The Things We’ll Miss…To the Class of 2011
The end of the year: It always seems to creep up slowly, then miraculously, what seems like a like a month feels like a year and the last week passes like a month. Boxes are distributed at the bookstore, yearbooks float around from table to table waiting for friends’ inscriptions, and backpacks are swapped for towels to swim in the Blackwater. Barefoot, we swat black flies, chew a blade of sweet grass, and dangle our feet off the decaying planks of the suspension bridge.
As a four-year-senior, I feel I can speak for the majority of the class when I say, “This went by quickly.” One day we’re timid freshmen walking in clumps to the Wise Center so not to be alone after we return from orientation. The next thing we know, we’re packing up four years worth of memories and self-discovery. The teachers that were once simply “our teachers,” now are valued puzzle pieces of our family. Their children chase us around the lawn, ask us to help them scoop ice cream, and smile at our familiar faces in the dining hall as they slide down the banister.
There are infinite reasons for Proctor being such a special place. As this is the last piece of writing I create for Proctor, I chose to ask my class one question as we inch our way out into the world: What will you miss most about Proctor?
These are a few responses from the class of 2011:
“I am going to miss the connection I have with my teachers. They have always been there for me whether it was about schoolwork or simply life in general. This school has become a second family to me, and I will dearly miss it.”
“I'll miss the general feeling of being loved and welcomed. I know that other places will offer this, too, but not in the same Proctor way.”
“I'll miss my roommate and our homey dorm room. I'll miss my advisory, always chattering away while hula hooping and eating dark swiss chocolate. I'll miss being surrounded by friends with whom I've shared Mountain and Ocean experiences.”
“Everything. The people, the atmosphere, the experiences, the
possibilities, the opportunities that are available. For the last three years this place was my home away from home, and my dorm parents and teachers were my parents away from home. This place has completely changed my life, and I don't know if I can pick just a handful of things I will miss.”
“To me Proctor has always been home - literally. For eighteen years Proctor has been the place where I have over one-hundred family members looking out for me, congratulating me, pushing me, so I know I'll miss it a lot, but I still get to come home for breaks!”
“I'll miss the foliage and the children. I'll miss graduations every year and orientation. I loved orientation––the excitement of new people and the group dynamics.”
“I’ll miss the teachers and the opportunities to create and discover.”
“I am going to miss the relationships I have with my teachers here. I don't think I'm going to be able to have that in college. And of course I am going to miss all of the friends I made at Proctor.”
“I will miss the people the most...also all of the opportunities. There is so much that Proctor has to offer, and the people who offer them are amazing. I will miss everything!”
Proctor is a home, not just a school. Home is somewhere you’ll always return - I will. Fair Winds.
Currently, there are twenty-two days, three hours, forty-seven minutes, and fifty seconds left in my Proctor career. I know this only because I keep a graduation countdown application on my dashboard that literally shows me second by second the moments slipping by until I’m on stage receiving my diploma. Earlier this evening, I stopped by Mike Henriques’ office simply to chat, and we spoke about how within a blink of our eyes, the school year will soon be over.
I told Mike that it scared me how fast everything was going and he responded, “Yes, but it’s so exciting. You’ve got great things coming!” I completely agree with his statement, yet what is difficult for me is knowing that the reason I put the graduation countdown on my dashboard was not to feel closer to the day of departure, but to rather put into view what time I’ve got left to cherish.
Recently, I’ve been telling everyone how vividly I remember my first day back on campus after orientation. It was raining. I remember who I sat with at dinner that night, what we ate, the table where we sat, who I met in what order, and what we were all wearing. I really have no idea of the reason I remember that evening so clearly. I have no reason to. Nothing special happened and nothing came of that night, yet I can’t stand here and question what has been so greatly engraved into my brain.
I am left standing in Mike’s office wondering why when I look at the countdown, I feel so sad. I’ve seen three classes ahead of me put on their caps and gowns and sit in those perfectly arranged front row seats facing the stage, and yet I can’t yet picture it for myself. Is this because I feel as though that first day back on campus was literally “just yesterday,” or is it because I simply am in love with this place and never want to leave? I do feel ready for college and I do feel the excitement of meeting new people and moving on, but I long for that rainy day just once more when I walk to the dining hall and see the faces that I remember first meeting that now are so familiar.
I’ve now got twenty-two days, three hours, twenty-seven minutes, and thirty-one seconds: In these next few seconds I plan to delete this graduation countdown I keep staring at, and I plan to promise myself that for the next three weeks, I will not look at a calendar and feel sad, but know that change is inevitable and it will bring happiness.