I Was Forced To Transfer High Schools, And It Was One Of The Best Things To Happen To Me

I Was Forced To Transfer High Schools, And It Was One Of The Best Things To Happen To Me

I have two alma maters, and I couldn't be more proud.
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At the start of sophomore year, I was in a good place, having found a home at my high school, Good Counsel Academy and a great circle of friends. All of this changed when it was announced that my school may be closing. While the details are too confusing and frustrating to explain, in essence, the property my high school was on was being sold by the Sisters who owned it. There were multiple attempts to save GCA, including protests and a parents group, but none were successful.

On February 12th, 2015, we were called from class into our chapel, and our principal made the news official.

Because of this, everyone had to find a school to transfer to. Some applied to other Catholic schools, others chose public school. For me, this decision was extremely difficult. I was stuck between two schools, one in the city, and one more local. The days leading up to my decision were some of the most stressful I can remember. Being the perfectionist I am, I wanted to make sure I was making the right choice. Eventually, I just decided and stayed hopeful.

Those last few months at GCA were bittersweet. My friend group would be split up next year, so we became closer than ever, making our final memories at the school we loved so dearly. The teachers and administration were incredible, planning a surprise field day (pictured) and having a “graduation” on the last day of classes.

Summer came and went, and soon I found myself preparing for my new school, Ursuline. I was lucky enough to have two of my best friends, along with some other girls, coming with me. Leading up to the first day of school, I remained positive. Still, the first few weeks hit hard. Reality didn’t hit me until I was at Ursuline, walking through the halls and barely recognizing anyone. When I did recognize someone from GCA, seeing them felt out of place.

I missed the familiarity of Good Counsel, the open campus, the little things like the church bells and smell of the convent, and most importantly, the community there.

I’d like to say I felt completely comfortable at Ursuline within the first few months, but I would be lying if I did. There were certainly good days, and bad ones. It was emotionally draining to go to school every day and try to keep a happy face on. It was frustrating to go through the process of making friends all over again. Isn’t that what I had just spent the last two years doing? I felt labeled as “transfer” or “GCA girl”.

Of course, I was proud to say I was from GCA, but I didn’t want that to be how I was defined at Ursuline.

Though the transition was difficult, I am grateful I had such an amazing support system: my family, my two best friends that had come with me, friends from GCA and other parts of my life- all of them were instrumental in helping me feel a sense of security in this new environment.

Slowly but surely, things began to change. Two specific instances I remember were key to coming out a bigger and happier person. First, my choir’s trip to Disney is when I finally felt like I settled myself into a group of friends. The memories and connections I made on that trip are ones I know I’ll keep for a lifetime.

Second, the bonfire at my senior retreat gave me such a powerful sense of community, so strong I felt comfortable sharing one of my favorite quotes with my entire class:

“I may not have gone where I intended, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be”.

This quote still rings true. Once I began to embrace where life had brought me, instead of resisting it, I found myself making a new home for myself at Ursuline. I look back on my two years at Ursuline with just as many smiles as my two years at GCA.

I think initially, I had such a hard time because I was unwilling to let go of Good Counsel. I felt unwilling to move on because I thought that by embracing Ursuline, I was somehow not being loyal to GCA. Once I realized that wasn’t the case, that it wasn’t me betraying GCA, it was me using the gifts I had learned there in my new environment, things shifted.

I realized that it wasn’t a contradiction to call both places my home, because home is a state of being in oneself, a feeling, not necessarily where we are.

Transferring into a new school taught me the power of dealing with discomfort, and how much stronger overcoming that discomfort can make you. It taught me that you don’t have to see your best friends every day for them to remain central in your life. It taught me how to make the best of every situation.

All throughout the transition, my mom would say “this is just preparing you for college.” And she was right. Since being at college, on bad days, I stay hopeful because I know at Ursuline, things turned out more than okay in the end. Having gone through that life experience has given me that key insight.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if GCA hadn’t closed. What would my life be like without my Ursuline friends? Would I have ended up at Villanova? When I think about this, I realize I truly would not wish to have had it any other way. Going to two different high schools means two different sets of memories, groups of friends, communities, and traditions. I can't imagine my life without these two contrasting experiences, nor do I want to.

Everything happens for a reason, and though it was heartbreaking and difficult at the time, the closing of GCA was simply the opening of other doors in other places.

I feel so grateful to have had attended both GCA and Ursuline. GCA provided the roots for me to grow and emerge even more at Ursuline. I will always be a “confident woman, compassionate leader” like GCA taught me, and will always be proud to say "Ac Fui", because I really was there at Ursuline, too.

Both of these places are such a big part of who I am, and I can only hope I will continue to use what I learned at both GCA and Ursuline in my new journey at Nova.

Talk soon,

Sam

Cover Image Credit: Samantha DeCarlo
Cover Image Credit: Samantha DeCarlo

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22 Girl Names Your Random College Roommate Will Have, And The Type Of Roommate They Are

Will she be your BFF?
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Every roommate situation in college is going to be different.

All you can do is hope and pray that they'll just leave you alone for the most part. A lot of the time, you can get a hint about what kind of roommate they'll be just knowing their first name.

1. Hailey

Her dad pays her rent. She can't cook. Litters the kitchen with take out boxes from the local vegan joint.

2. Beth

Totally wants you to go to SoulCycle with her at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Room is littered with leggings and sneakers.

3. Michelle

Comes home at 3 a.m. after a night of heavy drinking. Loudly makes some sort of frozen meal. Sleeps through her noon alarm.

4. Victoria

Probably has dark hair and an acoustic guitar. Keeps pretty much to herself. Does homework in the living room at obscure hours.

5. Madison

Was on the dance team in high school and has not stopped telling you about how great it was. Does work out videos on the TV in the living room.

6. Kim

Brings her boyfriend over every night of the week. Brings different boys home on the weekends.

7. Megan

Actively avoids cleaning the bathroom. Leaves her dishes in the sink. You haven't seen her shower in four days.

8. Erica

Normal. Quiet. Wants to be a high school English teacher.

9. Erika

Wild. Emotionally distraught always. Is always hosting the pre-game. Never comes home with all of the clothes she left wearing.

10. Sarah

"Definitely should have got into Harvard, but I ended up here instead." Too into trying to get a 4.0 to pay attention to you.

11. Julia

Studies music performance. Screams expletives at her keyboard. Cannot play the trumpet, but still tries really hard.

12. Hannah

So tall she almost hits her head on the doorways. Plays basketball. Raps to old Kanye in the shower.

13. Jenny

Should not be allowed to go out. Goes out every weekend anyway. Throws up in your bathtub and doesn't always address it in the morning.

14. Heather

Stressing about her internship. Is currently failing all of her classes. Will somehow still get a 3.5 GPA this semester.

15. Grace

You never see her, only the hairballs she leaves all around your place.

16. Emma

Only has guy friends because "it's easier." Guy friends who leave empty beer cans out after every sporting event on TV.

17. Caitlyn

Has a 4.0 as a biology major. Is going to med school. Sterilizes her room, the bathroom and the kitchen sink every four hours.

18. Sam

Always has a paper about feminism to write. Rosie the Riveter poster in her room.

19. Alex

Is probably dating her boss. Has straight Ds in all her classes.

20. Taylor

Is somehow always home when you're home. You know nothing about her other than where she's from.

21. Alyssa

Trying to become the next big YouTuber. Has lighting equipment all over the place. You constantly hear the phrase, "Hey guys, welcome to my channel!" She squealed because yesterday she hit 25 subscribers.

22. Jesse

Is probably plotting your murder. Lurks around like a cat.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Yates//YouTube

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This Is The Biggest Lie About Your High School Years, Let Me Explain

The biggest misconception about your high school years.
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Yesterday I realized something. My first day of high school will be nine years ago this August. Ummm yuck. Nine years!? Are you kidding me?

Annnnnd just like that, my knees started to hurt and I grew another gray hair.

I was thinking about this when things at my job were pretty slow. I remember me walking in pretty excited but also a little nervous because not only was I seeing old friends from middle school but I also was meeting new kids who were from Crofton.

All of us freshman gathered in the theater department, sat down with our friends and then we were greeted by a balding man with a short goatee and glasses wearing dress pants and a white dress shirt who felt the need to literally yell "ALRIGHT EVERYBODY SHUT IT" in order to our attention.

For the sake of this article, we will call him Mr. Orange.

Mr. Orange proceeded to tell us what is expected of us as students, the rules, and blah blah blah. I really can't remember what he was going on about. However, Mr. Orange then said something that I took with a grain of salt at that time.

Mr. Orange looked at all of us and said "These will be the greatest years of your life."

Back then I thought it was true but yesterday as I was going to deep thought while there was nothing going on at work, all I could hear in my head was Mr. Orange was "These are going to be the greatest years of your life" and my response to that today as 23-year-old adult is "What an absolute load of garbage." That is the biggest lie that you're told in high school. Do not get wrong, I enjoyed my time in high school.

I enjoyed meeting the people I became friends with, most of the teachers I had, and the things I got to do while attending high school. But were they my greatest years? Uhh no and I don't believe this ideology should be believed by anyone.

To me, high school is this little snippet and of your life where you are trying to figure yourself out awkwardly and basically filled with having to do stuff you never really wanted to do at all in the first place. Things like dealing with drama from friends that is considered childish as an adult now, extremely flawed SAT tests so we can go to college, and basically being told that failure is not an option where in reality, failure is part of life and it is how you grow.

I am not sure about you, the reader's, high school but my high school was very cliquey. All the jocks hung out with the jocks, the goth/emo kids hung out with the goth/emo kids, the theater kids hung out with the theater kids, the camo kids hung out with the camo kids and etc. It just felt extremely divided.

Luckily for me, I did not really fall for cliques. I definitely dressed like wanna-be hipster much like how I do now but that did not stop me from talking to people from different cliques. I got along with some of the jocks just as well as I got along with some of the theater kids. Other than that, I did not really see a lot of kids from different cliques converse or hang out with each other.



"These will be the greatest years of your life" That repeated this phrase in my head multiple times. I just cannot agree. I cannot speak for everyone but I feel that your best years start as soon as you got your high school diploma. I can definitely argue that my college years are much better compared to my years as a high school student. At least in my experience, there is really no cliques in college; everyone just converses and befriends people no matter what you're into, what you wear, and what you look like.

After I graduated, I was able to do amazing fun things in the band I was in at the time. I started pursuing my dream to be a professional photographer and started to travel to places I've always wanted to. It was after high school where I feel stuff really started to happen for me. In high school, I was a little shy and insecure about what my peers thought of me which weighed on me at that time. Now I just flat out don't give a #$^& about what people think about me. So the argument that high school is the greatest years of your life is the biggest load of BS and Mr. Orange should be ashamed of himself for preaching that ideology to such young minds.

It made me think.. Why does Mr. Orange think that? Then it occurred to me. Maybe it is because he wakes up every single day going to a job he does not love. He spent most of his time doing work for something he much spends elsewhere. Maybe high school was when he was really happy. I would understand and sympathize with him. However, in the words of Gary Vaynerchuk "Quit complaining. You're in total control."

If he wasn't happy with how things were going in his life, he could change it. If he didn't like his job, he could just get a one; sure that is easier said than done but it is not impossible. So I really don't feel bad for him which may come across harsh but let me tell you one more thing about Mr. Orange.

Two years after I graduated, Mr. Orange had the bright idea as a birthday prank to one his students, to grab and pull up the poor kid's underwear and give him a wedgie in front of his whole class. Feeling embarrassed, the kid reported it and Mr. Orange got fired and is now working at an office supplies store. So yeah, I would not feel bad for him at all.



I'm gonna end this by saying this. In case I have some kids reading this that either in or about to go into high school. Your high school years will NOT be the greatest years of your life. Don't let my statement scare you. You are going to have a lot of fun and your best friends in high school are your best friends for life. But it is after high school where things really get interesting for you.

Whether you're going to college, going into the military, going into a trade, or you spend a year or two traveling someplace out of the country, that is when you are going to have the greatest years of your life. Have as much fun as you can while you're high school but DO NOT think it goes downhill once you flip your tassel.

Oh and if you become a teacher, do not give your student a wedgie. Das bad.


Cover Image Credit: David Kirchner

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