Why the tears are worth it: a junior reflection


Kate McElhinney

Gracie Rowland (center) enjoys the sunset with friends Brenna Luff (left) and Kate McElhinney (right)

Gracie Rowland, Staff Writer

The first quarter of my junior year at MSMS flew by like a wind without reason: fast and swirling and hazy. As I recall the images and sounds that overflow my head when reflecting upon these nine weeks, I’m filled with an inexplicable sense of peace. My mind brims with fond recollections of spontaneous blue hair dye sessions, first week pavilion games, 2 a.m. trips to the vending machines–sorry, 11:59!– and “Princess Diaries” watch parties. I’ve laughed more than I’ve wept, and I’ve smiled more than I’ve slept.

The people here exist as the defining characteristic of MSMS. The students of MSMS do not fit the metaphorical mold. What caught me off guard from the beginning is how intensely interesting everyone here is. They all have such highly formed personalities, interests and ideas. The intricate complexities and the depth of maturity possessed by my classmates is astounding. Listening to them talk is like listening to “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. You don’t want the song to end, but when it does, you think about those lyrics one last time.

One of my favorite things about MSMS is how everyone here is so vividly passionate about, well, everything. The resplendent tenacity and endless empathy found in those around me makes the world feel less cruel, and the nihilist in me renews to an optimist. The friendships that I’ve made here are invaluable to me. I never knew that I could love such a vast number of people. Love truly is a concept of multiplicity; it just keeps going and going and going. The billowing murk of stress was combated by the reassuring support and guidance of those around me. Cuddle corners and relentless “Mamma Mia” references make the bashing cacophony of anxiety due to unfinished Mastering Chemistry assignments fade to a mere ominous background noise.

In the short span of just nine weeks, I’ve experienced immense growth as a student and as a person. I now feel confident and assured in my abilities as a student. The workload here is definitely a lot, as my caffeine dependance can dutifully attest to, but the sense of accomplishment that I now hold proved well worth the sleepless nights. The dedicated teachers and immersive, intriguing curriculum evoked an even larger admiration for learning. I’ve become more self-aware of my own emotions and of my own identity.

From countless inside jokes to planned crying circles, this quarter has given me a family to always rely on, and a greater appreciation for life, and for that I am endlessly grateful.