Kaitlyn Kim

See below for a link to Kaitlyn’s audio file.

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Two Days and Two Hours

Two days and two hours. Not a long amount of time, huh? Well, that is how long I spent at a new school. You can laugh, it is pretty comical. However, it was a lot more serious for me than it sounds. Going into my sophomore year, I had made a decision to leave Donoho and transfer to Jacksonville. I felt like I did not really fit in at Donoho, and it was not the right school for me. It was something that had been on my mind for a long time. My family and I decided it was the right thing to do. The process to transfer was not too hard or strenuous. I had to interview with the guidance counselor and pay the out-of-district fee. After the whole process was done, I was officially a Golden Eagle.

Going to a new school made me feel how anyone else would feel starting someplace new: anxious, nervous, and excited. However, I already knew lots of people there and some of the teachers, so I was not too worried. I knew it was going to be a major change from Donoho, so I mentally prepared myself. Even though I knew some of the students, I was still so extremely nervous and scared that I could barely eat or sleep. I still remember the first day of sophomore year like it was yesterday. I woke up two hours early before my alarm went off because I was so anxious and antsy. A whole new school with different people and a different atmosphere was waiting for me.

Even though my first day at Jacksonville was over two and a half years ago, I still remember that specific day like it was yesterday. I had the hardest time opening my locker, so I just left it open. I also got lost twice trying to find my classes. As the day passed by, I realized I really did not like the new school I was at. Nothing against Jacksonville, the school just was not meant for me. I had lots of friends there already, but I never saw them because they had different classes and schedules. I disliked my classes I was taking, and half of my teachers were coaches. Jacksonville also sets their air conditioning on what feels like fifty-five degrees. It felt like Antarica in each of the classrooms and cafeteria. After the first day, I already knew that Jacksonville did not fit me or my personality.

Lots of people told me “just stick it out” or “it will get better; give it a couple of days,” but deep down inside, I already knew I was going to be miserable there. I just had a gut feeling that I was not going to be happy at Jacksonville. It was not the fact that I hated public school or that I could not stick it out because I was a wimp. I had been to public school before and knew what it was like, so Jacksonville was not a complete shock for me. So, after a long two days and two hours at Jacksonville High School, I made the decision to come back to The Donoho School. I knew it was the best choice for me and what I wanted. There were several reasons why I wanted to come back: the teachers, classes, opportunities, and just being prepared for college. 

I came back to Donoho the following Monday. Of course everyone made fun of me, laughed at me, and whispered about me, but I was expecting that. I mean, who would not talk about the girl who went to a school for two days and two hours? I answered many questions: “You’re back already?,” “You go here now?,” “What even happened?,” “How long were you there for?” I felt like a fish in an aquarium, being pointed and stared at. Although it was pretty embarrassing, I got over it pretty quickly because I was prepared for all the stares and laughs. Looking back at it, it was pretty funny. I mean, I did not even go to Jacksonville for a full week. 

This experience has taught me many valuable life lessons and shaped me into who I am. For example, always trust your gut feeling. I knew Jacksonville was not the place for me from day one, and I am forever grateful that I could transfer back to Donoho. Another lesson I have learned is that “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” I thought leaving for another school would make me happier, but I was completely wrong. Just because you are not happy at a place does not mean you should leave for another. I also learned how to deal with being laughed at, whispered about, and constantly questioned. Going to a school for two days and two hours taught me a lot about myself, and it has made me stronger, more aware, and appreciative. 

As a senior looking back on my experience, I laugh about it all the time. Sure, I still get made fun of for it, but it is something worth laughing at. Even though my poor parents wasted a lot of money, I am very thankful for the two-day and two-hour experience at Jacksonville. It taught me a lot, and it made me realize how truly lucky we are at Donoho for the opportunities, teachers, and small close-knit community we have. 

Please click on the arrow below to hear Kaitlyn’s Senior Reading.