Chao Holderness: Mina Nguyen says Goodbye

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Chao – Vietnamese for Goodbye and Hello


If I were to tell my little self four years ago that I went to high school in Holderness, New Hampshire where winter is basically year round I wouldn’t believe myself for one second. However, here I am. I survived ODC (Outdoor Crew) my freshman year, I survived Hagerman cleanup living in Sargent my sophomore year, I survived OB my junior year, and I survived the college process my senior year. Mind you, all of this happened during the coldest and wettest times at Holderness. This makes my Holderness experience sounds quite horrendous so far, and I know what you are thinking, I’m not here to tell you that it was arguably the best four years of my life either. However, I’m here to tell you that it was the most worthwhile.


It was worth it that time when you ran uncountable amount of laps around the cemetery for cross country in the rain because it only made you realize how much stronger you actually are compared to what you thought.


It was worth it that time when you had to wake up at 6:30 am to go take the ACT or SAT because it might make you realize that standardized testing scores don’t determine who you are or that it might make you realize that you don’t need validation from the College Board to be the best you can be (But you knew you needed to tough it out anyway).


It was worth it that time when you had to single-handedly “cure” prostate cancer on that AP Biology Exam because you learned how to struggle, suffer, and be comfortable with hard, hard materials.


It was worth it that time when you were sad and you felt like you had no one because it only made you realize the difference between being alone and being lonely; to learn to be content alone but also to learn that we can be lonely together.


It was worth it that time when you were so mad that you got accepted to your dream college or university but couldn’t go because you couldn’t afford it, and you learned how much something means to you and what your able to do to protect that dream.


It was worth all my efforts and hard work. Even when things get tough and it feels like nothing matters, I’ve learned that it is going to be worth it in the end. Trust me, even though at times I was the saddest I’ve ever been and went through the greatest loss I’ve ever had, I’ve also made some of the best and happiest memories with some of the best people. I went through it all and it felt like just days ago I started high school, but now, now I’m days away from graduating.


So this is a farewell to all those times and a thank you to those who helped me make Holderness 120% worthwhile. Chao Holderness!