The author with friends.

Thanksgiving. A very odd holiday for your typical English girl. As a proud Brit, I can speak for all of my people in saying we do not celebrate such a holiday and we certainly do not openly express our feelings or talk about our personal lives. But since I am in America, I have decided to hop on the emotional bandwagon and tell you all what I am thankful for this year.

The past two years of my life have not been most pleasant. In fact, that is a very sugar coated way of putting it. My life over the past two years have been the worst of my life. It all started when my family had moved to New York and I stayed at my school in England. During the move, I was totally fine. Once I returned to school, alone, without my family, the reality of it all hit me. Hard. I became an extremely different person. I was not the happy girl that had the big smile and always made other people happy. I was completely empty inside. That first year was a tricky one, but unfortunately for me it only got worse. The next year, I moved down a grade because I was way too young for the grade I was in. With this move came a social shift : I was now sharing a dorm with girls I barely knew, whilst trying to make my way in a new year group of over 200 people. This transition made my mood dip down to an all time low. I was crying every single day. I was angry inside and not knowing what was wrong made my mood dip to an all time low. I was lost in a new world, at least that’s what it felt like. Back to the part when I mentioned that us good old English people don’t talk about our feelings. Well, being a true Brit, I told no one about my personal ordeal at all. If I was caught crying, I would blame it on some silly TV show I was watching or say that I’d read an emotional article or something of that sort. This made my situation worse. I was bursting for an outlet. All I wanted was someone to notice. But I didn’t want to be the person to make others notice. So I kept to myself, blocking out my friends because I didn’t want them to know how bad my issues were nor were getting. After a year and a half of silent suffering, I burst. I spilled my thoughts to anyone who would listen. But still, no one wanted to believe the seriousness of my emotions. I was told “Bells, you’re just homesick! Don’t worry, you’ll be going home soon” I appreciated the kindness, yet no one was hearing me. It was decided in January that I would have to come and live with my family in New York. My parents couldn’t cope with the constant phone calls and emergency flight bookings to bring me to them, because of my own self destruction. The struggle of getting me to actively participate in SSAT tutoring was harrowing for my poor parents. After two months of intense tutoring and multiple back and forth flights between London and for New York, I finally returned to my school, highly unprepared to break the news that I was in fact leaving. The day I found out I had been accepted into Berkeley Carroll was the most relieving moment I had ever experienced. I had an extreme headache ever since I had finished the SSAT test, which hadn’t gone away for nearly three weeks. Then my dad called and told me I had got in. My headache was suddenly completely gone. Then it was not a case of if, it was a case of how. How on earth am I going to survive in an American high school? Will these people like me? What about my friends? I only thought negatively about this stage in my life. I was telling everyone how I knew I would hate it, and that my life was only going to get worse. But how wrong was I. The second I stepped into Berkeley Carroll, I felt the warmest and most welcoming vibe I had ever felt. But it took a slight turn for the worst. I felt so out of place, I remember crying in Ms Brown’s office because I thought I would never be happy again. My automatic thought was GET ME ON A PLANE! NOW! But I stuck it out. And thank god I did. I have never felt more wanted, loved or accepted before like I do at Berkeley Carroll. My first semester isn’t even over yet, but I know practically everybody in the Upper School, even some middle schoolers. Seniors are my friends. Seniors ask me to hang out. Is that not crazy? I never would’ve expected Seniors to even acknowledge me, let alone want to hang out, with me! Let me conclude why I have chose to tell this long, sad and probably extremely boring story about the bad patch of my life. I want to take this opportunity, my first ever Thanksgiving, to let you know that I am thankful to you. My girls in Spirit Squad, you have been so supportive and kind to me,making me feel welcomed whilst I dance and cheer like a real American girl, with bows in my hair and pompoms flying around. I feel like you girls are my sisters. I am so thankful for the love that you give me every single day. To all of my lovely tenth graders, thank you for accepting me as a new girl in the grade. I love being in a grade with such incredible people, I am beyond proud to call myself a sophomore (how American!) And to every single upper schooler, thank you for your never ending kindness and laughter at my lame jokes. And for trying to do my accent (don’t you fear, I will help you to perfect that…) But in all seriousness, thank you. I never in a million years thought I could ever get back to myself, the Bella I know and that I actually kind of love. Thank you for making the hardest challenge in my life that I have faced so far not daunting and enjoyable. I genuinely have so much love for you all. So thank you, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, you deserve it.