Published June, 2014

Hi Everyone! Sydney here—self-proclaimed original Trailblazer! I’m proud to say I’m one of three that has been here the longest of any Woodlawn student so far. I’ve spent a decade of my life on this campus, and you get to know a place pretty well after 10 years. One thing’s for sure: Woodlawn’s never boring! I’ve seen a lot of interesting things go down on our 61-acre campus through the years. But without a doubt, Woodlawn Day always registers at the top of my favorite traditions. The rumors are true—it involves square dancing. Each fall we pair up with a new partner and re-learn all of the steps to the do-si-do along with the entire school community! Looking back it’s easy to point out our stages of maturity. We loved it as grade school children, were embarrassed by it as middle school students, and now?

Now it’s an important day. We dance to honor our historic plantation campus, and as seniors, we dance for other reasons too. More than a school tradition, Woodlawn Day has become a rite of passage. We are no longer the timid kids who wonder what they have just signed onto by going to a small school with traditions that date back to the 1800’s. Woodlawn has empowered us to dance the Virginia Reel with our calculus teacher, who always dresses the part with a straw hat and overalls. What teen would voluntarily do such a thing? And yet, we understand now that letting your guard down, having fun in silly ways, is what has enriched our lives the most at Woodlawn.

Woodlawn encouraged us to experiment, evolve, and grow into the people we were meant to be. We are artists, scholars, athletes, and so much more. My years here have changed me in ways I never thought they would.

Sydney, Occidental College ’18, recently completed a year in Madrid, Spain on a Fulbright Scholarship and is now employed at Lyft in San Francisco, CA.

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