The crazy community I have come to love
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Some may find it bizarre to walk into a clump of hacky-sacking seniors, yelling at you as you push your way through the madness to the safe haven of your locker. For me, this intimidating scene is a normal, everyday occurrence. But even after spending 13 years with these people, I have yet to become accustomed to it all.
The culture of my grade is hard to pinpoint, because between mosh-pitting around caterpillars and holding bottle flip competitions in the alcove, the Class of 2017 is without a doubt very unusual. I’ll admit it, I’m terrified to leave my safety net and move on to a new community in an entirely unfamiliar setting, but what makes this transition even scarier is leaving such a unique group of people. Yes, we all know CESJDS cultivates ‘motivated, spirited, and deep-thinking leaders who share a love for learning and for Eretz Yisrael,’ but what many fail to highlight is that JDS also fosters an environment in which people can reach this new level of uniqueness without much outside pressure to conform. It’s this bizarreness which has become so normal to me that I can’t imagine leaving.
I’m afraid that the future places I go and people I meet won’t reach these beautifully abnormal standards, and that I’m not prepared for whatever reality lies on the road ahead. Will I be socially inept in college? Do people similar to these crazy human beings exist elsewhere? How am I supposed to act around people who behave “differently” — and in many senses — “more normally?”
I’m scared to leave JDS even more so because this unusual environment is all I’ve known for the past 13 years, and I’ve established my membership in the grade: a community with which I can share my quirks. I’m not yet accustomed to it all and I likely never will be, but no matter what social scene is thrown at me in the unpredictable future, I’m sure the unique culture of my grade will forever be embedded in who I am at the core.