🗣 Finding Our Student Voice 🗣 The UnifiEd Student Voice Team Blog Surrounding Student Life
I have put off writing this blog for several weeks, to the point that as I sit at my laptop writing it now, I’m in my dorm room, having just finished my first few days of college classes. I’ve started this blog...
in my head several times while driving or while walking around, or trying to fall asleep at night. But I could never bring myself to put pen to paper, or I guess keyboard to Google Doc now. Something about writing my goodbye blog just truly meant that my time with UnifiEd was over, and it’s been hard for me to do. I started working at UnifiEd in February of 2019 when I was a sophomore and not even able to drive yet. Over the years working with UnifiEd has given me a voice to create change in my school system, the guidance I needed to become a capable and knowledgeable leader, and so many memories and skills that I can’t even explain the personal impact of.
It’s truly a strange feeling to be leaving my first job after spending most of my high school career there and having so many of my life experiences tied to it. And truth be told, between writing the first paragraph of this blog and writing this paragraph, another few weeks have passed, and it's now well into October. Finishing this blog (and my Policy blog, which you should read as well) has been on my to-do list for a little over two months now. It’s not really been sitting there neglected solely because I didn’t have time for it. I realized tonight that it’s more because I didn’t want to see the UnifiEd section of my to-do list go away. It’s almost like I was convincing myself that I wasn’t done with this chapter of my life because I didn’t read the last few words of the last sentence, despite knowing exactly what they said. I’ve never been particularly sad about going off to college and starting this new journey, which is now a few months shy of new. However, it’s still devastating to think about leaving behind the life that I knew in high school and, along with it, the people, places, and organizations that made it so great. About now is where I started thinking about what else I wanted to write about and started to cry a bit thinking about all of the things that I missed from before college, which is entirely my fault for deciding to finally finish this blog in the wee hours of the morning after studying for a math exam, preparing an outline for a midterm paper for my leadership class, and completing a physics assignment.
While I’ve been at college, I’ve thought about many things that I miss, just like any other occasionally homesick college freshman. But more so than just missing home, it's been missing the memories from home and missing living in those moments. I was scrolling through my camera roll the other day, and I saw a few pictures of some of my favorite foods from Signal Mountain (Pruett’s Sushi and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread from the Bread Basket, if you were wondering) and was immediately struck with sadness because I couldn’t solve my craving for those things with a short car ride around the mountain. Several times I’ve had moments where someone will say something to me, and I’ll remember something that I worked on with the SVT or that someone at UnifiEd talked to me about, and I am forced to remember that those are now memories from a closed chapter and not something funny that happened at work the other day like they used to be. I may sound a bit out there feeling so sentimental over leaving my high school job, but I genuinely believe that the SVT and UnifiEd are vital parts of the foundation of who I am now and what I want to do with my future. I came into this job with a vague interest in advocacy and classroom-based skills, but now I gained so many skills, experiences, and passions from my time with UnifiEd that have truly helped me to define what I want my future to look like.
I’ve talked again and again about how grateful I am to UnifiEd and the SVT, but I also want to take a moment to say how thankful I am to you. Whoever you may be reading this, whether you’ve never read a blog before or if you’ve read them all, thank you. I’ve been writing blogs with the SVT since April of 2019 for the School Board Enthusiasts Blogs, the QuaranTEEN Blog, the REACH Blogs, the Fooling with the Ruling Blog, and the Finding Our Student Voice Blog. Across all of the blog series that the SVT has created, we’ve never been unsupported in speaking our minds and sharing our student perspectives. Not only have I been thankful for the space to grow as a writer, but I’ve also been incredibly grateful for the freedom to process some of the events of the past year and a half. It’s been a bit of a wild ride, and I definitely could not have gotten through it without having the refuge of SVT blogs to vent, talk through my ongoing problems, or speak on issues I care about. Once again, thank you for reading!
I don’t think I can vamp much longer. This is my final paragraph in an SVT blog. My time has come to an end. I can cross out my last to-do list item. Instead of goodbye, I’ll leave you with the words of one of my recent favorite songs from my study playlist (it may or may not be a Tower of Terror Playlist…) that’s likely more of a comfort to me than it is to you because let’s be honest, I’m likely the only here that’s choked up - “Don’t let this parting upset you. I’ll not forget you, sweetheart. We’ll meet again. Don’t know where; don’t know when. But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”