It has been three months since I moved into college and a lot has happened in those three months. I have met friends, lost friends, passed exams, did poorly on exams, and have acclimated to my new space. I graduated from high school five months ago. Last week, I wrote about what I missed about high school and today I had the opportunity to go back to my high school with one of my closest friends and speak to some of the current freshmen and seniors. We were invited to speak to the current senior mentor classes by our teacher of the course.
The weeks leading up to this visit consisted of much excitement because it meant that I would be able to see my friends from my graduating class, my friends who are currently still in high school, and many of my old teachers. At the same time, it felt weird. This was the place that I had spent the previous four years and had set the stage for the years to come. I credit this school with much of my success so far in college. I went into college feeling prepared because I had received a solid, well-rounded education from this high school. I currently have good grades and feel comfortable with the workload and assignments because I had been exposed to it early on.
It was weird to come back because my life had revolved around this school for four years. I spent more time at the school between clubs, meetings, and events than I did at home some days. My life has changed a lot in these short five months. I now live about 50 miles away and have an entirely different group of friends. Going into this visit, I knew I had changed and the school would not feel the same at all. That being said, I was excited.
I woke up this morning and felt like I was back in high school. I got up at the same time and rolled out of bed slamming my alarm. I complained and got dressed. I sent the traditional text to my friend asking what she wanted from Dunkin' and hopped in my Jeep. I drove the same route that I had for four years, picked up my friend, stopped at Dunkin' and ordered the same two coffees I had throughout high school. It all felt the same until I realized that I could not park in the student lot in my spot. I parked in the visitors' lot, which was actually closer to the school, and we went inside.
We had to sign in, which felt incredibly weird, and we made our way to the third floor. We were welcomed back into the senior mentor class with open arms and big hellos. We spoke to the class about everything college. We touched on roommates, the workload, and how they should prepare throughout high school. The freshmen heard us, but we could tell they were not fully listening. To them, college seems like a lifetime away. In the middle of our conversation, a group of the other former senior mentors from our class came in and it was like a reunion. It felt amazing to be back and see so many of my friends. In a sense, it felt like we had never left.
After that class ended, we had 45 minutes until the next class we had to speak to. During this time, we wandered around the school and found the teachers we wanted to visit. We made our way down to the school nurse's office because she was the reason most of us made it through high school. From there, we walked back upstairs and wandered in and out of classes. It felt amazing to catch up with the teachers who helped us through high school and wrote our recommendation letters. We would not have made it this far without them. We reconnected with the now sophomores who were our freshmen in the senior mentor class.
We made our way back up to the senior mentor class and found that even more members of our class had arrived. After repeating our discussion from the first class, we were given the opportunity to run one of our all time favorite, traditional senior mentor games, the playdough game. This game is very similar to charades but it involves playdough. The energy during this game is always incredible and it is nearly impossible to play silently. It was a great way to end our visit.I made my way to the parking lot, dreading the high school traffic. I most definitely did not miss that parking lot. I got in my car and I was off. I dropped my friend off at her house and we said our goodbyes until I am home again in a few weeks. I am so glad I had the opportunity to return. I owe so much to this school and it felt amazing being able to talk about that to those just beginning their journey. You do not appreciate it until you have left. I have missed this school a lot lately and especially my peers. I feel very fortunate to have been able to reconnect with so many people today.