"Facing Fears" - An honest reflection by Caciques William Sturrup and Claire Russell At first when I walked into The Island School, I felt fear.  The fear of being in a new places with new people whose personalities were unknown. At first, I felt out of place and wanted to feel like I belonged, and when I finally felt this, I felt like I had successfully joined The Island School community.  In this community there are many different faces, heritages and morals but somehow we are all able to mingle, interact and relate to one another. This is what I believe gives the school the opportunity to grow and the students the opportunity to mature. - William

A few years ago I was a student, watching myself be transformed by a system of education, into a conformist. Although it may appear that I have kept the norms at bay and risen above, if you think so, you have been regretfully deceived. In the past two years of my new schooling I have become lethargic, apathetic and self-doubting. I have gained fifteen pounds, and discovered that 'eating your feelings' really does exist. I spend six hours a day taking in information that is neither applicable to my life, nor helpful to the world. The longer I was in the system, the less I cared about the results. I would explain away the reasons for my actions. I've become someone I barely know.

What happened to that fiery, limitless girl that took on the world and grabbed life by the ankles and turned it upside down? The confident, selfless girl who looking back, I fell in love with. She could paint the world red and make it the fashion. The world has now painted me. A deep shade of red and regret. A deep feeling of self loathing has come from countless failures, and buying into the fact that what I am learning is something I will need in order to succeed. At what point did that child become the teenager who is eerie and doubting? How is it possible I survived coming of age and puberty, but can't survive the next 'better' lighter stages of life? At what point did I no longer even care?

And now, here, I feel as though I am about to enter a world of people who didn't let this happen to them...

-Claire