I shouldn’t have blinked


A collage of moments and memories mentioned in this column that made up my year.

It was a genuine mistake. It was late August, and all that my sweet innocent eyes could focus on was the future. I was anxious while also feeling dumb for feeling anxious because that’s so cliché. Being anxious before starting high school? So basic. Nevertheless, it was happening, and I was aware that this was my one chance to relate to “Fifteen” by Taylor Swift, and I knew it’d be gone before I knew it. No matter how many times I told myself, it’ll be summer again sooner than you think, I just agreed blindly with no consideration of what that meant. So much happens in a year, yet I could’ve sworn I was just wondering where my classes even were.

August became September. Volleyball games and Homecoming dress shopping. Pumpkin Spice lattes and football games. It wasn’t quite summer, but it wasn’t quite fall. Naturally, I looked ahead toward sweatshirts and dying leaves instead of acknowledging the completion of over a month of school.

Post-hoco sleepover

September became October. More volleyball and more pumpkin spice. Homecoming week, and the sleepover after. The dance was exactly what I expected, to my surprise. I was deathly sick that week, which is unfortunately one of the most eminent memories of that weekend. Occasional library excursions with Ellerie to buy Oreos. Another football game. Elle’s birthday, Midnights by Taylor Swift, the very immemorable freshman retreat, and Halloween. We never finished watching Fear Street. 

Elle and I getting coffee

October became November. The return of my favorite Starbucks drink, the sugar cookie almond milk latte, started the month off strong. I attempted to enjoy the joy and excitement of Christmas approaching despite schoolwork trying to bring me down. A weekend in Chicago, Victoria’s birthday. Candles, my black vest, dreams of winter and snow. Coffee with Elle, unfinished plans, and Trendsgiving with Evelyn. Thanksgiving in D.C., where water lives in fancy glasses and I have time for breakfast.

A screenshot of the video of me crashing into the boards during the ice show

November became December. School, exams, stress, winter break. The holiday ice show at skating, where I crashed into the boards during some simple crossovers. Luckily I laughed it off. Calculating the lowest I could get on each exam to maintain an A, and obsessing over the numbers until I beat them. Secret Santa and white elephant. The learn-to-skate winter camp, where I was tackled by several small children and felt slightly flattered that they clung to me that much. I still have the reindeer crown I made with them. Then, Christmas. Spotify Wrapped and 2022 rewinds on a multitude of apps.

One-eighth of the way done with high school.

A visual representation of January

December became January. A new year should be a fresh start, but instead, everything went downhill. The only word to describe January is rough.

January became February. Nothing changed despite a plethora of events to feel excited about. Winterfest happened, then my birthday, then Valentine’s Day, all with no real celebratory atmosphere. I did my annual winter-depression-fueled summer clothing try-on haul and pondered whether I could survive until Spring Break.

February became March. It all became too much. I managed to get third at my skating competition, write a few optimistic columns, and struggle my way to spring break.

March became April. Spring break was everything I was looking forward to and more. Winter was turning into a distant memory, but the stress remained. However, I’ve gradually learned that I will never not be stressed, and sometimes I just need to fake it ‘till I make it. 

April will become May, and May will become June. I basically have one month of school left. I blinked and suddenly there was one month until I’m one-fourth of the way through high school.

I only have three blinks left.