The threshold of summer

It has been three weeks since I became an alumna of Greenwich Academy, and I have to admit that occasionally, graduating from high school does not feel very different from finishing any other year of school.

In fact, one aspect of concluding my senior year seems exactly the same as every other year as I am reminded how much I love summer. Even though I have technically been finished with classes for the past month, it does not diminish the impact of the arrival of summer.

In fact, my “extended summer” has made me value this time of year even more than I usually do. Now that Memorial Day celebrations are over and everyone has properly ushered in the warmer weather, I am ready to enjoy everything that comes with the extra hours of sunlight. One of the things that I love about the beginning of summer is the anticipation of what lies ahead.

I know I said that finishing senior year feels similar to ending any other year of school, there have also been times in the past three weeks when I have felt the impact of the finality of having completed high school. It hits me when I see the Greenwich Academy Alumnae Association bumper sticker I was given or when I realize that I won’t be receiving the “summer look” images from Greenwich Academy (these are two pieces of art that the teachers send out in the mail to GA upper school students in the summer and then explain in an assembly in the fall to provide everyone a little art history education).

Because I am now a “graduate,” this summer feels different for me and not just because it is the first summer in a long time that I do not have to worry about finishing driving school or some sort of standardized testing prep or just mentally steeling myself for applications that I will have to fill out in the fall.

This summer is unique because I especially want to enjoy being at home with family and friends.

I know that when I leave for college that I am not leaving Greenwich permanently, but starting a new journey in the fall does create some uncertainty as to how many summers I have left with my family and friends in Greenwich.

Now that I have (almost) properly said good-bye to my high school (I still have yet to phase out the use of my Greenwich Academy email and return my student key), I feel a need to appreciate summertime in Greenwich as much as I relished my last weeks at Greenwich Academy.

This summer I want to savor everything that I take for granted about the warmer months in Greenwich. I even want to remember to utilize my proximity to New York City, a luxury that I will not have next year. I want to make sure to enjoy all my favorite ice cream stores, my runs around Tod’s Point, playing golf with my dad, some lazy deep reading on the beach and savor just how easy it is to get a parking spot on Greenwich Avenue post sidewalk-sale frenzy.

Perhaps the strangest part of my summer vacation so far has been filling out the many prematriculation forms that have to be completed before I leave for school. From housing applications to identity verifications, the amount of paperwork that has to be completed astonishes me.

Working on these forms has made me especially nostalgic about spending this summer in Greenwich, but also excited for what awaits me in the fall. One of the hallmarks about being at the threshold of summer is that it feels like this special season will never end.

However, I am not going to be tricked this year and will make sure to appreciate every day of this emotional summer, charged with farewells and new beginnings colliding.

Maggie Carangelo is now officially a graduate of Greenwich Academy.

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