The Island School is thrilled to welcome Fall 2014 to campus. Having arrived a little under three weeks ago, the whopping 51 students who make up the class of FA'14 are well on their way to fully settling in and making this new environment home for the next 100 days. With three-day kayak trips and SCUBA week completed and the first academic week drawing to a close, students are beginning to get into a regular routine. And with that regular routine will come the start of regular blog posts from our resident students this semester. Kicking off our first blog post, students reflect on their initial impressions during the first two weeks here. Cheers to Fall 2014 and a fantastic semester ahead.
Having finally arrived at The Island School, I’ve realized the importance of the opportunity we all have. High school can be hectic. For many people it’s the most confusing time of their life. We ask ourselves, “What should I do with my life?” and “Who am I really?”. These are questions that, for me, are always hanging over my head. In a place like New York City, my hometown, there is a lot of pressure on high school students to succeed in their academics so that they can go to school and earn a good living. At The Island School, it’s very different. We are all equal. We share similar goals. We wear uniforms. We are a community. And for the next 97 days, we have the opportunity to give everything our all, make every moment count, and, most importantly remove ourselves from that overwhelming pressure we can sometimes feel. I’ve never been more at peace with myself and nature then when I rolled out of bed on day one, walked 20 feet to Boys Dorm Beach, and snorkeled my way to a ship wreck 100 yards off shore. All before breakfast.
Waking up in complete darkness can be very disorienting if you aren’t used to it. Personally, I am not familiar with this and I am in no way a morning person. At home, when I don’t have school, I wake up at noon and even when I have school, the sun is up by the time my alarm goes off. I’ve been at the Island School for two weeks and I still am not entirely fond of waking up before sunrise, but I have found silver linings. As soon as the first alarm goes off, my eyes dart open and I come face to face with nothing because it is pitch black in the bunk room. And every single morning I think there must be some mistake. The moments following my realization that I actually do have to get up are not the high points in my day. But once I’m outside, doing yoga, swimming, or running, I feel completely at peace as I watch the glowing orange orb of light emerge from the clouds. The Bahamian sunrise is nothing like anything I’ve ever seen; it’s the type of thing that would be the default screensaver of a Macbook or the cover of a National Geographic. In the moments I’m watching the sky light up, I forget about the fact that I’m about to do a run-swim, or about all the Marine-Eco reading I have to do. Seeing the Bahamian sunrise is a once in a lifetime opportunity if you’re lucky and I get to see it everyday.
It has been difficult adjusting to “the land of the sun and sea” for a kid from a cold, land locked state. I am not used to this type of heat. In Vermont it gets hot but not as humid as down here. The salt water is also different because when you get out you are still covered in salt. My one savior to all this is the outdoor shower. It is cold and rinses the salt and sweat off, leaving you feeling refreshed enough to run to bed. The outdoor shower also has the best view on campus. You can look into the horizon and sometimes the line gets blurred enough that the sand and sea look like one. The boys dorm north outdoor shower is the place to be.