I remember when George School first felt like home around Christmas, the time I thought I would be most homesick. It was my first holiday season at George School and I began to get anxious because it was my first few months at school and I didn’t know who to spend the time with. The week before we left for winter break, all the dorm parents were being super secretive and suspicious, but I paid it no mind. I didn’t know what was happening until I woke up at 9:00 a.m. to the strange sounds of teenage screams blended with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” I opened my door to find a mug with my name on it with all my favorite chocolates in it. It was nice to see someone put effort into making a gift specifically for me. I stepped into the hall which was decorated into a Winter Wonderland. then I realized this was the secret that they were hiding.
The dorm parents and prefects had stayed up at night, decorated, and prepared a Christmas surprise for the dorm. Excited to see more, I rushed down to the lobby to find a great breakfast spread next to a very festive tree with tons of presents under it. Our dorm parents told us that the gifts under the tree were for us. To our surprise, we opened the gifts to find our very own personal dorm hoodie.
It was so nice of the residential life community to bring the tradition of unwrapping gifts to the dorm even though it wasn’t Christmas. After the gifts, we all sat, ate, drank hot cocoa, and told tons of Christmas stories. I got to know more about the girls in the dorm as well as their backgrounds. The event allowed me to not only feel the Christmas spirit but also to feel the community of the dorm. I will always appreciate the dorm staff coming together to give us an unforgettable dorm experience to help us feel more comfortable and acquainted with the dorm.
After that experience, my feeling of homesickness slowly started to diminish. My dorm had become my second home, I interacted with my peers more, and even my dorm parents. I also started to become more involved in helping out the dorm community. I began to realize that George School wasn’t only a high school but a caring community and will forever be my second home.
Idalis Walker-Descartes ’21 is a peer leader and a boarding student from New York.