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The First Week

"No, bud come over here and help me raise the bed!" yells my dad, "Viv, what sheets are we putting?" asks my mom. "It better be cute!" my little sister states for the hundredth time. Move-in day. The day I'd waited, packed, and prepared for months. Everyone ran through the halls with bins, lamps, and carpets. Younger children looked for things to do, hiding under beds and running around campus. Just hours later, everyone disappeared, and it was over. Move-in day was done, but our lives at boarding school were just starting. The shift from the madness of moving in to the quiet of the first night was almost spontaneous, but a long time coming.

My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. - Maya Angelou

Possibly the thing I found most surprising was how surrounded I felt. I had expected to feel lonely, or a little down, but I felt so welcomed. Immediately after I parted from my family, I was swept up by my 'Big Sister.' She showed me around to all of my classes and told me what to expect from the teachers. The rest of the evening was spent with meetings and getting ready for the Square Dance, an annual tradition at St. Andrews. We all got dressed up in denim and flannels, and filed outside for our first all-dorm picture. The rest of the night was spent in badly dancing circles, grabbing partners we'd never met, and listening to a passionate rendition of 'I'm Just Ken' at open mic night.

'No-one really knows how to do it, but we can do it together,' was the theme of the Square Dance. None of us knew how to do it, or what we were doing, but at the same time no-one knew how to do it. Bonding through horrible dance moves may not be traditional, but it is effective. That night represented all of the time I've had here. These community gatherings and random exciting events are allowing me to live life to the fullest (no matter how cheesy that is).

I find myself going back to the same thought, time and time again. Four years. I've never lived anywhere for four years. I've never gone to the same school for four years. I've never been with the same people, or had the same teachers, or gone to the same grocery store for four years. It's an exciting thought for sure, daunting definitely. But trying to deprogram my brain from its 'time bomb' is what I'm really struggling with. I have coded my mind to make the most out of every time, to take pictures, make friends (and quick!!), and make the most of everything that I have. And this is where that thought comes in. I have four years here. I don't have to take a picture of every walk I take or force myself out of my room at every free time. I have time.

" Time is a created thing. To say "I don't have time" is to say "I don't want to." " - Lao Tzu

So every time I have the thoughts of 'I need a picture,' or 'I should really go outside,' or 'I need to make sure __ is here!!', they're followed by the thought, 'I have time, I don't need to document this specific moment, I can just be.' I think the reason I have this thought so much, is because I really (really) love my life here. I'm so happy, and I don't want to forget it! This rush of emotions - this missing my family and loving my friends - is truly what I live for. I wish for everyone to have a place that brings them the happiness this place gives me. And I wish for every military brat, for them to have the sense of belonging I've found here. I found a home after so many years of houses.


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