“Embrace new chances at happiness every opportunity you get.”

Emilee Holscher, Web Editor

Home isn’t just a place where you lay your head at night or the address on your driver’s license. A home is created by the memories made there. Home is where you feel safe. Home is happiness and security.

In the middle of my sophomore year when I first stepped into the halls of Blue Valley, I was completely unaware of how much I would fall in love with this school.

I believe that every little moment in life happens for a reason, and the girl who walked into those glass doors two years ago was completely transformed — and I have to thank BV for a part of that.

The BV staff and students welcomed the apprehensive and introverted girl with open arms and have taken care of me the past two years — especially study skills teacher Kate Julian who was basically my second mom. It would be an understatement to say that I have met outstanding students and teachers alike during my time here.

Although I’m usually quiet, a little awkward and not everyone in my graduating class will recognize my name when it’s called to receive my diploma, I’m proud to call BV home. Moving to BV is one of the greatest things I could have ever done for myself.

As much as Kansas and BV specifically have been my home, I’m ready to continue my journey elsewhere.

Next fall, I’ll be 1,000 miles away from these halls plastered with our signatures, and instead, my drive home from work or school will consist of orange-stained sunsets carved out by mountains and palm trees. Arizona is a 16-hour drive from Kansas, but it is an opportunity of a lifetime.

I get asked numerous times by people who are aware of my decision why I decided to move. I still don’t have a straight answer, so I tell them, “I just deci

ded I want to get out of Kansas and live my life.” I get strange looks sometimes, but I assure them I have set plans once I am there. In the fall, I will be attending Avalon School of Cosmetology in their esthetics and makeup artistry program. It will be challenging and will require constant commitment.

There won’t be any snowfall in Arizona. I will only be able to see my family and best friend through a phone screen. I won’t have a Christmas break to come back to Kansas and see loved ones, and I’m sure my bank account will be in the negatives in the first week of being on my own.

Arizona already feels like home, although I still feel a bit scared to be so far away.

I’ve learned it’s important to never be afraid of new beginnings and not shy away from new people and new surroundings. Embrace new chances at happiness every opportunity you get.

I’ll remind myself to remain determined and fight through feeling homesick and being overworked because my life is just beginning.