My Last First Day

In 9th grade, our class read the novel Lord of the Flies. During one of our many group discussions to analyze the meaning of Piggy’s glasses or discuss why a conch shell indicated order, I remember Mrs. Whitlock remarking that rain symbolizes change. Though I can’t recall what passage the remark came from, the idea randomly resonated with me as I walked into my very last first day of school. While the rain poured down and I watched all of the attempts our class made to draw on our cars the night before washing away, I thought of how much things have changed since I was a freshman. I remembered my very first day when we learned everyone’s names that have since turned into nicknames by which we solely refer to each other. I thought back to the moment when we were told to stand at our desks and be a warrior, something that each of us has been in some way since then. And lastly, I thought of how this year is going to be the biggest change of all. 

Our last first day began with the traditional handshake line, catching up with classmates, and M block with our favorite GLMs. So, I guess some things about Montrose never really change. But, it was in the midst of all that —hearing StudGov call out the seniors and realizing that they were referring to us, walking past the upper school lockers, which we called “The Juniah Junction,” only to remember ours aren’t up there anymore and hanging up the bucket list that we’d worked on all summer— that it hit all of us that the year we’ve thought about as being far away for so long is now a reality. 

In my little time as a senior so far, I can say that it’s been a very different experience. On the first day, I contemplated both what color heart-shaped glasses would match my uniform best and what the topic sentence of my college essay should be. As Mrs. Elrod put it, we have one foot at Montrose and one foot somewhere else. Though I’m nervous about the day when both feet together have to step out of Montrose for the last time, I don’t think there is any other place that could have prepared me to do so. Montrose is the place where we looked for guidance to challenges, where we found what truly mattered to each of us, and where every single senior today has grown immensely. Ever since our journey together first started, I’ve always wondered not only who I would be but what our class as a whole would turn out to be. I’m looking forward to 2023 when we get to find out.

by Chaitanya Arora ’23