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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The words that compose my vocabulary: chaos

A+picture+I+took+after+cheering+at+the+first+football+game+of+the+season+last+fall.+
Elle Manning
A picture I took after cheering at the first football game of the season last fall.

Each autumn, I begin to run out of time. 

At fifteen, the fall progressively overtook the sweltering summer—unfit for the rigid school schedule—and, in the transition, my memories melted and chaos overtook my life. In the process, my content mood solidified into a precarious colloid, balancing on the edge of an overwhelming number of events. 

I welcomed the vibrant shades of auburn and tawny with wooly sweater-covered arms, encouraging nature to show me its late-year beauty but begging it not to take it away so quickly. Bittersweetly, it didn’t listen, and frosty winter eclipsed the fall’s allure. 

It got colder, and I became warmly acquainted with the soon-to-be monotonous motions of sophomore year. In effect, the high point arrived; school was just familiar enough for me to be invested, but not known enough to cause boredom. 

A haphazard group dynamic brought frustrations unimaginable to those never subjected to collaborative work with stubborn members, but tears of laughter once I could disassociate from my irritations. Hypothetical collegiate cost concerns clouded too many of my thoughts; I was unable to forget about the stressful, differing viewpoints involved in the project. 

Though always busy, the initial shock of my schedule constraint hit me in full force. Sweet, summer-adjacent drafts brushed past my bedroom window, and the never-enough, minuscule minutes to read just another textbook page, just one more serpentine section, ran out. Using my bed as a makeshift desk, my light, jack-o-lantern blanket provided little warmth against the cool breeze.

I was quick to rush off to the next undertaking; practices consumed most evenings, whether with my peers or twenty lively, young girls. As innocent as their intentions were, I usually departed on Monday evenings utterly drained of energy, patience, and voice. 

I welcomed the vibrant shades of auburn and tawny with wooly sweater-covered arms, encouraging nature to show me its late-year beauty but begging it not to take it away so quickly.

Saturday mornings, fortunately, went more smoothly than any weekday session ever turned out. Even though the girls supported underdog teams, unwavering support created a team of—for the most part—animated performers. 

Each week felt like a gradual build-up to Friday evening, spent on various rubber tracks and turf fields, encouraging the varsity team. As the sun gradually hid its blinding rays throughout the game’s course, my habit of squinting into our opponent’s bleachers became progressively more futile. Being encouraged to shake our poms at all moments, artificial fluorescent lights illuminated the field, casting my fellow cheerleaders and me in a dimmed glow. 

My birthday came about as cold began to overtake each, once summery, day. Even with carelessness’s gift of a burn worn on my face, I was still reminded that I looked pulchritudinous in new leg warmers and a sixteen-year-old glow.

After Halloween, a harsh transition occurred, and snow claimed its role as the chief form of precipitation. Although I deemed myself prepared for a season lacking sunlight, I refused to acknowledge that repetitious motions would soon crystalize from my currently novel schedule. 

Stubbornly, in the new year, I won’t allow measly dirt-coated snowbanks and moderate temperatures to predetermine my contentment. My autumn chaos was swept down and away by stubborn rakers, determined to keep their yards clear of disorder. In half a year, it will temporarily regain its jurisdiction over my life, and I will welcome the chaos, encourage it even, substituting unvaried seasons of temperate decisiveness with wavering days of disarray.

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About the Contributor
Elle Manning, Staff Writer
Elle is a sophomore beginning her first year on The Central Trend. She loves to read novels, create extravagant Pinterest boards, and journal in her seemingly scarce free time. Her biggest passions include writing and fashion, and she hopes to one day be able to combine the two into a future career. She has been a cheerleader since fourth grade and continues to spend her time on the sidelines every football season. In the spring, she enjoys playing tennis, even though she is still learning. She is often found with Spotify open; she loves to listen to music from a variety of different genres and decades. Most recent musical fixation: Weyes Blood Dream school: Columbia University Favorite book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Favorite comfort films: All of The Twilight Saga (primarily the first two movies)

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