THE SKIER SCRIBBLER

A tribute to Aspen

The+view+from+the+Aspen+Mountain+Sundeck+this+winter.
The view from the Aspen Mountain Sundeck this winter.

The view from the Aspen Mountain Sundeck this winter.

Photo by Jordan Fox

Photo by Jordan Fox

The view from the Aspen Mountain Sundeck this winter.

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Recently I went down a rabbit hole of reminiscing that involved going through all the old photos and letters in my room. In addition to bringing back a flood of old memories, it reminded me how close I am to finally graduating and how far we have all come.

After 13 years of new adventures, the class of 2018 is starting to come to the end of its final year. Every day brings the end of another high school tradition as we countdown to graduation: the last IB test, the last sporting event, and eventually the last time we will walk the halls of the Aspen High School as students. For years I have looked forward to getting out of this small town, but, now, in this period of limbo, I’m stuck reminiscing on my incredible time here while preparing to enter into the “real world”. Next year, the friends I have grown up with will disperse across the world – a thought that terrifies me.

Every day we are reminded of how fortunate we are to live in Aspen, yet we still take it for granted. Our school is surrounded by views that people travel thousands of miles to see. There are so many mountains, in fact, that when you are practicing on the turf and your lacrosse coach tells you to face the mountains, you have to inquire as to which one she is referring to. A place so beautiful that other teams ask in astonishment if this is where you get to practice. A place where you worry more about bears breaking into your house than people, and seeing elk and rabbits is a common occurrence. A place where a public school dedicates a week to giving students an outdoor education, allowing them to explore their surroundings and form new friendships.

I don’t know what I am going to do next year when I am not surrounded by mountains or when I have to deal with the infamous east coast winters. I mean what is the point of snow if you can’t ski on it? Change is scary, but it is also exhilarating. Next year I will get to start a new adventure, one with completely new people and obstacles. I will get to explore a new city and learn about anything that interests me in addition to finding out if I am actually equipped to survive on my own. After spending 18 years under my parent’s roof, the promise of independence is exhilarating.

While I was going through the boxes in my room, I stumbled upon the letter my dad wrote me while I was on my eighth grade solo. One of the lines read, “In times of change, we have to rely on our integrity, the foundations of who we are and our solid bedrock beliefs, while also accepting new possibilities and outcomes. It is a tricky balancing act, but one that I know you are especially ready for.” I don’t think I understood its true value when I first read it while shivering in my sleeping bag years ago, but now I understand that no matter where I go, the lessons this community has taught me will always serve as my foundation.

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