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Think you’ve outgrown the sisterhood? Think again.

STA will raise you up and catch you if you fall -- you just have to be open to it.

by Linden O'Brien-Williams, Editor-in-Chief

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Four buildings dwarf the full, green trees that surround the grassy four corners of the quad. A fair-skinned blur drops her oversized red backpack onto one of the rounded corners of the quad, props it at a 45 degree angle, and tests the classic ground-level STA backpack lean position for the first time.

Dancing through her brain are thoughts of that weekend’s freshman mixer – specifically, how she is going to apply foundation for the very first time. She’s thinking about learning the rules of Eclipse ball, who to sit next to in the daunting freshman acting class… She’s strategizing making friends, she’s focusing on her “huge homework load” class by class, learning to get the grade… She’s looking out at her peers, trying to name each girl.

Dancing through her brain are thoughts that matter little – she is bombarded with “new” and this is her best attempt to wrestle with the change. Each detail is one she will forget in a week, a month, a year… This is her limited perspective. And although her background is strong and firm, this is where she is for now – and she doesn’t know how much she doesn’t know.

A few years go by, and the narrative changes.

This time, the fair-skinned blur is a defined young woman. She rests on a smaller gray and pink backpack. She can name her peers, her values, her knowledge… She could probably even name the blades of grass she rests in alongside her peers.

As she lays in a secure cove, surrounded by a lacy building to her back, a strong tree in front, a brick fortress to her left, her thoughts are monumentally different from those of her freshman self.

A few weeks before, she was beginning to feel that she had outgrown “high school” – the four buildings around the grassy quad dwarfed in comparison to her – she was done with the limitations, done with the restrictions. She was about ready to kick them down like a toddler destroys a block tower.

But as she rests in the cove, she feels small again. She is guided in meditation. She thinks first of the tree above her – how it overshadows her and protects her. She thinks of her school from an aerial view – she is again a fair-skinned blur. She thinks of her city, her planet, the collection of planets that form the collection of solar systems that form the collection of galaxies that form the universe we know – she realizes how they dwarf her.

She thinks of how small she is, and she thinks of how she had no idea she was so small before learning about her planet and the universe it is a part of – along with all the stuff that makes her universe meaningful.

She used to gaze up at the leaves in the well-kept trees of the quad and ponder her next class, her grades, her current state. Now, when she’s in the right state of mind, she loses herself. The four buildings of STA’s campus are not simple block towers. They are strong steps with strong foundations. Year one, a freshman will rise up to the roof of Donnelly, the science and math hub, learning the basaszes of fact and research. Year two, she leaps over to Goppert, athletic headquarters – equipped with inner and outer strength. The next year, she is ready for the deeper, philosophical, artistic encounters with the world – she flies over to the Music and Arts building. Her final year, she has been around the track, taken the laps she needs to take. She steps onto Windmoor, the newest of the buildings, the building facing out to the rest of the world.

She steps onto Windmoor, and after a year, she is ready – she jumps upward and outward. Should anything happen, though, she is not worried. She has made her way around the quad, and she knows now that the four stepping stones to get her ready to leave serve another purpose – they hold the sturdy ropes that make up the net to catch her, should she ever fall.

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The student news site of St. Teresa's Academy
Think you’ve outgrown the sisterhood? Think again.