Warrior Words: The first of many good-byes

Now that I am coming to the end of my senior year, so many things that have been constant in my life will also come to the end. This will be my last ever Warrior Words column and I’d like to thank anyone that ever took the time to read and consider what a 17-year-old kid had to say. I moved to Wilton at the age of 12, and my first day at Middlebrook marched into my 7 Green classroom wearing cargo shorts, a flashy T-shirt, and ankle socks. Needless to say I didn’t fit in very well with my preppy, Vineyard Vines-clad classmates, yet they welcomed me nonetheless. Five years later I’m preparing to say good-bye to these same people.
Last week my guidance counselor asked me if I was “so ready to get out of here,” and my honest answer was no. I am 100% dreading leaving Wilton. I can’t wait to go to college and meet new people and have new experiences. But I could definitely stand to spend more time in this town. I feel like a little kid at an amusement park who is forced to leave before he has time to go on every ride he wants to. My time here is dwindling much too quickly.
I think the scariest thing about going to college is that the little things in my life will change. I’m prepared to handle bigger changes like meeting new people, living in a different part of country, or spending the majority of my time away from home. But I don’t think anything can prepare me for the little changes in my life because eventually, those will add up to become the biggest change. There are so many features in this small town that I don’t think I can find anywhere else.
For starters I’m going to miss football games at Tom Fujitani Field, and basketball games in the field house. I’m going to miss the Wilton-Ridgefield rivalry and a Barcelona on a sub from the Wilton Deli. I’m going to miss getting into friendly arguments with hall monitors about spending free periods in the hallways, and getting into much more heated arguments with my friends about the latest sports controversy. And, of course, I’m going to miss sunsets on the Wilton High School baseball field, and the coaches and teammates that made them so much fun.
Next year there will be a new batch of seniors. There will be new Homecoming Kings and Queens, a new set of colleges, and even more good-byes. Every year Wilton High School sends more than 300 of its best and brightest off to some of the best colleges and universities in the country, and not surprisingly, the vast majority always choose to come back. So as I say just the first of many good-byes I’d like to encourage you to always appreciate the little things in this town. And of course, I will be back.

Jackson Ward is a senior in Wilton High School. He shares this column with four classmates.