But I also remember the friends I made that first day, girls who invited me to sit on a blanket on the grassy hill during lunch. The words that were anxiously suppressed that morning bubbled up as I texted my mom about my day and told her that “
A year and a half later, that anxious feeling was back, deep in my belly. ASB elections were here! This meant I would have to stand on a lunch table and deliver a speech to the entire student body. I prayed hushed words to myself as I stood next to my best friend who was speaking after me. My mom had even secretly parked in an adjacent lot and had rolled down her windows to hear me. As nervous as I was, I found my voice again that day, speaking impassioned words to faculty and friends about my love for Linfield and how I wanted to serve this place.
In the years that followed, I took the stage many more times. I stood in front of the people I loved, my Linfield family, to dedicate class gifts, to lead award ceremonies, and to encourage my class to fight during the Great Race. I even sang the fight song next to our Head of School at graduation as we ceremoniously tossed our caps in the air.
Then several years ago, I found myself on a similar stage, but this time I was officially the Assistant Director of Admissions at Linfield. Working at my alma mater was never something I had planned. But there I was as a college graduate, having come full circle by speaking at the New Family BBQ, praying over the night and for the nerves of the 150 new students who were about to start their Linfield journey. I saw myself in their eyes, their worries written all over their faces as they looked onto this new start with apprehension. I watched as their moms looked on, eager to take away the anxiety and make it all okay for their kids. I answered questions about uniforms and dress code, pointed out where drop off would take place, and alleviated fears about what it would be like to be a new kid.
But then the perks of my job really began! I got to celebrate as I heard the words bubble out of them throughout the school year. They raved about how much they loved Linfield and the friends they had made. I got to cheer them on as they stood on stages of their own, making impassioned speeches about making this place they love even better. I watched as they went to Mexico and served their community, as they excelled in their classes, made deep friendships, won athletic championships, and performed brilliantly in school performances.
I recently left my position at Linfield to stay home with my young children, but I hope my kids find opportunity like I found at Linfield. I can’t wait to pray over them as they head to school one day, probably feeling anxious about making new friends and fitting in, and more than anything, I hope they get to do that at the school I love, surrounded by people who I know will cheer them on and give them the confidence to find their voice like I did.