As I walk into school, donning my senior jersey, I am in utter disbelief. Somehow, I had become the old and mature senior I looked up to when I was in seventh grade, and it didn't make sense. Throughout the day, my friends and I would share overwhelmed glances across the room, not understanding how time had moved so fast; we just did not feel old enough. Though
there was an air of shock and confusion the whole day, I felt excited to experience this huge milestone and right of passage. From the first bell to the last, we were all talking about the excitement of it all; Israel, college, and finally being the oldest in the school. But we couldn't help but get nostalgic.
With thinking about all these upcoming opportunities comes the inevitable: graduation and leaving the nest. Looking around at my grade as we sat together on the floor during the opening assembly, I was surrounded by people I had known since age zero. Friends I had known for years, and spent more time with than with my parents. The thought of leaving them, which came up often throughout the day, was terrifying. In the middle of the day, my mom texted me a photo of me and two friends, smiling as we walked into the Lower School on the first day on Kindergarten. As I looked at the old picture, I thought about how old I felt, and how I'd truly grown up at JDS. To be honest, I spent much of my last first day feeling panicked about having to leave JDS. As I now reflect on this feeling, I am immensely grateful to have grown up in such a loving, warm community that I never want to leave, and when the time comes, I know that JDS has equipped me well for whatever the future might bring.
Dora Mendelson (Grade 12) is the last of three siblings to graduate CESJDS. All lifers, sisters Claire and Ellie graduated in 2014 and 2016, respectively.