The Next Step

The Next Step
Lowla has been my best friend for thirteen years, beginning the day we were both sent into time out during nap time, day one of kindergarten. I guess neither of us was too fond of sleeping when there was an overwhelming amount of toys and games to play with right there in the classroom. Then there are the girls who made my love for sports that much stronger. We had been playing for so long, by the time varsity sports came around, we could read each other’s next move in perfect togetherness, an excellent aspect of the game that even the best teams were not always fortunate enough to have. We had always said we would be state champions our senior year. School had brought us together, and sports would never let us grow apart. And then, there are the handful of boys in my grade who were like brothers to me.

You would not believe how watching them through the awkward stages of puberty made them more like best friend material than boyfriend material. We were all together from the beginning, and we all expected to be that way throughout our years of schooling. We even planned on keeping in touch years after graduation.
High school came and everything was even better as we continued to grow closer. High school also brought other exciting changes like being the only freshman class to be genuinely accepted among the upperclassmen. We were also well-liked by the teachers, whose expectations were lowered seeing the grades before us were not hard acts to follow. My grade seemed to be different from the others above and below us. We were both athletic and smart, with baby Einstein’s and Michael Jordan Juniors. We had stuck it out together through our first school dances, middle school drama, and premature dating. And we were going to stick together through prom, more drama, and first loves, along with college applications and varsity sports. That is what I was expecting, what I had grown up looking forward to, and most importantly, what I was comfortable with. The last thing I ever wanted to do was leave the world I was most familiar and enter another world, one of which I knew very little about. I guess that is the curse of a small town school.

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The summer after my sophomore year my parents came up with an interesting idea, brilliant to them and absolutely bizarre to me. Holy Name High School caught my father’s eye. ‘They have great academics and athletics over there,’ he would say, my mother nodding in agreement. ‘Button ups and khakis do not bode well with me,’ I would say bitterly. What were they thinking? If it was that I was about to change schools two years before I graduate, there wasn’t a chance. I could not bear to think about what I was leaving behind. I would have to start all over, meet new people, adapt to a whole new set of rules and worst of all, be trapped in the traditional attire of a Catholic school. One week before soccer tryouts, and two weeks before school started, I had lost the battle and was officially enrolled at Holy Name.
The sun may have been shining on August 27, 2007, but it was a dark, gloomy day in my mind. My father and I sat together in silence as a few uncontrollable tears rolled down my cheek. But there was no time for tears. As we pulled up to the school on the hill, anxiety hit me. This first day would be unlike any other. In the past they were full of cute, new first day outfits, ‘I missed you so much over the summer’ hugs, and groans because there were 179 days left until the next summer. I do not think I have ever talked as little as I did on my first day at Holy Name High.

Not only was I sad and angry that day, but I was expecting to eat lunch, alone, in one of the girls’ locker room stalls, like I had seen in the movies. Luckily, this was not the case. Yes, things were different from Sutton High, but soon enough I figured out the transition to a new school was not the end of the world like I thought it would be. Surprisingly, there was homework and drama, jocks, and computer geeks, music lovers, dances and pep rallies, just as my last school had. In all reality, high school is simply high school, no matter where you are.

As I am coming up to the middle of my senior year, looking back, I realize that if changing schools is one of the only hardships I have to overcome, then I have been a very lucky girl so far. I am no longer as close to the girls and boys at my old school as I once was, but others have taken their place. My bond with Lowla has grown even stronger, and we see each other more, now that we are apart. We do not get put in time outs anymore, but have managed to get ourselves in and out of trouble many times through our years together. New people and places come and go, but I have learned that overcoming adversities, no matter how big or small, teach valuable life lessons, preparing me for whatever life may throw at me next.

Now as college approaches, I will be more prepared to make the transition from school to school. I am not, however, expecting this transition to be as easy as the last turned out to be, for college is so different from high school. This experience has turned out to be a positive one, and I am beyond excited for the next step. I have realized I am strong enough to overcome any issue I may face, for the years ahead. No matter where I end up going, I look forward to my future, with no doubt in my mind that anything is possible. It is no longer a question of ‘can I,’ but a statement of ‘I can.’

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