(Credit: Adam Richins)
Hello, this is Carol Li, a student from the Class of 2021. I cannot believe four years just flew by, and I have graduated. I can still remember my first day of school; everyone in my class stood in front of Mrs. Whitlock’s room saying hi to me and introducing themselves. That day I felt like I was a “celebrity,” people walked by and talked to me, “you must be the new ninth-grader.” That made me feel like I belong here, and I am welcomed here. Thinking back, I remember the first week of school. I told everyone that I thought our campus is relatively huge because I couldn’t find where the classroom is (well, that’s everyone, even now after four years I still cannot find some rooms).
Also, freshmen year, because I was new to everything: the country, the school, and the whole environment, there were so many dumb things I did. The one I remember clearly was in my biology class. We were doing some sort of experiment using a fork or spoon. I thought it was like an eating competition to test which tableware people use that can make them eat faster. So I was there ready to have some appetizers before my lunch. Then Ms. Osborne pulled out those fluffy balls, so I was confused. I asked Lucy Stefani ‘21: are we eating those? She was like no, what are you talking about? After that, it has been my “unforgettable” history that she describes this to everyone every time (thanks to Lucy here, love you!)
For four years, I obviously grew up and learned a lot. I am really glad I transferred to Montrose in my freshmen year. Time to say goodbye!
Well, I hope people are still scrolling down. Or the scroll box probably tells you that this article is not done yet. Yeah! I just did what I always wanted to do for every single essay I needed to write. (Well, I don’t know if that’s true, because when I get in the mood I always write over the word limit). By the time I finish this article, I will have already graduated from Montrose. My apologies for being late but I have been busy lately. Graduating from school, moving out from the home of Maevis Fahey ’21(still recovering from it), and figuring out what I will do in the summer and all the college stuff, it has just been crazy last week.
Honestly, that was not how I pictured my high school graduation. In the past, I dreamed that at my graduation that my parents and my family would be here with me. I could bring them to Boston, give them a deep tutor of the school, or at least go out for a walk around hospital hill. However, things change. I was joking around with Charlotte Bai ’21 about her cute puppy and we talked about graduation. I told her that high school graduation will be “the first official” graduation I ever attended because I skipped my middle school one and left early at my elementary school graduation. So, I was expecting myself to be covered in tears when we took the final group picture (is that how graduation should be?) but I didn’t expect myself to begin to cry on the way to school. I tried my best to control myself and hid from “the person” who was driving (did not work). I was so sad thinking about the roads Maevis and I drove together; the time we spent at the different intersections for the candidate that she campaigned for. We also drove by the two streets that are “named after me” even though they spelled them wrong: “Carole” “Lee” (but that’s ok; I will take it). Also, we drove past the road we take everyday to go to school from Millis to Medfield. Four years. It took them four years to finish the construction of that road (the work finished on the Monday of our last week of class).
By the time we arrived at school, I saw Lucy. She was about to show me the video of her reaction after reading the letter I wrote to her. I was like, no, I cannot do this because I can feel my foundation fading from my face. After that, when I got my diploma on the way back I almost tripped on the step (also thank you to people who laughed at my quote and the cheers). I did not prepare to drop my diploma in front of all the cameras (not going to forget this).
When I got in my uncle’s car crying and saying goodbye to Montrose, a person was running, calling my name, and waving at me. So just picture those romantic movie scenes: a person in the car and another person running with the car and saying “please don’t go,” goodbye, “love you,” “I’ll miss you,” etc. I was the one in the car, and tears streamed down my face. I was trying to say something, but the words just stuck in my throat. All I did was cry, wave, and open my mouth to try to talk. BUT that was not the most dramatic part, because this person forgot her phone in my bag. So honestly, I have no idea if she was just chasing her phone or saying goodbye. Maybe she was trying to get her phone back, and I was flattering myself the whole time and did not hear what she was saying (who knows? So this person better read this and tell me).
I think my four years of high school were the most precious time in my life because I grew a lot. If I didn’t come to Montrose, I wouldn’t achieve what I have now (thanks to all the teachers, faculties, and special thanks to Mrs. Keefe; without her, I wouldn’t have become a Maverick). The past four years can be summarized into four words: adjustment, independence, perseverance, and freedom. I trained to become a better self. I changed a lot, either from my personality or my view of the world. I began to express my opinions and realized the importance of communication. My family asked me after my graduation: after four years, am I happy? I remember I said: I struggled with happiness because there were so many things that I had to step out of my comfort zone to solve. But each time was a new experience which I am really grateful for because that is the beauty of life.
I cannot do this anymore, I have tears all over my keyboard. Originally, I was thinking of handwriting a letter and delivering it to the school. I’m glad that I did not do that because the paper is not waterproof; no one can read my words.
This time is the real goodbye, but I am not leaving. I will be sure to come back to visit!
Farewell, Montrose! 四年不虚此行！
PS: I just checked my Montrose website account and realized I am an alumnus now (this identity change is a little bit fast for me)… Also, just thought of a fun fact here. When COVID-19 came and school got shut down last March, I think I was the most excited one because the physics test no longer existed that Friday. However, I was also the last one coming back to school. I really took remote classes for about a year…
Carol Li ’21, Co-Sports Editor