Would it start when I was four years old, reading a picture book on my own for the first time, not knowing that in ten years I would read some of the most difficult books ever written?
Would I write about my middle school years, when I started to question my faith in God, not knowing that asking questions would soon be the very thing that would help me keep my faith?
Would I begin my story when I was five years old, walking into Mrs. Dollard’s Kindergarten and 1st grade class, not knowing that this was the school that I would graduate from?
I’ve grown a lot since I first came to CHA twelve years ago. I will always be grateful for the time I spent here. I am especially thankful for all the books I’ve read, no matter how hard they were. Every author had something new to teach me.
Aristotle taught me rhetoric and how to argue persuasively and effectively.
John Locke explained natural law and why democracy is the best option for government.
Einstein described the theory of relativity and the mathematics of the universe.
And when I needed a break, Oscar Wilde provided comedy and a chance for my class to show off our acting skills.
Classes were only one part of my story. I made some amazing friendships that I will never forget. I participated in many different afterschool activities. I took art classes, acted in plays, and even learned some sign language—the list goes on and on. Every one of these things fits into my story. Every one of these things helped make me the person I am today.
Sometimes I wonder if my story would be different had I gone to public school. Would I be prepared for college? Would I have had time to do all of my favorite activities? Would I even still be a Christian? But to quote C. S. Lewis, “No one is ever told what would have happened”. And I can accept that.
Now that I am graduating, one question remains: What next? My education at CHA is only the first chapter of my story. Soon I’ll be starting college, but I don’t know where I’ll be twenty or ten or even five years from now. I might have children someday, or I might not even be married. I could still live in Maryland, or I could be halfway around the world. Maybe I’ll design some new piece of technology. Maybe I’ll be the lead singer in a rock band.
I am ready for college, partly because I’ve already taken some college classes, but mostly because of all my wonderful tutors. CHA really was the best place for me, which makes it even harder for me to say goodbye. But it’s time for me to take the next step, to continue writing the story of my life. Today, armed with the knowledge I’ve gained through experience and discussions and lots of reading, I prepare to face the real world.
A chapter of my life is coming to an end. And it is time to turn the page and begin a new one.