I’ll Be Back

By Nupur Kudapkar

Middle College is a program that could forever change my life — but will it be for the better or the worst? The program allows me to continue as a Westmont student but take all my Senior classes at West Valley College. This program is open to both junior and seniors (there is another program as well called College Advantage). 

Last year, I found myself in a tricky position. It was my first year of in person high school, I was a sophomore, and I made new friends who were all seniors. As the year drew to an end I found my life falling apart and incomplete because all the friends that I loved so dearly and became immensely close with were leaving me to go to colleges all over the United States. I made it my life goal to leave Westmont as soon as I possibly could and when I heard about Middle College, this incredible opportunity I knew I had to take it. Therefore, this year I went through the entire application process. In January I attended the informational meeting, in February, the parent meeting, I applied in March, took my interview and then by April I was accepted into the program. I was filled with various emotions because yes, this was all that I have wanted for the past year but as I progressed through my Junior year I realized that I made a mistake when I accepted my spot in the program. This year I reconnected with old friends and we strengthened our bonds all while making so many memories. I found a new appreciation for Journalism with Andy Evans, a class that is like my family and woodshop with Brett Petersen who taught me the wonders of CAD design and creating your dreams into reality. I realized that when I accepted that offer, I was destroying my senior year and pushing myself in the terrifying world and most notably, I was leaving my second home, Westmont. 

I know that this is the best decision for me and my life goals but I can not stop pondering what my senior year would have looked like. Images flash inside my head, of becoming an editor for The Shield, taking metal shop, AP computer science, AP literature, and Gov/Econ. Making more memories and enjoying the last year of my high school career with my friends could have been my life next year. Yet, this is just a fantasy because instead of starting school on the 16th of August, I will be walking into West Valley on the 29th of August. Instead of taking fun classes with the people that I care about I will be filled in a classroom with people that I have never met and will probably never get to know. 

This year with mixed, various emotions, I planned by classes, Math-001 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30pm-2:35pm, COMM 001 on Tuesdays from 10:55 am-12:20pm, English/History on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:35 pm-3:35pm, and THEA 014B online. 

This is all super exciting, do not get me wrong.  As I plan on attending West Valley after graduating, it will aid me in transferring on time. But I feel as if I made a mistake. I acknowledge that I will be coming back every Friday to visit my friends; poking into Journalism occasionally in order to hold onto my senior year as much as I possibly can. But I admit that it is never going to be the same again. This change in my life is drastic and anxiety inducing but I made the right decision, right? I still do not know, and I will not know until I push myself out there and get through the first few weeks of my semester. So to those considering doing this program, really consider what you will be sacrificing and to my friends, I promise that I’ll be back.