Goodbye, high school

I used to read “Candy Apple” books all the time. They were a series of books made for twelve year old girls who couldn’t wait to finally go to high school. I revelled in imagining the school cafeteria, who I would talk to between my classes (yes, no more recess!) and all of the cool parties I would fly through on the weekends.

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Grad Breakfast at DOC

It came to me as a bit of a shock to realize that high school isn’t like the movies. No matter how many times people told me this before entering grade nine, I still had a sliver of hope that maybe my crush would have his locker beside mine and that I would magically become an amazing athlete..neither happened…well, one of them did (!!!) Most of the things in those stories never happened, but a whole lot of other things did; and they were better than anything I’d ever read about.

Prom was amazing, I finally felt like I had surrounded myself with the people who lifted me up, the people I saw myself missing in the future; not being glad to leave behind. My friends, my date and I had an amazing time dancing to pretty terrible music and eating food that tasted similar to the time I licked a himalayan salt lamp. I realized at the end of the night that I had no pictures of just myself; and this felt right. It was a time to be spent with the people who I’ve struggled and laughed with for the past four years (or longer!) One of the greatest moments (besides winning the “best twin” award) was when we invited some of our close friends back for roasting marshmallows. We all felt sick the next day from the sugar crash, but we pushed through it because we were heading to Wasaga beach!

I expected Wasaga to be more wild then it was (and believe me it got pretty crazy at night) but during the day it felt like a mini vacation. We laid on the beach as others played volleyball, waded in the chilly water with our sunburns itching.  It was a totally new experience; we had driven up by ourselves, I was surrounded by my classmates instead of my family, and we had a steady diet consisting of hot dogs (turkey burgers for me), chips and protein bars. It was comforting to connect with  people I hardly talked to throughout high school and hilarious to make more memories with my closest friends.

Although the end of the year was filled with stressing over exams and future roommates, we made sure to fill the days with little outings too. Trips to coffee culture, visiting RibFest to eat chicken or going to a camp as part of a “business” course were some of the things I’ll have to remember whenever I’m homesick and need to smile. And if I feel like giving up in my studies, I’ll remember when my best friend just wouldn’t take “no” for an answer when I wanted to give up climbing a high rope obstacle.

As cliche as it sounds, July and August really did fly by. Lazy days were spent hanging by the pool, others in the gym feeling myself getting stronger, and yet more spent with my family watching movies and laughing until our stomachs hurt. We had our annual family cottage vacation (which consisted of many trips into tiny towns and yoga in the misty mornings.) I visited the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto for the first time (and it will definitely not be my last!)

An artifact at the ROM

As summer is coming to a close I’ve been busy packing up my favourite sweaters, reminiscing over old birthday cards and making last-minute purchases; all to prepare for university this fall. In less than a week, I’ll be four hours away from my home and celebrating Carleton at frosh week. Nerves and excitement are mingled together at this point; but above all, I’m embracing the change. I wanted to make this post as a bit of a goodbye and a bit of a hello. A little summary of my last few months of being a high school student, setting the stage for the next 5 years (or more) at university. Last night I held a party with my closest girl friends to say goodbye and good luck, we spent a large majority of the party watching Zac Efron solos in High School Musical. It’s been bittersweet to realize how all of us are interconnected in a million different ways yet going in a million different directions. We danced to the songs we grew up listening to and ate an adorable Winnie the Pooh cake that my friend, Sabrina created. She frosted a beautiful quote from A.A Milne onto it, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

September. 1st begins in a few hours. I’m ready.

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