...when he said...

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes you can steer yourself any direction you choose Dr Seuss

The day has arrived.

It is June 12th which always seemed to be more of a reference to our departure that seemed way off in the distance, is now upon us.

As we sit here in our common room in Boys Dorm, with the clock pushing on 3 in the morning, there lies a thin line between reminiscing over memories and bursting into tears. Morning circle is in two hours, followed by loading up the bus and passing through South Eleuthera one last time. We decided as a dorm to stay awake the entire night; yet just like our 12 year old selves found out at sleepovers, it becomes much more difficult than previously expected.

Whether our eyes are red from sleep deprivation or tears—or maybe a combination of both—our time together is slowly diminishing. It’s sinking in that our semester is coming to a close; the final chapter of our Island School book is ending.

At the same time, it seemed like just yesterday we were only starting that book, with the first pages filled with more questions than anything else. 100 days ago we arrived here, not knowing what we were really getting ourselves into.

This journey was not an easy one.

Each day brought challenges that seemed harder to overcome than the day before. Each workout a little bit longer, each class becoming more in-depth and thought provoking.

All 48 of us have changed, and the best part of this whole experience was doing it together.

We lived, ate, learned, and slept near each other 24/7. At first thought this seems like a recipe for disaster, for that much time together would make us all sick of each other. Instead, the friendships that my peers and I have formed are ones that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

I made a blog post on April 10th named “Ferris Bueller said it best” in which I described where we stood in our semester, and how we would make the most out of the last 64 days that we had. Those 64 days went by faster than I could ever imagine, and I know my peers feel the same way.

This Island School experience has completely changed our way of living, and now we have to jump back into our previous worlds.

Wherever that may be, it will be without all the members of this community that made our time so special. I know that we will all remember this place forever, and not just through all the Instagram and Facebook posts from the 26 girls from our semester with the hashtag #takemeback.

The Island School has changed the way I view the world around me, as well as how to be a great friend, researcher, student, mentor, and member of a community.

Although the Island School won’t be on my mind all the time moving forward, I know I’ll have a place to thank for making me a better person.

Congrats to the other 47 students who have also experienced this once in a lifetime journey. I know that we will all go on to have amazing futures, as Island School was only the beginning. It is true that 100 days have past, but there are many many more to come.

As Dr. Seuss so famously wrote, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”

by Zach McCloskey