Warrior Words: Throwback Thursday

As I write this, I have one day left of high school. I am sad that my years in the Wilton schools have come to an end, but also ecstatic that, as you are reading this, I haven’t been in school for two weeks. To be honest, it took me quite a while to decide what to write about in my last column. I’ve already touched on my experiences on the athletic field, in the classroom, and with the never-ending college process that continued to surprise me until the very end. I tried to think of a single memory, to sum up my Wilton experience in a nutshell, but I couldn’t. Each time a thought came to mind, another one instantly followed. A stream of memories played out as though I was watching a montage of my schooldays. As it played in my head, I decided I would have a Throwback Thursday and write about a few of the highlights.

First up is kindergarten, when I still color-coordinated my outfits with my twin sister. If I could go back, I would have kept up that fashion gig for a few more years. Those were the simpler days when we did arts and crafts in the classroom just to leave an hour later to do it all again in the art room! We kept smocks in our lockers to avoid paint and paper maché stains on those precious matching outfits. Granted, I had no artistic ability, but the tranquility of making a flamingo mask that had no resemblance to a flamingo was oddly enjoyable. I wish I could have found a way to make those good old days last just a little bit longer. Maybe then my art creations would have actually resembled animals.

As third grade comes to mind, nostalgia sets in. One of my fondest memories is the carpool that drove from the south pick-up loop at Cider Mill to Merwin Meadows. Amid cleats, shin guards, and key-chain-clad backpacks, we piled into a different SUV every week to go play soccer in the muddy, buggy grass — it was perfect. Nine years later, as I find myself running past that same field with my track teammates, I watch the youth teams practice and realize that their Wilton experiences are still in front of them. My piece of advice: enjoy every carpool, every game, and every practice, especially the ones in the rain. Cherish every spot of mud you can find and never give up on the sports and activities that make you happy. When you step out on Lily Field for the first time to play as a WHS Warrior, everything leading up to it, and everything you will remember thereafter, will be worth it.

In middle school, we had our first taste of freedom and new experiences: switching classes by ourselves and picking where we sat at lunch. My acting debut was in middle school as well, in Six Green’s rendition of Aesop’s Fables. I delivered the moral of the story, “Look before you leap,” to an eager audience of parents and fellow sixth graders. In retrospect, it was fun to perform on stage. If I could go back to my middle school days, I wouldn’t have been as cautious all of the time. Most of my greatest memories happened when I left caution behind.

Fast forward a few years to high school, where we’ve all grown up, pursued our passions, and learned a little bit more about ourselves. If my life were a movie, this would be the time when a voiceover explains the meaning of all these memories and the importance of the people I share them with. As the credits roll, the names of every teacher, coach, and friend scrolls by and I acknowledge how people in this town have shaped me into the person that I am today. A special mention goes to my fellow seniors for making so many amazing memories that it’s too hard to focus on just one. Congratulations to the class of 2017! Now on to the sequel where more memories are waiting to be made.

Julia Vitarelli is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with four classmates.