Westwood Academy is known as one of the most prodigious boarding schools for girls.
Every logo had the words "For Girls" printed with it, I thought that meant it was set in stone.
Obviously not though when my friends and I are walking across campus and we see and sign entitling the newly built building the "Boys Dorms" which was printed in silver on the sign.
I had kept thinking that I had to be some mistake but I knew it wasn't when it was announced a few hours later at dinner. When the dean made them all stand up so we could welcome them, everyone clapped, except for me.
Boys weren't supposed to be here. One of the reasons I left public school was to get away from the immaturity of boys at this age, but here they were.
Why hadn't there been an annoucement a but this? Some type of warning. I wanted an explantion
I could already see girls at other tables completely forgetting about the meal in front of them as the drooled over the boys, my friends included in that. I looked around for anyone that may be against this like I am, but of course there wasn't.
Boys were going to be a complete distraction for everyone. This was one of the most important years for me, my senoir year, and I didn't want a bunch of boys who didn't belong here getting in the way for that.
The way it is right now, everyone staring at them, was the why that it was probably going to be for awhile until the newness of them faded, although it never really would fade.
I was determined to not let them get in my way though. If all the other girls wanted to fall all over them then fine. I was instructed to focus on my grades and grade alone. I wasn't going to let the presence of the new gender stop me from having a memorable last year. No boys, no relationships.
This school year was going to be focused on education and making great memories with my friends. I wasn't even going to let a boy talk to me.
I thought that was how the year was going to go, but damn was I wrong.
“Just be yourself,” my mother said to me, as if it were that easy, which it isn’t.
She tells me the same thing every year before she dropped me off at Westwood Academy the boarding school I attended. I wasn’t exactly a very popular student at the school, but I had my group of friends so it was all good.
“You give her that advice every year and you wonder why she has no friends. Telling her to be herself is the worst advice you could give,” my younger brother Luke, advised from his spot in the back seat.
“Shut it asshole,” I said to him from the front seat.
Getting rid of him for the school year was one of the big things I looked forward to about the summer ending. Thankfully Westwood was an all girls school so my ass of a brother couldn’t go even if he did already meet the age requirements.
After my mom scolded both of us, me in particular for my language, she got back telling me what she always told me before I could finally get out of the car. She continuously insisted that she park and had on campus with me for registration, but of course Luke and I were quick to tell her no.
It’s bad enough that hardly anyone on campus knows who I am, I didn’t want to be that girl who still has her mom come with her to registration, then people would know who I was for all the reason I did not want. I gave my mum a heartfelt good bye before she could continue any longer with the same rambling she always did when dropping me off and I waved to my brother.
I got out of the car and breathed in the familiar scent of pine that could only belong to the campus of Westwood Academy.
My mom had popped the trunk for me and I pulled out my suitcase, which was the biggest one that I had found to buy online and it was stuffed to the very top with my clothes. Along with that I took out a duffle bag and another smaller bag filled with other stuff I needed. I struggled to wave to my mom since my hands were full with my luggage as she finally drove away and I walked towards the entrance of the academy along with all the other girls who’s parents had just dropped them off.
It wasn’t very easy to carry all of this stuff with me, but it beat having my mom out here with me. It’s not just being a senior with your mom walking you to registration that was embarrassing, it was also the fact that I knew my mom would have to make a scene about how much she would miss me even though I’ve been coming to this school for years, she does the same thing each time when we’re in the car.
I walked through the big black gate that was open today for everyone arriving, and I was finally on the campus, what I’ve been looking forward to since I stepped off campus last year for the summer. I was one of the few people that actually enjoyed school.
Most girls were just here because their parents made them or they wanted to get away from their parents. And while the last one may be partially true for me, I also loved the academics here. I had a huge smile plastered on my face as I walked up to the many registration tables.
I went to the one that was marked with an M for it being the first initial of my last name, Matthews. The line went quickly since everyone was eager to get through this part and get their dorms and go meet up with their friends.
When I was finally at the front of the line, I handed the lady my registration packet, and she gave me my ID badge and my schedule for the year.
“Don’t lose these,” she told me.
Of course I knew not to lose it but she was instructed to say that for the sake of all the new freshman joining this year. I’d look at my schedule later, right now, like almost everyone else; I was focused on getting my dorm room. I quickly walked to the next row of table to get my assigned dorm. The line here was longer because this was always the most exciting part about the first day here.
Once I was given my key and paper telling me where I was going to be, I hardly had to look at it because I already knew. I requested my same three friends every year for my dorm and I was always with them. Our dorms were set up by grade level, and I already knew where the senior dorms were, I just needed my room number and the key.
I made my way across the quad as I walked over to my dorm building. I laughed to myself as I watched all the freshman scurrying across the campus with their parents trying to figure out where all their classes were. I tried to walk faster to get to the building I was heading to, but it was hard carrying all my luggage with me.
I finally got there though, and I eagerly made my way onto the elevator with a few other girls. I checked my floor number on my paper, and then pressed the button marked with a 2. I was only in the elevator for a few seconds before I was on my floor. I followed the signs on the walls of the hallways that led me to my room, which was 140. I found my dorm and I didn’t need to bother with the key right now because the door was already wide open like most doors were on the first day when everyone was arriving.
“I’m here!” I announced as I stepped in the room and dropped my bags.
I heard a squeal and I automatically knew that that was Becca. She rushed over to me and gave me a big hug.
“Hey,” she said to me, she was always the first one to arrive at the dorm.
“Hey,” I said back as she pulled out of the bug.
“Is anyone else here yet?” I asked.
“Yep, Liz is in here,” she told me and pointed to one of the bunk beds and I say Liz sitting on the bottom one with her nose in a textbook already. She probably loved school more than anyone else I knew. Sure I enjoyed it, but not enough to get a head start over the summer.
“Please tell me you didn’t spend the summer memorizing textbooks,” I said to her as I moved my duffle bag to claim my top bunk.
“I didn’t memorize it,” Liz said defensively, “I just…read them,”
That was pretty much the same thing though since she basically had a photographic memory, one of the things I envied about her. I began to unpack my bedding so I could go ahead and start making my bed. Becca went back to decorating the room as she did every year as she complained that the dorms were too boring.
Down the hall I could hear Lindsay Alvarez explaining rather loudly to her dorm mates how Buenos Aires was just awesome in the summer and how amazing the beaches in Florida were. She always made a point to let everyone know how extravagant her summer breaks always were. Her dad was like some big business guy who brought in a ton of money for her family.
I always avoided having to talk about my summer, which was just spent hanging out at my house and volunteering at the community center, mostly as a lifeguard.
About twenty minutes later and I had my bed made and most of my clothes unpacked and hung in the closet.
“Where’s Christina?” I asked realizing that I haven’t seen her yet.
“Oh, she’s here already,” Becca said, but I knew that much already.
After all, it was kind of hard to miss Christina’s part of the closet with her designer clothes and her stash of ridiculously expensive skin care product already placed in the bathroom. She was almost as wealthy as Lindsay, but she never made an effort to show it. She only had all those designer clothes because her mother insisted that she wear them. Christina complains about it a lot, but if I were her I sure as hell wouldn’t.
“She’s down in the lounge,” Becca added.
A few more minutes passed and Liz and I were very impatiently waiting for Becca to finish up the last of her decorating so we could go down to the lounge and get Christina so the four of us could walk around campus.
Today was always the best day to walk around the campus, especially for the people like us who have been here for a while. As cruel as it may sound, I enjoyed watching the little freshman here run around trying to find everything. I couldn’t say that I wasn’t like that, because I was, but I now get why none of the older kids didn’t bother to help me.
“Okay I think I’m done for now,” Becca eventually said.
“Finally,” Liz said, and then the three of us grabbed our schedules and walked out of the dorm, making sure one of us had a key so we could get back in later.
We walked down the stairs to get to the lounge since taking the elevator wasn’t going to be as convenient right now with everyone arriving with all their bags. We rushed down the steps and followed Liz to the lounge since Becca and I weren’t really sure where it was yet. I had just gotten here and Becca has spent every minute since she arrived decorating, so neither of us have really gotten to explore yet.
I was excited to be in the senior dorms this year because they were the newest and the nicest of all the other buildings. I spotted Christina right away once we got down there, not many girls here had jet black hair like hers. Nobody looked quite like her; you could take one look at her and think she was part of Lindsay’s clique when the truth was I think she hated them more than we did.
“Christina get off your lazy ass,” Becca shouted as we walked in.
She turned away from the TV show that she was watching to turn to us.
“Hey!” she said with enthusiasm and turned off the TV before getting up from the couch.
“Got your schedule?” I asked her.
“Yep,” she said, “Now lets go see our classes and watch all the confused freshman,” she laughed and the four of us walked out of the building.