Halfway Day

Recently, I reached a pretty big milestone in my Groton career: halfway day. What this means is exactly what it sounds like—I am exactly halfway through my five years at Groton. Since we first arrived on the Circle two-and-a-half years ago for Second Form, the twenty-five or so of my original formmates and I have been through seven Surprise Holidays, five exam weeks, five formals, two Prize Days, countless Parlors, Roll Calls, chapels, long dinners, short breakfasts, check-ins, late night spontaneous dance parties, and so on. It’s been quite the journey, and to celebrate all the ups and downs, the original Second Form decided to take a picture.

We took the picture in the Schoolroom, where we once spent a great deal of time, especially during study hall in Second Form. Nowadays, I barely even set foot in the Schoolroom at all. Being back after so long caused memories to come flooding back to me, and so did seeing all of my Second Form together again. Although I’ve kept many of my closest friends from Second Form, I can’t pretend that I’ve totally kept in touch with all of them either. Somewhere in the craziness of Groton, I’ve lost touch with some of my formmates from Second Form. So this was also a time for me to catch up with them.

But apart from taking a trip down memory lane, halfway day also got me thinking about my time at Groton as a whole. The concept of time in the context of Groton is a funny one. There are the two minutes at the end of last period on Friday that seem to stretch on for ages, as well the twenty minutes of check-in, where all the laughter and conversation makes it feel an hour long. There’s also the two weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break, when all the work picks up and you go through the longest two weeks of your life, not to mention the three long weeks of spring break that make it so that when you return to Groton, you feel like you’ve been away for years.

But with all these relatively small expanses of minutes, days, or weeks, we never really think about our time at Groton as a whole very much. From all the chapel talks I’ve heard, it seems like it all doesn’t hit you until the last moments of your senior year—just how much time you have spent at this one place. For me, this will be five years. Five whole years. And just the thought that I’ve already lived through half of that time is almost daunting. I’ve come so far, but at the same time, I’ve got so far to go. And while minutes and weeks may drag on, half of a Groton career—two-and-a-half years—flies by quickly. It only seems like yesterday when I first arrived on the Circle, not knowing what to do, what to expect, or anything at all. If only I’d known about all the twists and turns that’d be thrown at me through the next two-and-a-half years.

At the fall athletic banquet this year, the head coach of the football team said something that I realized really applied to my current situation. Speaking to his team, he noted how they were “halfway up the mountain,” while reminding them that “the second half is the hardest part.” While we all laughed at the time, turning it into a school-wide inside joke of sorts, he couldn’t be more correct. In a blink of the eye, I’ve made it halfway up the mountain. But it’s far from over. Groton’s still got a lot in store for me, even more challenging than what I’ve already been through. I’m only getting started.