Thank You for Everything, Prep

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.


Kate Ridgeway, Editor-in-Chief

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

Over the past several months, I have frequently revisited this phrase. In all honestly, I don’t feel ready to leave Seattle Prep. I’m excited for college, freedom, and new adventures, but the thought of leaving the people and community I have spent the last four years surrounded by makes graduation very bittersweet.

Flashback to four years ago, I was a fresh-faced, clueless freshman who only knew three other incoming students. I envisioned floating through the four years, enjoying assemblies, golf and lacrosse seasons, football games, dances, and making new friends. I never imagined being faced with a pandemic or the relentless mental health challenges I would soon feel my high school experience being defined by.

When thinking back on the things I will miss about Prep, my mind strangely goes back to about a year and a half ago when I was a junior. I was knee-deep in a battle with depression, anxiety, and OCD, my dad was in and out of the hospital, and on top of that, I was juggling hybrid school.

For the first time in my life, I felt like I had lost all confidence in myself. It was like my mind was a chrome browser with ten tabs open, and I couldn’t figure out which tab the music was coming from. I wanted nothing more than to be at school every day with my friends, but I couldn’t get myself to go to class. I was at rock bottom.

I think back on this time because it was the turning point of when I knew Prep had my back.

When I struggled to do the simplest of things, countless people in the Prep community rallied around me. My teachers supported me in setting aside time to help me understand material I had missed. My classmates, teammates, and friends all opened their arms to provide a shoulder to cry on or a laugh to share. And most impactful, my counselor and the LRC staff kept me afloat when all I felt like doing was sinking.

At the time, I didn’t understand the caliber of the support everyone was working overtime to provide me with. I didn’t express gratitude to those helping me because I honestly didn’t want the support. But looking back on that time, I can see how those people shaped my life for the better. For that, I am eternally grateful for Prep and all the wonderful people here.

Given all this, how can I so easily walk away on May 27th? Knowing that all the hugely impactful teachers, staff, and classmates will soon become a memory for me is gut-wrenching. But I think the best thing I can do is just be thankful for my time here.

As former editors Lauren Day ’20 and Cece Brown ’21 have said in past senior editorials, I want to think of graduation as not a goodbye but a “see you later.” The people, memories, and community at Prep will stay with me forever. They have taught me to be resilient and take every obstacle I face as a new opportunity to grow. Those things don’t go away.

So, see you later Prep. Thanks for the lessons, the adversity, and the memories. It’s sure been a good ride.