This is the first of four farewells from Octagon seniors.
It’s that time of year when old faces start to resurface at Country Day.
Alumni on summer break journey back to their alma mater to visit old friends.
Case in point, as I sit in the Cave (The Octagon’s workroom) writing my final article for the newspaper, in walk former Octagoners Grant Miner and Aishwarya Nadgauda, both ’15.
Now I can confidently say that I am friends with the pair of them. We have shared countless inside jokes during the many late nights spent at paste-up, and if I saw them in public, I would definitely strike up a conversation.
However, as we catch up, the exchanges start to lag after a few minutes.
I absentmindedly resort to asking the questions every college kid gets bombarded with: “How’s your food plan?” “How’re your roommates?” “Obviously the ‘freshman 15’ didn’t affect you. How?!”
Our conversation feels familiar and fun, yet as we chat, I can’t help but feel…off.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore both of them, so I can’t put my finger on what’s making this interaction different from past ones.
After a few moments of deliberation, it finally hits me: once a student graduates, their role at Country Day is never the same.
This may seem painfully obvious, but it never occurred to me that my high-school relationships would change so radically after I left for college.
As a student, school consumes your life. You eat, work, stress, cry, laugh and occasionally even sleep there. School essentially becomes your second home.
Country Day has been my second home for the past 13 years. It’s part of the fabric of who I am.
It has also witnessed the many awkward, yet entertaining, phases of Maddy Judd, including the middle-school phase: blue pants, plaid shirt, purple UGGs, a thick block of bangs, and braces.
So, my exchange with Grant and Aishwarya forced me to reflect on what I would eventually miss.
This includes the many lunch periods spent howling with laughter in Ms. B’s room, sprinting to Peet’s Coffee for a last-minute caffeine fix and the hours over the phone cramming for tests on a three-way line.
The more I deliberated, the more I also realized that neither Grant nor Aishwarya seemed bothered by the change in our dynamic. In fact, they were as confident as ever.
So when I create a new home at UC Santa Barbara, I won’t be breaking up with Country Day. I’ll really just be fine-tuning my relationships. Those that are important and meaningful will stay so, and the others will fade.
I can’t wait for my next chapter, which will hopefully be more successful than my middle-school phase.