Are we Ready? reflections by the senior class

Sarah jane hay ‘19

It’s almost October (though the daily temp suggests mid-July) signalling two months into my final year here at Indian Springs. I’ve been so consumed with school work, college applications, extracurriculars, and a meager attempt at what some might call a social life, that I keep forgetting one thing; I’m a senior, and this year is the first of many lasts. I decided to take some time and reflect with fellow classmates about our Springs experience. Though it is a time of individual growth for everyone, we sometimes forget we started at the same place.

“8th and 9th grade I didn’t really know who I was. Now I feel comfortable because I found my people... - Carolyn Grammar ‘18 and Rachael Murdock ‘18- “...they taught me self confidence.” - Maya Cassady

“I’m still a pretty quiet person but compared to freshman year I’ve opened up. Springs has become a second home for me.” - Jing Wang

“I spent a lot of time alone, not paying attention to other people. Now I have friends... I think?” - Max Simon

“In 9th grade I was really shy. I wouldn’t talk to anyone unless they talked to me. I’m still shy, but now I’m more comfortable introducing myself to new people.” -Sophie Young

On Friday, after classes ended, I took my sweet time traveling the strenuous distance of 200 feet to the dorms, knowing there was two weeks worth of laundry, an unmade bed, and at least five coffee mugs piled up in the sink awaiting me. Instead of addressing the chaos that was my room, I convinced myself that the best way to declutter my life was to purchase a planner. I sat down and began to write in all my due dates for college applications. Staring at the physical deadlines in front of me, I wanted to fast forward 5 months. At first I was frustrated with myself for the constant feeling of never having my life together, but the responses I received from my peers when the topic of balancing college and school came up were reassuring. In this sense, we’re all in this together (insert high school musical song here):

“I’m a mess. I asked Mr. Woodruff for an extension on my college essay draft last Friday... it's still not done.” - Jing Wang

“Baby steps. Do as much as you can do. Hope for the best.” - Max Simon

“I still haven’t done any of my school work, I spent my weekend in a coffee shop working on supplemental essays.” - Abigail Shepherd

“I don’t.” - Emily Clifton

Fast forwarding 5 months sounds like the easiest option, because then we’ll know… Right? I mean sure most of us will have received an 8x10 envelope containing a name that dictates the next four years, but that name doesn’t tell the future. This is the first time in our lives we don’t have all the answers. Freshman year we knew where we would be and even who we’d be with, sophomore year we knew, junior year we knew, and now? You tell me. When I asked friends what May 24th would mean to them I was surprised by the overflow of emotion:

“I’ve been here for 5 years, seen things change, seen myself change. Ready to go.” Maya Cassady

“I’m nostalgic and excited. It meant so much to me because this was my first time living alone and in another country. In 10 years I'll remember these four.” - Jing Wang

“I’m nervous figuring out where I’ll be these next four years.” - Megha Ghanta

“So many emotions. Very nostalgic I’ve been here for five years, but I’m also conscious that my time here is ending.” - Logan Mercer

“A little bit overwhelmed. A little bit anxious. A lot of bit sentimental. My mood changes constantly about it.” - Max Simon

“It’s the first of the last of everything, so I feel very nostalgic. I’ve been here for four years, and I’ve always had next year to look forward to. Now I have no idea what next year will look like.” - Sophie Young

As waves of nostalgia washed over me, I steered the conversation away from graduation towards funny anecdotes and the best memories from our time at Springs. Story time went on forever but here are some of the highlights:

“Kicking Mr. Wammack’s butt in the snowball fight of winter ‘18.” - Emma Kieve

“Walking twenty feet to play 2K in the boys dorms.” - Megha Ghanta

“In 9th grade I was on a scav hunt team with my brother, and the faculty member was Mrs. Fortson. We all dressed up as Mr. Pollard. I wore a low ponytail, khaki shorts, and chacos.” - Sophie Young

Transitioning the conversation away from “the seniors,” I asked my friends what advice they have for underclassmen as they prepare for their final years here:

“ I wish I had taken a pottery class. Really do as much as you can. Even if you don’t think you’ll like it - I didn't think I would like volleyball- upperclassmen made me do it. Just try stuff.” - Maya Cassady

“Don’t be afraid to ask teachers for help, even on the weekends. Teachers want to make your experience here awesome. Build relationships with them.” - Megha Ghanta

“You don’t realize it’s your last year until it’s here, so cherish your time. Springs offers so much more than being a place for class, there are people to meet and experiences to be had. Springs prepares you for life.” - Logan Mercer

“Take advantage of every opportunity you are given regardless of whether you think its cool or dumb.” - Max Simon

“I wish I had come here earlier. I mean it would have been funny to be an 8th grader. There are so many opportunities at Springs. If there’s something you want to pursue, just go for it. Try everything.” - Abigail Shepherd

“Try in school it really does matter…” - Constantine Giattina

“I wish I had participated more in the community and school in general - made more friends too.” - Jing Wang

“I regret not joining choir and stud gov. When I first came, I was hesitant to get involved, looking back I wish I had done this from the start.” - Emma Kieve

The general feeling was make your time here count, because you only get to be a high school student once, or better yet a Springs student once, although it’s possible I’ll be returning for 13th grade, and 14th, and 15th. I maybe, kinda sort of, never want to leave because this is my happy place. A school where every student is allowed to have their quirks. A place that embraces the weird in all its weirdness. Two years ago we had a dental hygiene club - kids were actually brushing their teeth together in the senior lot.  Two weeks ago they gave out a duct-taped breadstick with some hot sauce as a scav hunt prize. Yesterday I saw the swan eating someone’s birkenstock. So my final question to the senior class was to describe all the wackiness, all the love, and all moments we’ll hold onto long after May 24th, into one word:

“Bubble” - Megha Ghanta

“Autonym” (springs doesn’t need an explanation; it describes itself) - Logan Mercer

“All-encompassing” - Max Simon

“Freedom” - Sophie Young

“Turbulent” - Maya Cassady

(apparently it can’t be condensed into one word)

“Involved-disengaged. I feel involved, but sometimes not. The language barrier and cultural difference can be isolating but on the other hand I feel a part of the community.” - Jing Wang

“A time. A weird and awesome time.” - Abigail Shepherd

“A glass box. But like a darkened glass box.” Constantine Giattina