As my first year at Groton came to an end, I found myself immersed in a mixture of feelings. Saying goodbye to the graduating Sixth Formers and to my Third Form dorm was bittersweet. Until that last day, I never realized how much I would miss the people and things which I had grown to take for granted over the course of the year. I realized, though, how much I have to be excited for in the years to come. I was excited to take Fourth Form classes, especially chemistry, and room with one of my closest friends! I knew that the summer would give me the opportunity to rest, catch up with some old friends, and explore some of my interests separate from school. Before I was even aware, I was hugging my friends goodbye and almost flying down the path to catch the bus to the airport. Stowing my giant suitcase, I took a last look at the Circle, the woods, and the brick buildings. What had at first seemed so beautiful yet alien, was now as familiar to me as my old neighborhood back home. Shaking myself from this reverie, I boarded the bus.
Flying into the San Francisco International Airport is never dull. A friend of my mom’s jokes that all arriving flights are always delayed due to the constant fog cover, lovingly named Karl by the natives. While landing, it always seems like the plane is going to touch down on water because the landing strip juts out into the bay. No matter how many flights I take, I can never lose the habit of gripping the armrests until the land appears to catch our wheels at just the right instant.
Leaving the plane and entering the terminal, I felt like I was home already. Maybe it’s the cafes with sourdough bread or the modern art on every wall, but there is an unmistakable feeling to San Francisco that is unlike any other place I have traveled. After a six-hour flight, I was finally home with my family. Although I was overjoyed to be home, my Groton friends and the Circle never seemed to leave the back of my mind.