The sound of a bell fluttered through the air as I pushed open the front door, and the five of us filed into the small, cozy waiting area of Il Vecchio. Here I was again, but graduation had happened four months ago, and the new school year had started.
Waking up to the subtle reminder that living alone in a single meant that I am officially a senior, I realize that four years can completely transform a person. I’m quite thankful for that, since I cringe every time I think of the embarrassing time when I sobbed in front of my coach because I thought I was going to be cut from the JV Lacrosse Team during my freshman year. Standing three years removed from that experience now, I realize that the experiences that I’ve accumulated–from celebrating Chinese New Year for the first time away from home, to taking on the challenges of expo, to enduring an entire season of cross country–has shaped me into a person who learned to persist through challenges, to stand up confidently for her own beliefs, and to be comfortable in her own company. I no longer find it intimidating to sit in the dining hall alone at breakfast. I look forward to going on runs in the forest after school when I can focus on my breathing and footsteps, the rays of sunshine peering through the trees and nothing else.
And yet, I’m still the same girl who stepped onto this campus three years ago. I never lost that love of being around people, getting to learn more about the different cultures and stories. The notion of being a senior is actually a chance for me to step out of my room more, to explore what was really happening on our bustling campus. I was making new friends. I started forgetting about my desire for graduation day to come faster and rather found myself enjoying the time I spent surrounding myself with others–sometimes with my closest friends, others with those who newly entered my life, and more with those who I had reintroduced myself to in the past opening month of school. In this last year of high school, I’m looking forward to seeing all these different types of friendships that I have now grow into something more beautiful.
We're at Il Vecchio again!
Another group of people who have significantly changed my life this year–my Atwood prefects.