Name: McKenna Gibson
Grade: 11 - Class of 2016
Previous School: All Saints'
The strangest thing about life is how it changes a person. When I came to York I expected to remain the same girl I was at All Saints', except for the obvious aging and taking new classes. I was incredibly wrong. If someone compared me to the 8th grade version of myself they would hardly believe I was the same person. York brought things out in me I never knew existed.
During my freshman year, I was convinced to join JSA. I timidly entered the club and barely spoke up at debates. Somehow I got swept along to Spring State in Santa Clara. I still don’t recall how I managed to drag myself up to the podium, but I ended up winning a Golden Gavel for best speaker in a debate. The drive and courage I found in myself shocked me. From then on, I started trying things. York has so much to offer and suddenly I found myself in language societies when I previously thought I was helpless outside of English. I left behind the uptight persona of my past for the silly, spontaneous role as President of a gaming society. York swept me up in a flurry of cape-wearing, Latin-yelling, Japanese tea ceremony-having adventures that I had never experienced before.
Sure, I've been among unique people, but York is different. Nowhere else will you find such a smorgasbord of passion language, and culture that would normally clash, but at York it all seems to fit together. Sometimes the York zeitgeist is a nuance. It’s subtle, and a spectator has to listen closely to hear the Greek puns and Doctor Who references. Sometimes it’s seismic and the overwhelming quirk which makes York, York. It is everywhere, like at Fall Fair when Halloween costumes combine with feisty French students and patriotic, partisan hot dog sellers. York has made me into an adventurer, a curious traveler of life, but above all, York has taught me that it’s nearly impossible to know yourself entirely. There is always something new to try. What better place to experiment than on a sunny hilltop?