t that much I could continue learning on him. One, he was too perfect of a horse and, two, I already knew every little aid, tick, and everything else there was to know about him, good and bad.
But, in November, 2018, I took up the opportunity to ride a second horse, one completely opposite from my slow and steady, older horse I’ve been riding all throughout high school.
And riding him has been a pain, but also I’ve become such a better rider in the process learning to ride a horse completely different.
There were days when I’d get off with sore muscles and complete frustration and dissatisfaction. Days when I had to fight with him just to get him to walk.
Last Saturday, however, I had a breakthrough. Though there were the moments when I had to fight him through the walk, there were only two of them versus ten or twenty. It was the best ride I ever had on him. I got him to easily canter from a halt, canter over ground poles, and do most of those things without any protest.
I hope I’m not jinxing my improvement with him by writing this, but I hope all the future rides are just as successful as this one or else I’ll just keep learning.