There is not one way to describe my school, for it is physically impossible for a single sentence to capture the true, wonderful essence of the school which is so much more than a school to me. JTD is too many things- from the lessons that have been learned here to the laughs that still echo through the corridors- to be depicted in a singular manner. The only way to paint a realistic portrait of JTD is by illustrating the many little things that become one beautiful piece of art.
One of my favorite things that I will miss the most when I leave is the first day of school. Even though I have experienced the thrilling sensation seven times, the feeling of walking into the school for the first time after summer break never ceases to electrify every nerve in my body. Excitement is in the air and the hearts of each and every student. Old friends greet each other as girls hug in the hallways and boys high-five. Like a cool sip of water after a long run, the first day of school is always refreshing.
Eventually, the exhilaration is replaced by a new emotion, comfort. Students settle into a nice, orderly routine, and soon, school melds into our lives until the two are inseparable. The only way to describe the change is that we all return to our true home, JTD. Home can sometimes become so commonplace that it slips to the back of your mind to be grateful for it, but it is always there, always supporting you, always giving you a place to return to. JTD is that place for me, and one thing that I know for certain is that I feel the absolute safest when I am in its welcoming arms. I know that my friends and teachers will support me no matter what, and whenever I am here, all of my fear for the future evaporates.
An interesting thing about home though is that it’s different for everybody. To each student and teacher here, JTD is a bubble filled with hope, joy, and protection. However, its core is different to everybody because it is made up of all of the different memories we each have here.
To me, JTD is looking up at my sixth-grade buddy and knowing that I wanted to have rainbow braces just like her. To me, JTD is cold water splashing against my cheeks as I fall into the dunk tank. To me, JTD is the vibrant, loud, and busy bustling in the hallways between class periods. To me, JTD is joking with my friends as we wait in the long line for lunch-on-the-lawn cheeseburgers. Because JTD is the setting for most of my younger memories and it has been such an integral part of my childhood, the big, scary leave for secondary school is like jumping off a cliff: completely terrifying. However, if there’s one thing that I know, it’s that I’ll have to close my eyes and leap eventually, but I will always have somebody waiting to catch me here at JTD.
I can not say that I have discovered the meaning of life at JTD. I’m still working on that. However, I can say because of JTD I have found teachers that will guide me in my quest to figure it out, friends to laugh and cry with about the winding journey there, and a refuge to take cover in when the quest becomes too stressful or life’s storms too harsh.
I love you, JTD, and even though I may never enter your classrooms as a student ever again, the lessons you have taught me will always, always be in my heart.