“South side, southern pride!” is the cheer you will hear around 10pm on almost any night. After living at The Island School for about 80 days I am no longer just a girl from New Jersey. I am no longer just a Pingrian. Over time I have shed my original geographical identifiers and have gained one new one, a southern one. I am not from New Orleans, Louisiana nor from Atlanta, Georgia… I am from a small place called south side girls dorm, Island School, Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas. When I arrived here at the Island School I thought that where I was from would define me. I though that my sending school would be my only identifier and that people would characterize me by the preppy culture that surrounds North Central Jersey. But soon, I realized that in my new home, I had a new, much better, more exciting and more true geographical identifier. When the south side became what it is, a loving community of southern belles, my life was changed. I’m not being dramatic. With all of our crazy antics the girls that make up my dorm are now my sisters. We are united under a single banner, so to speak. Although our living space is limited, I have learned to love and even depend on being able to turn around and have a friend right behind me.
I know what you’re thinking; if there is a south side, there must be a north. You would be correct. There is a subtle rivalry between the two sides (I mean we compete during run-swims for the loudest egg dance), but just across the common room there is a whole other room full of girls, or “northerners”, as we like to say. We banter and argue about who has the most pride, but in the end we’re just 29 girls living under the same roof. I hope I have been able to paint a picture of what its like to leave where you came from and what you think you know and come to a new place that soon becomes your home. This is where I am from. I know this place now, I am in love with this place now. I love the foot of space between my bed and the one next to mine. I love the fans that click and wobble throughout the night. And most of all, I love my southern sisters, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.