Before the summer of 2013 I could have been described as a girl that didn't talk, didn't smile, and didn't laugh; dying flame in a dark room. I was always looking for a way to be alone, even in a crowded room you would probably find me in a corner huddling close to the wall ,trying to phase through it to get away. My mind was filled with dark clouds before that summer, most of them created by depression, anxiety, and the words others had put in my head that chipped away at the little confidence I had. (HS)^2 bonding started before even going on to the plane ,before even knowing my name a third year named Mariah walked up to with the brightest and warmth smile ever. She sat next to me just started asking me questions about where was i from,how was i feeling ,and if i was excited. I remember that i wasn’t able to answer her question because they were just calling us to board the plane, which gave me the chance to quickly retreat to the growing crowd of people boarding the plane. Little to my luck she ended up sitting next to me on the bus so there was no running away from her questions. Now looking back at that i wish i could thank Mariah for approaching me that first day and not letting me run away from her questions. If she’d let them go unanswered it probably would have been at least a week before anyone would have heard my voice.
First week at (HS)^2 I would try to sit by myself and not interact with people ,that failed miserably because as soon as I would sit down people would start coming around me and talk to me. They would drag me out of my seat and have me join them in a game of sardines, volleyball, or other types of shenanigans. They were so determined to get me to interact with them. Back then I was wishing for them to leave me alone but now as I look back at all we did I’m really thankful that they took me under their wing.
I remember my first trip to aspen I didn’t know what to do or where to go and to add to that there was a parade going on around the town. So the sidewalks and streets were filled with people watching the parade, complete chaos. I felt lost and distorted walking down the unfamiliar streets, luckily one of the second years saw me mindlessly wandering around and decided to let me join him in his search for a toy shop. It was the experience of running around this small mountain village laughing and searching for a silly toy shop that helped me break this shell that I had put up around myself to keep others out. I will always be thankful for the people I meet there and the obstacles we faced, they made me more happy and comfortable in those 15 weeks then I felt in 17 years.