The Life of a Military Brat

Haley Olmstead wait for geometry class to start during her second week at Inland Lakes.

In the past week or so that I’ve been here, it is definitely different from the last school I was at – Bay Port High School.

Before coming to the Indian River area, I lived in a town that was close to Green Bay, Wisconsin. This isn’t the first time that I had to move, though. Before this transition, I had to leave and move to lots of other different places around the north-eastern/eastern side of the United States. The reason that I move all the time is because my dad is active-duty in the United States Coast Guard, so about every two to four years we have to go to a different state. In total, I’ve lived in five different states – Maryland, Michigan, Connecticut, Maine, and Wisconsin.

Almost every time when we had to move, the transition has been hard, especially when it comes to saying goodbye to my bestest friends and/or family.

Coming to this school and area has been different and definitely not easy. Having to leave your friends behind, and coming to a school where you don’t know anyone or having a clue of who to hang out with was hard. Moving in real life is totally different than what you see on television shows and movies. Everything is not easy-breezy, but the time that I’ve been here so far has been great. Hopefully, the rest of that time goes the same way.

The  first Michigan school that I was at was in Frankfort. I don’t really remember much of that school, but I attended kindergarten there. I also made two best friends while going to that school.

The next school that I went to was Charles Barnum in New London, Connecticut. I went there for first through third grade, and I also made a new best friend, whom I still keep in touch today. Our house was part of navy housing, where all the houses were stuck together and you could hear the neighbors talking or yelling when you put your ear next to the wall. My mom never liked being there, and sometimes one of our neighbors would knock on my house door and ask for something weird, like pepper to cook with.

Then about three years later, we had to move to Maine, in a small little town called Princeton. I attended school there for two years, and I made a new best friend on the first day. The move to Maine was somewhat hard, since I don’t really remember much of it. When you are little, you kind of just go with the flow, and you do what your parents tell you to do.

But two years later my brother and I got the notice that we had to move again, but this time not to another state, but about ten minutes down the road from our house. We would have to switch schools again, but it wasn’t a problem for my brother at the time because he had to go to high school, anyways. The problem for me was that I would be switching out of the current school where my best friend was at, and attend the newest school, which was really, really, really small. The whole school had a total of about 50-60 kids for only kindergarten through eighth grades. But the transition was great for me. I fit in really well with the girls in the same class as me and also with the other students.

Then when the time came for us to switch and move to Wisconsin, it was extremely hard. I had to leave my best friends once again, and even though you would think that you would get used to saying ‘goodbye’, you never really do. Of course you can still talk over the phone and everything, with all the technology, but it still isn’t the same. The drive there was extremely long – took about a day and a half -, and when we got there we had to live about a week or more without all our furniture and belongings due to complications with the moving company. But when we got our furniture and things, we got settled in and then I attended Bay View Middle school for one year – which the school was big, too, for grades seventh and eighth -, and then my brother and I attended Bay Port High School together for one year until coming here.

The states that I’ve been to has been interesting, and, like I’ve said, the transition has been rough and bumpy. Going from living-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Maine, to becoming a “cheesehead” in Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been really interesting. The drive there took a really long time, a total of about 23 hours and 1520 miles, but the ride there was scenic and beautiful. My last school, Bay Port High, was enormous. But knowing that my older brother, Zach, was going to be there to help me out, was nice, and helpful. On the outside of the school, you could fool yourself into thinking that it was a college campus. With a total of about two thousand students and the classes area being two floors, for anyone who hadn’t been there before in their life, you could get lost. The whole school was shaped like an anchor, and the school mascot was a pirate. The gym class that I had ranged from freshman to seniors, and instead of having just one class in the gym, there was about three or four different classes there at the same time. Also, instead of having hallways to get to your class, there were these areas called ‘pods’. These ‘pods’ was where it would hold certain classes, and in one of the pods was your locker. So if you had an upper-left corner pod on the first floor (red pod), and you had to get to the gym, which was on the right side of the school, you would have to hurry in that 4-minute time period that you have to get to class to class. If you look at the high school on Google Maps, you can see how huge it is.

Then finally, my family settled here, moving into a house that we can finally call “ours,” since in every other house we lived in was close to other people, and we had to rent every place and follow every home owners expectations and rules. But now that I look back at every place and home that we have been to, it really does seem like a blur, and the thoughts of being with my friends and family are just more cherished memories.

Finally, I am here to stay and finish up my high school education, not having to worry about moving to another state and being transferred to another school.

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