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The Perennial

The Perennial

The Perennial

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Thank You Pinewood: Brandon’s Farewell to You

Emma Hwang
Senior Brandon Ge juggles all that he does at Pinewood.

   Oh, Pinewood. How do I even start?

   For seven years, I’ve had to drag myself out of bed at 7:30 in the morning to put up with the wonky block schedule and way-too-short passing periods. For seven years, I’ve indulged myself a little bit too much in the overly sweet Snack Shack gummy bears. For seven years, I’ve called you my home away from home. 

   I still remember walking into Middle Campus for the first time, and upon looking around at the tiny classroom wondered, “Where’s the rest of my class?” What a moment that was for the 10-year-old boy coming from public school when he realized that the 15 people around him WAS his class. I went home that day thinking, “By the end of this year, I’m going to be so sick of these people.” Boy, was I wrong. 

   Those same people are the ones I spent every lunch playing basketball with. Those same people are the ones I’ve shared some of my favorite memories with. Those same people are the ones that, over time, have become a second family that I can’t live without. 

    Pinewood, these past seven years have been filled with challenges and obstacles that have molded me into the person I am today. Challenging coursework, ranging from impossible calculus equations to mind-boggling essay prompts, have pushed me to become the best student I can be. I’ve spent countless late nights cramming for the three tests I had the following day, and, through that, I’ve shown myself what I am truly capable of.

   Through all of this, Pinewood, you’ve provided me with one thing that I can never forget: opportunity. You helped a little kid find new hobbies, develop burning passions and find a sense of direction. Dozens of electives to choose from, countless clubs to join and plenty of new experiences filled me with a sense of curiosity I haven’t felt anywhere else. And so, I took advantage. I joined journalism, signed up for new classes that I’ve never heard of before and fell in love with all of them. Did my mom force me into some of those things? Yes. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. 

   Yet, there’s no opportunity I’m more thankful for than being able to compete in a Pinewood uniform. From my seven years on the basketball team to playing football for the first time this year, not a day went by where I wasn’t proud of the name across my chest. Sporting the classic green and gold Pinewood colors brings out the pure sense of joy I only felt as a little kid, and I can never thank you enough for that. Because of you, I’ve lived out my childhood dreams of playing under the bright lights and in front of big crowds. Because of you, I’ve developed friendships with my teammates that will last me a lifetime. I am the athlete I am today because of you, and I hope I made you proud. 

   So as I sign off for the very last time, I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me one last time. Thank you for pushing me outside of my comfort zone and teaching me how to be my best self. Thank you for trusting me to represent you in the classroom, on the field and on the court. Thank you for the friendships I’ve forged and memories I’ve made. Thank you for letting me be a Panther.

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