Warrior Words: Farewell, Wilton

Given this is the final article that I will write for The Bulletin as a Warrior Words columnist, it seems only fitting that I take this opportunity to say good-bye to Wilton. How can I begin to bid farewell to a town and a community which has brought me up since day one of my very existence? This notion has plagued my mind for the past several weeks. For the vast majority of this school year, college talk has been just that: chatter and curiosity about what the future may hold for each member of the senior class. However, what once lay far ahead of us in a distant future, and seemed like somewhat of a mirage, is now in full focus and is hurtling toward us with no signs of deceleration. I could choose one of several angles for the following column: the “hysterical panic” angle, in which I would discuss each and every thing I dread about moving far away from the place in which I drew my first breaths, or the “heartbreaking distress” perspective, which would include descriptions of the despair I feel regarding my “too-soon” departure from my childhood. In this particular situation, however, I would prefer to reminisce about Wilton’s distinguishing characteristics. So here it goes.

The first thing that comes to mind is Starbucks (probably because of the fact that, as I type with my right hand, my left clutches the plastic cup that holds the greatest combination of ingredients on God’s green earth). While I am eternally grateful that Starbucks Coffee is an enormous chain with multiple locations in nearly every town in the country, I will forever miss the customer service provided to me by the Wilton branch. Upon walking into the café at the same time every day, the barista knows my order down to the number of ice cubes. For any baristas-in-training looking for work in Evanston, it’s a grande skim light ice chai tea latte for the petite brunette at 7:52 a.m. Start memorizing.

While on the subject of food, it would be unjust to neglect to mention the countless nights spent laughing and sucking down black and white milkshakes until Orem’s needed to shut the doors and turn off the lights for the night. Orem’s and Hunan Café alike have hosted some of my most memorable Wilton moments which I will cherish through the following years when I must tackle the foreignness of dining halls and deep-dish pizza restaurants.

Of course, I must mention some Wilton High School memories. Not that I would ever break a rule set by the administration, but if I were to do something so heinous, it would likely include unauthorized trips to the Wilton Deli, my home away from home, during school hours. In this entirely hypothetical situation, the act of “breaking out of jail” would have provided an intense thrill. Other imaginary instances of Wilton High School adrenaline-pumping activity include hiding behind bookshelves in the school library while attempting to scarf down a sandwich without the librarians catching sight of the consumer and banishing him or her to the cafeteria (dungeon?).

All jokes aside (since they were all jokes — I have never once broken school rules), the closeness of the Wilton community is something I will surely miss. We have witnessed no shortage of tragedy throughout our school years, and the reactions to the calamities have manifested the strength of the support system that exists here. The community does not rally only in difficult times, but also for ordinary events. Be it through Acoustic Wilton, Relay for Life, or the pancake breakfast at the annual Memorial Day parade, Wilton shows its communion 365 days per year. This sense of community is something I’ve come to value highly from my years in Wilton and I will never take it for granted. This town and its inhabitants have brought me up, taught me invaluable lessons and have amply equipped me with the means to be a responsible and scrupulous adult. Farewell, friends. Farewell, family. Farewell, Wilton.

Nicole Berg is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.