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.


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