By: Feriel Terras (YES 2019-2020, Tunisia, hosted by PAX in Fountaintown, IN)
The last month has undeniably been a global nightmare for everyone, whoever they may be and wherever they are in the world. However, for us exchange students, I think the hardest part is how something so unexpected stole the rest of our program year, and left us longing for closure.
If I had known when I left for spring break a couple weeks ago that it would be my last time at school, I would have stayed a little longer to say goodbye to the hallways I walked in every day for months as I hurried to my classes. I would have walked in the gym one last time to honor the countless late nights I spent with some of my best friends cheering for our basketball team. I would have thanked the teachers that taught me so much, and made me feel so welcome when I was so far away from home. I would have stepped in the band room where some of my greatest memories were created. Oh how I will miss band.
I still remember when someone asked our teacher who was the "new girl" on my first day, and the teacher explained, “I want everyone to give Feriel a warm welcome! She’s our new exchange student from Tunisia, Africa.” All of a sudden the students looked at me with so much confusion, which was honestly pretty funny. I didn’t expect the great friendships that I made so quickly in that class. Maybe this will sound a bit cheesy, but I believe all the kids in band have something so extraordinarily chaotic that unites us all. Our diversity, but most of all our passion and love for music creates a perfect, yet chaotic medley.
So here’s to the early morning practices when we all complained about, but we knew would only wake up that early for band. Here’s to the endless puns about “taking note and taking the stand.” Here’s to not being able to sleep the night before a contest because everything had to be perfect, and that one section just had too many flats. Here’s to the friends I will not get to hug or see again, because we had our last rehearsal without knowing it. This all ended so soon, too soon. When we said goodbye, we only meant after break, so this just hurts terribly. I should’ve realized that opening this wound and writing about this was going to make my tears fall down my face like Niagara Falls, but it sure as heck is something worth crying about.