Then Life and Times of Caroline Blach
I've never been one for talking about myself. It's difficult for me to decide what exactly I should say. This was my biggest challenge when applying for colleges. How do I make myself sound appealing and unique without being arrogant or too personal? So it's safe to say this assignment has taken me some time. My story is long, in fact my life story would take far too long to explain, so I'll just write about one of the most prominent transitions of my life: high school.
My entire family, at least every single person on the Blach side, has gone to either Presentation and Bellarmine. In fact, in the past 10 years alone there have been 3 Blachs to graduate from Bell and 4 to graduate from Pres (with 3 attending Pres currently). It's safe to say us Blachs have left our mark on those two school. In the eighth grade I was all for Valley Christian. I love the campus, the conservatory, and had an amazing time when I shadowed. I was accepted to Valley early, so I didn't even want to open my letter from Pres when it arrived, being the only other high school I applied to. I rolled my eyes when my mom told me I should at least open the envelope, revealing that I had been accepted. I then thought about what I great time I had shadowing my cousin Kate at Pres. Only a year ahead of me, Kate was and to this day remains my best friend. I imagined how happy my dad would be that I decided to continue on the family legacy, and knew that Pres was a good school. In a very last minute decision, I decided to go to Pres instead of Valley.
I loved my first two weeks at Pres. Some of my closest friends went to school with me, my cousin showed me the ropes, and I never work make up to school. It was great, until the hype of finally being in high school died down. I spent the next year drowning in 4-5 hours of busy work a night. As a freshman, I thought this was insane. It was insane. I was not happy at Pres, as engulfed by the drama of an all-girls environment and the stress of such a rigorous school. Pres was missing a lot of the elements I wanted-football games, school spirit/rallies, a great campus, a cheerful student body, teachers I connected with, boys, etc-and I realized that I couldn't survive another three years there. Though Pres was basically in my blood, it was missing a lot of the things I needed from my high school experience, and I didn't enjoy myself enough to just power on. I was miserable.
I knew I wanted to change schools, but my dad didn't like that idea. Then again, he didn't understand how unhappy was. My mom was the one who picked me up from school and dealt with my complaining, unhappiness, and occasional tears. I researched schools with my mom and decided that of all the private schools, Archbishop Mitty was probably my best bet. In comparison to Pres, Mitty seemed perfect. Though my dad had told me just a few months earlier that I could go anywhere I wanted, I knew there one school that was out of the question: Mitty. I didn't shadow Mitty in eighth grade, nor did I apply. Mitty was one of Bellarmine's biggest rivals, my dad's alma mater, and he never liked or respected the school. With my mother's help, I did the only thing I could think of and applied without telling my dad. After the rigorous application process, shadowing the only person I knew at Mitty (who happened to be one of my closest friends), an interview, and even and interview with my mother, I was accepted in April of 2012. With close to 100 applicants and only 11 transfers chosen, this was a huge deal.
I didn't tell my dad that I wanted to go to Mitty until I had been accepted. He was angry for a long time, he really didn't like Mitty. This led to a lot of household tension and angst in an already confusing time. I told him I would be transferring whether he liked it or not, and my mom was on my side. She knew how great Mitty would be for me and so did I.
I didn't get lost on my first day of sophomore year, and that was something to be celebrated. Mitty, in comparison to Pres, seemed absolutely huge and tragically confusing. People were extremely welcoming and helpful, even taking me from class to class, and teachers were extremely understanding of what it was like to be a transfer, though admitting that I was amongst a very small group within such a big student body. But it wasn't until halfway through my first year at Mitty that my dad finally came around. I showed him how well I was doing and what I was learning, and he admitted to being extremely impressed with Mitty's academics. As a member of the Royals, I dragged him to football games, which he absolutely adored, and even spent time explaining the importance of Spirit Week and Monarch Madness. His newfound understanding for what Archbishop Mitty was all about and what the school had to offer opened his eyes to how happy I was and how amazing the school really is. Looking back now, it's surprising to write how reluctant he was to let me transfer, as he is now, very proudly, one of Mitty's biggest fans.
Above: first day of fresh(wo)man year