Dear Wilton High School,Thank you for fostering my love of acquiring knowledge for the past four years and creating a foundation in which I could grow beyond the confines of the classroom and this tiny town we call home. Thank you for providing me with the best teachers I\ufe0f could ask for, that not only embodied passion, but also wished to connect with students on a personal level. For providing us with teachers who will be flexible with testing and aim to alleviate the stress of their students. Thank you for teaching me unity and solidarity by showing me that freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, can all come together, whether it be during spirit week or during sporting events. Thank you for allowing me to take learning beyond the classroom and showing me that there is a whole world out there to explore, whether it be a field trip to Bridgeport Superior Court in my law class or to the Norwalk River during APES. Thank you for teaching me the importance of friendships, I can safely say that at the high school I have met some of my closest friends and some unlikely friends. Thank you for teaching me how to have a strong work ethic and preparing me for college in every way possible by providing me with resources to better myself in the future. Thank you for giving us electives that are useful and fun. Whether it be public speaking, which helped me get over lingering apprehensions from my speech impediment and my fear of presenting, or culinary which sends the school into a frenzy with the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies every Friday. Thank you for teaching me that our worth stretches far beyond a grade in PowerSchool and that one grade will not make or break your life or entire high school career. In addition to making friends, thank you for teaching me that it's perfectly normal to grow apart from old friendships because people change. Thank you for teaching me how to get ready with minimal time to catch a few more z's until my emergency alarm that's set for 7:15 goes off or how to take five-minute power naps in my frees to gain a little bit of energy from lack of sleep. Thank you for teaching me passion and helping me realize that you shouldn't just join activities and do acts of kindness simply to put it on a resume. Thank you for teaching me how to pack up before last period and to run to the other side of the building so that I can beat the JLot and SLot afternoon traffic. Thank you for teaching me to cherish every moment because time speeds up and slows down at the opposite times you want them to, so I have learned to study hard, try my best, and love every opportunity and memory that I make with my peers, friends, and mentors. I could ramble about all the valuable lessons that WHS has taught me but the most important one is that I learned how to believe in myself and my abilities, whether it be feeling confident before a test or knowing I have what it takes to accomplish whatever I desire. Four years, 720 days, and 4,680 hours I have been in the high school (excluding a few absences) and until this moment I have never looked back and said thank you. So, thank you Wilton High school for shaping me into the student I am today and the person I will be in the future, for as John Dewey said, "Education is not the preparation for life; education is life itself." Maya Fazio is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.