Senior Skip Day

Today was an extremely memorable day of senior year: Senior Skip Day! Senior Skip Day is a rare tradition that Emma Willard has along with basically every other high school in the United States. However, us Emma Willard students don’t classify it as a 100% Senior Skip Day because the day has to be approved by the school administration, and the teachers are notified. But hey, we’ll take what we can get. I can see how Senior Skip Day can be frustrating from a teacher’s perspective; they prepare a lesson for class, and their students don’t show up. With that said, seniors have worked extremely hard and aren’t even processing anything by the end of May. Is one day off really going to kill anyone? I had an excellent Skip Day and celebrated it with two of my best friends. This is what my day looked like…

I didn’t even set my alarm because a) I knew I wouldn’t sleep past 8:30 because I’ve trained my body to automatically wake up before then. b) I’m pretty sure “setting alarm” isn’t on the Skip Day to-do list. I slowly made my way down to the dining hall for my daily cup of Earl Grey and sat with Sarah, a girl from my Chinese class. I’ll admit I rubbed Senior Skip Day a bit in her sophomore face. It’ll be her Skip Day soon enough though. After my tea, I continued writing my end of the year/end of Emma career letters to my teachers and faculty members who have heavily impacted my four years here. We graduate in precisely 10 days. That’s unfathomable.

Caroline picked Nicki and me up at 10, and we left campus cheerful and ready to have a girls day. We went to the mall where we got Starbucks, got our eyebrows waxed, and shopped. A Francesca’s store opened today, and they had a 2 for $20 watch deal. I’ve been on the lookout for a watch so I can use it next year in Europe (military time confuses me more than it should). I found one that fit like a glove both physically and in terms of circumstances! It’s perfect for my future European/world travels.

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Watch from Francesca’s Collection ($18)

The three of us also played with an adorable 10 week old chocolate labor doodle. The employee told us we could only play with her if we were seriously interested in purchasing her (for $1600). We really wanted to play with her, so Nicki and Caroline convincingly explained that we were Siena students living in an apartment and wanting a dog to join us. It worked! The puppy was adorable, and we know she’ll get out of that sad puppy store soon. We told the employee we would check with our landlord and come back if it was a go. Although we aren’t going to return for the puppy, it was fun thinking that we would! We must’ve said “We’re so old” about ten times today. In a lot of ways, we are old! Old kids. Young adults. It’s fun telling people we are college students and not having them question us. Makes us feel more mature (even though this little stunt wasn’t the best example to showcase our maturity).

By 11:30 we were starving. We joked about going to Hooters for an experience to laugh about, but we ended up going to Chili’s instead. We enjoyed a nice lunch then decided to make dessert at Caroline’s house. We stopped at Price Chopper for strawberries, bananas, and chocolate chips. I think you know where this is going. As soon as we got to Caroline’s, we dipped the fruit in the melted chocolate and popped them in the freezer. We had to run out again for Caroline’s orthodontist appointment. I left my phone at her house and caught up with my Seventeen Magazine reading. I hope someday I’ll be listed as one of their interns.

Once we got back to Caroline’s, we ate our yummy dessert that made our teeth hurt from the cold (didn’t stop us from enjoying them). We lounged around poolside bathing in the sun. I’m trying desperately to make my goggle tan from lacrosse disappear. I’m off to a good start after today. It was in the high 80s both today and yesterday. This weather has been crazy, going from cold to hot with not much in between. But it felt relaxing– the three of us just hanging out by the pool with Caroline’s dogs. Caroline’s younger twin siblings came home later in the afternoon which caused a little more volume and excitement; we didn’t mind.

We bounced around on the trampoline and played “Popcorn” until we broke a serious sweat. After that we enjoyed a non-school pizza dinner before heading back to school at 7:30.

As you can tell, it was a lively and successful Skip Day. There are only 10 days left where I will be surrounded by such amazing friends I’ve met at Emma Willard. We’re all going in different directions next year, but if we make it a priority to stay in touch with each other, we will; I firmly believe that. Our futures are bright, and our pasts will be remembered fondly. Cheers to another unforgettable day as a senior!

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Caroline, Nicki, Emma 

 

5.22.16

The countdown to graduation keeps getting smaller and smaller. Two weeks from today I will officially be an Emma Willard graduate/alumna! This weekend was a good weekend to be on campus. It was alumni weekend at Emma, so there were lots of alums back on campus. Some were there for the 5th reunion, whereas others attended their 55th reunion. I had a great time chatting with alums when I worked in the school store yesterday morning and this morning. It’s very clear that they love their former high school and continue to love and miss it. It’s hard to believe that the next time our class will be together after graduation will be our 5th reunion in 2021. By then, we’ll all have graduated from college (God willing). It’ll be very neat to see what everyone is doing (or not doing) with their lives by then!

I also had a chance to do some running off campus! Friday night Nicki and I ran to Stewart’s for ice cream and headed to Prospect Park afterwards. Unlike some of our fellow schoolmates, we didn’t go to the park to smoke or drink; we went to swing on the swings, watch the pick up Ultimate game, slide down the slide, and take in the view of Troy from the top of the hill. We reflected on our friendship over the course of four years and promised each other that we will stay in touch as our lives part in different directions. I don’t think I will ever find another friend like Nicki. She makes me laugh until my stomach hurts, and we have too many inside jokes to count. It’s sad that we won’t be able to share our daily lives together anymore; however, I’m confident we will form new friendships (as we should) in college and beyond, but we’ll always have our friendship to rely on and to revisit.

This afternoon Kate, Nicki, and I ran to Jack’s Drive-In for burgers and fries. I’ve never been to Jack’s before (it’s a local favorite), and it lived up to its reputation. I had one of the juiciest burgers of my life and the most satisfying carton of fries. It’s a close tie with Five Guys! On our way back to campus, some young teenage baseball players yelled at us in the parking lot “What’s your number?” We laughed and said something vague back. We shouldn’t have been surprised when we saw one of them hanging halfway out the car window yelling the same thing as they passed us. That’s something the three of us will be able to laugh about ten years from now. It’s the little things in life…

This past Wednesday was College T-Shirt Day at Emma Willard, a special and highly anticipated tradition on Mt. Ida. Every senior wore a t-shirt with their college name branded across the chest of it. It’s a day we have only dreamed of since we were freshmen–– being able to tell people where you’re going and that you’ve made it. Every senior also claimed a portion of the sidewalk to draw their school’s logo, mascot, or campus with chalk. We took an unlimited amount of pictures and wore our new school apparel with pride. When I look around at my classmates, it’s hard to believe we got to where we are now. Freshman year honestly seems like it was not long ago.

My mom has completed her first week of her new job! She’s settling into her apartment and figuring out the computer program. I’m extremely jealous that she’s a five minute walk away from Price Chopper. That’s unheard of in Sandgate. It’s really nice seeing how happy she is to be doing something new and different. I know she’s also had a passion for home health, and it must be so refreshing to return to something she loves. We FaceTime every night and text throughout the day. It may be harder next year when I’m in Italy, but I know that we will make it work.

Friday was an exciting day for me because my first piece for an online publication was published! I’ve been hired at SOCIETY19, FlockU, the Odyssey, and the Quail Bell Magazine as a contributing writer. SOCIETY19, FlockU, and the Odyssey are all geared towards a college audience which works for me because I am a very soon-to-be collegiate. It’s surreal having my own bio and picture on a popular site. You have to start somewhere.

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Check out my post here:

http://www.society19.com/fake-ids-worth-risk/

Tomorrow my lacrosse team begins our sectionals journey. For some reason, many Emma Willard sports teams tend to become unmotivated for sectionals. But as a senior, I’m hoping that our team will remain focused and concentrated on winning and making it as far as we can in Section II Class C. We’ll take on Hoosick Falls (a local competitor) on our home field.

That’s what’s new! 14 days remaining on Mt. Ida. Saying that I’m going to miss it would certainly be an understatement. xo ~e.

 

Prom Take Two

 

Prom noun /präm/

  1. a formal dance, especially one held by a class in high school or college at the end of a year

  2. arguably the worst or best night of a high school student

I’ll admit it: I’ve always dreamt of going to prom ever since I heard what prom was and saw it go down on the big screen (High School Musical 3, of course). Fancy dresses. Champagne. Black and white tuxedos. Perfect couples. Limos. Twinkle lights. High heels. French manicures. Elegant hairstyles. Corsages and boutonnieres. Professional photos. This version of prom embedded into my head at a very young age, setting an unrealistic expectation I quickly realized. To be honest, after going to an all-girls school for high school, my dream of  going to any type of prom began to vanish. Yes, I could go with my friends and take Nicki as my date. However, the idea of having a boy accompany me to ‘the prom’ felt more authentic.

My luck turned around this year. In August, I began hanging out with a boy who I had met in first grade: Jacob Smith. I remember him running around the soccer field with me, and I always referred to him as my friend Celia’s little brother. We only went to school together for two years before going to different elementary schools. Flash forward nine years and Jacob and I are working at the same soccer camp in Arlington and the same inn in Southern Vermont. This past summer we rekindled our elementary friendship which has grown into very special friendship. A friendship that landed us at two proms this spring.

Going to my high school prom is something I am glad I did not miss out on. Nicki also had a date for prom (her boyfriend Noah who she met at Syracuse earlier this school year). The four of us enjoyed getting ready in Noah’s hotel room before sipping on Shirley temples, watching the Final Four game (Syracuse vs. UNC), taking photos in the photo booth, and slow dancing on the dance floor at the Country Club of Troy. It was great being surrounded by our school friends and teacher chaperones. It felt safe. Familiar. Comfortable.

Jacob and I debated whether or not we would go to his high school’s prom. Ultimately, we decided that we might as well go and make a night of it. Plus, we knew that his mom wanted us to go. I ended up getting ready with Avery and Riley (girls Jacob and I both know but girls I do not know entirely well) after getting my hair done by a friend from high school and elementary school who lives in Vermont. She saved me a $50, and my up-do looked great! It was quite refreshing talking to and hanging out with people who I don’t see or talk to every day. They are both very friendly, and it’s always good to make more friends closer to home. We got all dolled up before meeting our dates and taking pictures at Avery’s house. Me, Jacob, Avery, Alex, Riley, Darren, and Bailey (Bailey was all of our dates for the night). We took three cars down to the Mount Anthony Country Club to enjoy a night of decent food, pretty couples, and pop music. We had to do a march before prom began which caused the most amount of anxiety for me. We circled the small area twice for family members and friends to look at us and take too many pictures. My mom and dad came, and it was really nice seeing them in the sea of strangers. So there Jacob and I were: walking arm in arm with the thirty or something other couples during the march.

We enjoyed our dinner that exceeded my expectations and danced to a few songs. Jacob and I aren’t big dancers, but we still tore it up on the dance floor. I really enjoyed slow dancing to one of my favorite country songs of all time: “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice. Slow dances take me back to my awkward middle school dances, but that’s what makes them feel unique. We ended up leaving around 9 PM to get some Ben and Jerry’s at Price Chopper for a post-prom snack. It was fun running around the grocery store in a prom attire; we definitely got some interesting looks. I’m so glad we didn’t end up camping because it poured. As an alternative, my mom came up with the genius idea of staying at these cute cottages on Route 7A in Shaftesbury. I’ve passed them at least one hundred times before but never had the chance to stay at them. This was the perfect opportunity to! Avery (a legal adult) called several hours before prom, and they reserved a five-person cottage for us (two double beds and one single bed). It was perfect. We watched “Friends”, ate ice cream, laughed a lot, and stayed up very late. It was the best after prom celebration we could’ve asked for. We also ended up doing a late night drive past midnight. That drive reminded me of our youth, spontaneity, freedom and the nearing of summer. It’s a pretty damn good feeling. Jacob and I woke up at 7:30 and left because I had to work at 10 and get home so my dad could have the car. It was not a good night for getting a good sleep, but it was completely worth it.

I didn’t need a crazy party afterwards, a $400 dress, or a limousine escort to have fun at prom. All I needed was a wonderful date (did I mention handsome?), good company, and a positive attitude: the recipe to my successful prom experiences. I’m so glad I will be able to tell my kids that I went to a high school prom when I was a teenager. And my prom nights were nights to remember (in the best way possible).

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Arlington Memorial High School Prom | May 14, 2016 (Photo by Darren Golden)

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Emma Willard School Prom | April 2, 2016 (Photo by Sosie Almasian)

It’s Happening!!

Freshman year of college is unofficially/officially underway!! With senior year coming to a close very shortly *sheds tear*, freshman year of college has begun to feel a lot more surreal. Last week I sent in a required signed copy of the Conditions of Participation document for Marist Italy. As a result, earlier this week, I received a link for the pre-departure site. Here I have access to the forms I have to fill out, Visa info, flying arrangements, deadlines, extra information, etc… The craziest part is that our parents did not receive the link, and in the email, it said it’s up to us (students) if we want to share the link with them or not. When I read that line in that email, it hit me. I’m going to be a college student. This is all on me. Flashback to four years ago, and my mom took care of everything I needed before starting my freshman year at boarding school. Four years later, and the roles have switched.

Instead of bothering to do my homework, I’ve had a lot of fun filling out some of my forms in the past couple of days. I had to take an Italy Quiz (it’s embarrassing at how little I know about Italy in general), fill out mental health questionnaires and health forms, do my request for housing, and begin my request for an Italian student visa. I was surprised by how few questions there are for the rooming survey. This is what it looks like:

Lifestyle Questionnaire:

Which description best fits the vision of your ideal room?

  • A place to study and sleep
  • People visiting some of the time
  • Lots of people visiting all the time

Which best describes your living environment?

  • Neat and organized
  • Cluttered and untidy
  • Varies with my schedule

Which description best describes your sleeping pattern?

  • Early Bird
  • Night Owl
  • Depends on my schedule

Which description best fits your preferred sleeping environment?

  • Quiet as possible
  • Background Noise (T.V., radio, fan, etc…)

When is your preferred time to study?

  • Morning
  • Afternoon
  • Night

Which description best fits your preferred student environment?

  • As quiet as possible
  • Background music or other distractions
  • No preference

Do you smoke? (Please note that all apartments are NON-SMOKING)

  • Yes
  • No
  • Occasionally

I can only hope that they match me with a compatible roommate! From most experiences, I know schools do a good job matching roommates. I often find it better to go random than choose your own roommate. I’ve been so spoiled living in my own dorm for three years in a row. It’ll be interesting transitioning to living with other people again! Regardless, it’ll be an unforgettable experience.

First round of paperwork is due May 30. I also have to get my visa which is stressful because I don’t turn 18 until July 17, and I have to be 18 in order for the consulate to issue it to me. We’ve made our appointment though; we’re going to Boston! Then before I know it, it’ll be time to start my packing list. I won’t be packing for a one week long vacation this time; I’ll be packing two suitcases for a minimum of four months! It doesn’t quite seem real yet. I don’t think it will until the jet hits the runway in Firenze.

Until then, I’m enjoying being a second semester senior. I’ve caught up on my Netflix shows in bed during study hall, and tonight our team had a tremendous win against Holy Names (8-6). I’m going home this weekend for prom Saturday then I won’t be home until summertime! Very excited for college t-shirt day next week, sectionals in lacrosse, the distribution of yearbooks (fourth and final Emma one), senior retreat, and graduation preparations. In addition, today my geotag I designed on PhotoShop for Emma Willard went live. Very cool to have a social media legacy at my high school.

In conclusion, college is happening. Graduation is happening. Endings and beginnings are happening. Life is happening. And I’m terrified and excited all at the same time. xo ~e.

Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a special holiday because it’s celebrated internationally– not just in America. And it’s a holiday that celebrates one of the strongest group of people in the world: moms!

I love my mom. That’s a statement I never have to question, even during our rare and abnormal “rough patches.” I take pride in telling people that my mom is my best friend. I can rely on her for anything and everything. There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t talk. We push each other to achieve our goals, supporting each other along the way. I am beyond grateful to have such a strong female role model in my life. My mom inspires me every day to be caring, driven, smart, and human every single day. When I was a freshman, it was extremely challenging not to sit down and be able to talk to my mom in person after school. I am surely going to miss that next year after spending the summer home with her. However, I am excited that she will also pursue her love for traveling by taking on a new job as a traveling occupational therapist.

Every year I’ve cooked my mom breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day. This year was no exception (I fear next year it will be, for we will be in different countries). I woke up at 6:30 AM to put together a simple yet healthy and delicious breakfast for my mama.

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Emma’s avo toast
  • Freshly squeezed OJ
  • Blueberry yog w/raspberries

In reality, my mom deserves breakfast in bed every morning, but that’s just not realistic. It’s still nice to be able to do it once a year, and I know my mom thoroughly enjoys it. I hope someday when I’m a mom, my kid(s) will make me breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day!

My mom, Nana, and two friends from school also enjoyed Mother’s Day at Tulip Fest in Albany, New York! This was the first time we went to Tulip Fest (Nana went when she was a teenager though). Some teenagers use the opportunity to be too lit at Tulip Fest, but we enjoyed taking pictures of the flowers, sipping on jumbo lemonades I haven’t had since middle school soccer tournaments, and strolling through the different street vendor tents. It rained all morning, but the sun came out for us in the afternoon. It was a wonderful way to celebrate such a special day. I’m so glad Nicki and Sasha could be a part of it since they couldn’t be with their moms.

Although Mother’s Day should be a holiday centered on appreciation and happiness, I acknowledge that it can be bittersweet. Not everyone has a mom who they are close to or a mom who is present in their lives. I can only hope that people reflect on how much most moms provide and love their children, despite the complexity mother-child relationships can hold. Here’s to the moms and their moms who have brought us into the world. We wouldn’t be here without you! xo ~e.

 

 

 

5.5.16

This May 5 holds more significance than it has in three years. One month from today I’ll receive my high school diploma from Emma Willard School. I’ll have had my last night in my empty dorm at a place I have lived for four years. I’ll wear my white dress and hold a red rose with my ninety classmates in our final class picture in front of the chapel. I’ll cry uncontrollably at the wailing wall as I say goodbye to the people who have greatly impacted my life and my high school experience. I’ll leave a chapter behind, knowing it changed me. For the better. Then it’ll be summertime. Work, writing, hanging out with friends and family, redecorating my room, packing for Italy. Before I know it, I’ll be on a flight from JFK to Firenze with 40 wanderlust strangers.

My goal for the remainder of my time here is to enjoy the moments because there’s only so much time to soak them in. Watching videos and looking at pictures aren’t the same as leaving my phone in my dorm and focusing on how I feel in these moments. A couple more weeks of lacrosse. The feeling I’ll have on senior night. An AP Gov exam to complete. The feeling I’ll experience with sweaty palms right before the exam in the library near the fireplace. A prom to attend with my boyfriend in Vermont. The feeling I’ll miss next year of being in the presence of someone who has become extremely important to me. A College T-Shirt Day. The feeling that will make it impossible to smile as my classmates wear the name of the school they will attend. We made it. 30 more brunches and dinners in the dining hall with my team or with my friends. The feeling of being surrounded by people you share mutual passions with.

An ending approaches, and there’s nothing I can do to stop or delay it. A beginning awaits me, and it holds many adventures, experiences, lessons, and memories. It’s an emotional time. I’ve caught myself randomly crying because I can’t keep them in check. My dad wrote me a letter earlier this week, and I sat at my desk crying as I wrote him back. My journey at Emma Willard isn’t just an ending for me. It’s an ending for my classmates, their families and my family as well. I received a letter from Granny yesterday, and she said how she’ll miss the letters with the return address of my school written in vibrant colors. I don’t think anyone, including me, can comprehend how much I am going to miss this part of my life as an Emma Girl.

Today is also Juliana’s birthday. She turns 19 today! Every day I miss my freshman roommate from Costa Rica. Tomorrow she’ll complete her last final of freshman year at Saint Mary’s College. And Monday she’ll fly to Europe to meet her brand new niece, Ella! Juliana will be an amazing aunt and godmother. I often wonder what my Emma experience would be like if Juliana stayed. We share so many laughs, inside jokes, and memories. I’m beyond grateful that we remain in touch. I will visit her in Costa Rica someday; I’m sure of it. She had a tremendous influence of my Emma career by being a roommate who I could rely on to help me survive my freshman year.

There’s plenty to be done in a month here. Writing thank you letters, handing out of senior cards, receiving my last Emma Willard yearbook, packing, and staying on top of my schoolwork (I really should be studying for my AP right now). It’s going to be a whirlwind month. I’m dreading it, but I’m also savoring it. xo ~e.