Friday, May 25, 2012

Graduation 2012

It feels so weird to type this, but last night I graduated from high school. I put on a cap and gown, walked across the stage when they called my name, and threw my cap with my fellow graduates. Even though almost a day has passed, it still hasn't hit me yet.
Graduation Tent on the Front Lawn

It was a BEAUTIFUL spring day yesterday. We were really lucky, since it rained every other day this week. There was even a break in the humidity. We couldn't have asked for better weather.

Receiving My Diploma from the Head of School
There were three speakers last night. Two members of my class applied for and were chosen to be Honors Speakers, and a member of the Golden Class (1962) challenged us for the future. One of the Honor Speakers encouraged us to believe in ourselves. For the past four years, our parents have believed in us by sending us to this school, our teachers have believed in us by teaching, but now it is our turn to take a leap of faith and believe in ourselves. The second Honors Speaker compared life to a game of golf, and reminded us that every hole is a new start, and we should take advantage of what we can control in life: our attitude. Dr. Garrity, a member of the 1962 class, told us that we need to have courage in all of our endeavors.

About to Toss Our Caps
My graduating class had only 72 girls in it, so I knew everyone's name. We were a pretty close class, I think, and I know there are a handful of people I will keep in touch with. To the school, we will be remembered as a hard working, kind, silly, and stubborn group of girls, and I think that describes us perfectly.

KJ and Me

 I believe that it is truly the people at my high school who made it such a wonderful place for me. It was hard to say goodbye to all the people I have come to think of as family. Some members of the Junior Class works as our Honor Guard, and that was actually really reassuring to me. They are a great group of girls and will be awesome leaders next year. It is a little bit easier to leave knowing that the school is in good hands :)

My Aunt Carol (Who Graduated from SMC!) and Me
 I had six tickets to graduation, so my mother, stepfather, father, little sister, grandmother, and aunt came to celebrate with me. My little sister will be transferring to my school next year (YAY!), so I am glad that I will get to come back in three years for her graduation. I am also going to my aunt's college, Saint Michael's, so that is kind of neat!
In Front of the Sign
Overall, it was a beautiful day and a beautiful ceremony. I am sad to leave my second home, but feel so prepared. I am proud of all of my classmates, and can't wait to see what the future brings us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Prom 2012

Wow, it seems like time is flying right now... It's hard to believe that I am TWO DAYS! from graduating from high school.

My Mother and Me before Prom
 Last Friday night was our Junior-Senior prom. It was held at Lombardo's, which is a function hall about 10 minutes from my school. It's a great place to have the prom! It has a beautiful circular staircase with a chandelier in the middle, which is a great backdrop for pictures, and the food is pretty decent. We voted on a color scheme instead of a theme, and chose black, white, and silver. The ballroom was decorated with lots of contrasting lights. The teachers who planned it did a great job!

Cindy, Erin, and I- Friends for Four Years!
I go to an all girls school, so of course we really enjoyed dressing up. When you wear the same thing around each other every day for four years, it is so nice to see everyone with their hair and make up done in beautiful gowns. I kept it pretty simple this year... I did my nails, hair, and makeup myself! My dress only cost $100 on the Sale rack at David's Bridal, and tickets for me and my date were only $100. I think I ended up spending about $220 on Prom- not bad! It really goes to show that Prom is what you make of it, it doesn't require $500 dresses and limos!
Charlie and I

I was lucky enough to take one of my really good friends to Prom. My friend Charlie drove over 400 miles on Thursday so that he could accompany me to Prom. He had never been to a Prom and thought it was a pretty interesting experience! Neither of us are the huge party types, but we had a blast dancing to the music (he knew more words than I did!) I am really lucky to have such a great friend :)
Charlie and I in front of the Chandelier
Overall, Prom was a great experience. I had a great time, got to spend a precious night with my friends before we graduate, and made some awesome memories. It's really crazy to think that as of now, I have only 48 hours until Graduation. It's going to be so hard to say goodbye!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Things I Will Miss About High School

Today was my very last day of High School ever. This week was hard- even though only a few school days remained, I still had an AP Exam to take and a few homework assignments. But I also had a lot of time to reflect upon my time at this school. Although I have had my ups and downs, I can honestly say I would stay longer if they would let me. During my time for reflection this week, I compiled a list of the things I will miss the most about this place…

Top 10 Things I Will Miss About High School:
10. The Familiarity: I have been here for four years. I know almost everyone. I believe that all of the teachers know my name. I am comfortable here. I know all of the rules and what is expected of me. When I walk down the hallway, people greet me by name, and I like that. I like that I come from a small school and people care about each other. Luckily, I think I picked a college where I will have a similar community!
9. The Opportunities: I have had so many opportunities over the last four years to grow as a person.  I have been to New York City to visit the UN Building and talk to Sisters of Saint Joseph who are working around the world to bring justice. As a peer educator, I was able to help teach a class of freshmen as they adjusted to high school. I wrote a twenty page paper on Asperger’s Syndrome, had direct service experience, and was able to put together a portfolio of my work. My school has many international students, and I have met amazing students from all over the world! Through my school I was able to do a program at a local college that taught me what I was looking for out of a college and a career. I have been given so many opportunities to find out what I like and who I am.
8. The Muffins: There is almost nothing better than getting to school at 7:30 am and going straight to the cafeteria to get a muffin hot out of the oven. I’ve eaten so many of these things over my last four years! I’m pretty sure that next year I will be begging my little sister to buy them and mail them to me at college.
7.  The Wildlife: As I write this, I am sitting in the Senior Center (foyer), which has two giant walls of windows. It’s kind of neat. I just watched some sort of bird (I’m not so good at wildlife identification) pick up a paper that someone dropped on the way into school this morning. I imagine that someone’s sheet of polyatomic ions is now on its way to becoming a nest. We frequently see deer on the lawn near the cafeteria, and one of the first ways you can tell Spring has arrived is the sight of geese being chased off campus.
6. The Quiet: Although my school is very loud for much of the day (with over 300 girls, loud is inevitable!), I can usually find a tranquil spot to get some work done. My favorite places are the cubicles outside of the greenhouse (If there isn’t a class in the biology lab next door) and the Academic Support Center during second lunch. I love the quiet time I get to spend here.
5. The Commute: Okay, not really. I will not miss having to wake up two hours before school starts so I can get myself there on time. For the first three years of High School, I took two busses to get to school. My time on public transportation taught me a lot about being responsible for myself and I now have a pretty good sense of direction. This year, I bought myself a car, and I have been driving my sister and myself to school. My little sister goes to a different high school (though she’s transferring to mine next year! Woop woop!), but these times in the car have brought us closer. I will miss her so much next year.
4. The Clubs: I have been involved in so many groups over the years! I have been involved in Student Council, the Drama Club, National Honor Society, Cooking Club, Student Ambassadors, Peer Education, Service Club, and the Literary Magazine. These experiences have allowed me the opportunity to develop my interests and gain leadership experience. I will miss all the people I have been in clubs with over the last four years!
3. The Classes: I have had some great classes over the last four years. My school is pretty small, and that means my classes are too. I have been able to learn really well in the environment of small classes. My AP English Literature class this year only has three girls in it! Because AP English has a broad curriculum, we have really been able to choose books that interest us. We got to spend a lot of time on Russian literature, because that was what we liked.
2. The Staff: I have been lucky to meet some extraordinary teachers. I have learned so much from them, both inside and outside of the classroom. I feel like my teachers really care about me, here. It is fantastic that I can walk into the Guidance Office, and the guidance secretary knows my name, asks how my day is going, and knows that I am probably there to use the copy machine. I will miss hearing about my math teacher’s grandchildren. I definitely believe I have been shaped by the teachers who I have encountered over the last four years, and I will miss them a lot!
1. The Students: I have met amazing people over the last four years, and I hope that I will remain lifelong friends with a lot of them. I have met people from China, South Korea, Holland, Spain, France, and Argentina, and I have met people that lived two streets away from me. We have bonded over late nights spent preparing for a show, similar taste in television, and spending four years together in the same class. These people have taught me so much. They have shown me things like compassion, how to eat with chopsticks, and what true work ethic is, and I wouldn’t have asked for any other people to be with me over the last four years.