The last day of school finally arrived on June 26, and it was so close to being like any other day that it was barely worth documenting. The most that came out of it was (a) spending hours with my best friend, Polina, wandering the Coney Island Boardwalk and lying on our backs on the playground, staring at the sky, thinking about nothing but the present moment; and (b) the long-overdue close of a truly terrible year.

I cannot fully express how happy I am to be out of junior high school. I won’t know what high school will be like until I get past the newness of everything and truly experience it, but I can only imagine that it will be better than middle school, and that I will not feel as bottled up. I have great memories, but in the end, the amount of pain I endured made leaving feel celebratory. ♦