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November Teen CONTACT Newsletter Article

The dry erase board I have strategically situated above my desk gives me the same impression as one walking down Times Square for the first time- very busy, very captivating, and extremely intimidating. It serves to constantly remind me of my numerous upcoming tests, the tour that I am scheduled to give to the prospective student, my brother’s birthday the past Sunday, and this article that I have had thoughtfully on my mind for the past few days, but of course, like the typical high school student- opt for the notion of procrastination until cramming it in the few seconds before the “in a week” deadline I am accountable to. Add to the fact that as a new junior to Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, I’m flying solo in new territory, where most have the opportunity to accustom themselves comfortably over the last two years and yes, I would say I’ve submerged myself in waters way deeper than I’ve ever swam before. Learning to live without my parents, my friends, and in a world where cabs are actually yellow and a relatively common mode of transportation, I’ve been thrust into a sense of independence and reality that was unknown to me as the sheltered suburban girl raised in Highland Park. I can no longer use the “my dog ate my homework” excuse, and I’ve been wary to try out “my roommate ate my homework” for fear that it might not go over too well, but a few of the Contact Crisis Training techniques have aided me in my findings of adjusting to life at boarding school. I could look up at the board, become immediately overwhelmed of all the work I have shoved down my throat, want to cry to my mother, then cry some more when I realize she isn’t here to comfort me, and ultimately become the new “Frequent-Caller-of-the Month” because not only have I lost sight of my coping skills, but the life skills I know have ultimately failed me in preparing me for the simulation of “making it on my own”. But then I reflect on how would I mediate someone else in my situation, and I begin to prioritize and regain composure as a sane human being. “Breathe” instinctively becomes focus number one and second, I remember the reasoning to why we don’t simply tell the caller what they should do, we assist them into structuring their own solution, to do it by themselves. Then I remember “there’s a reason I’m here, there’s a reason I’m doing this, and I’ve got to do it myself because no one else can do it for me” and if I look at that dry erase board and focus, it doesn’t appear that scary. Of course I find myself preoccupied with nostalgic thoughts of my family, my school friends at home, and the surprising notion of missing the infuriating congestion of Dallas’s major highways during “want-to-kill-yourself” rush hour, but the chance to secede from the accepted norm I was accustomed to has exposed to me a new aspect of life previously inconceivable. Of course, there are still the people who ask me “Don’t you’re parents like you?” when I inform them I attend boarding school, but I now know that it was not just because my parents like me a little, but that they loved me a lot to know that I had to do this, that I can do this, and that I have to figure it out on my own.

Special Events Co-officer
Special Events Co-Officer








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