When I look back on the last 18 years I’ve lived in Milton, I can’t imagine myself growing up anywhere else. 

Everywhere I go, I see neighbors or a third grade classmate or an old teammate who remind me of what makes this city so special.

When I was younger, not very many people resided in Milton. But as I got older, the population grew as did the memories.

I remember loving every aspect of the Fulton County School System, the origin of my nine year-long Girl Scout troop and forever neighborhood friendships. 

Ten AP classes taken at Milton High School and I’m still not ready to say goodbye. 

When I was 5 years old, my dad put me on my very first rec softball team at North Point Park. The community support for the 10 years after that first team was unreal. Traveling all over the state of Georgia playing on the highest travel teams with my teammates was the best part. 

Around the age of 15, I fractured my elbow in three different places. My team came to visit me throughout my entire recovery. I was told soon after I could not play softball ever again. 

Going into my freshman year at Milton High School, I had no sport to play. With the help of local coaches and other players, I quickly picked up tennis. A year later, I made the varsity team as a sophomore. Without that setback, I would not have met my best friends who still stand by me today. Four high school years later and the mindset is still the same, Milton is the reason.  

As I near my tennis senior appreciation night, it gets me thinking. Milton created memories for me that have changed the course of my life. From being hired at Brusters Ice Cream shop to being an intern at Appen Media Group, the idea is the same. This place truly shapes a person.

As my friends and I attend senior graduation events and our very last prom, things start to get real. The idea of leaving a place that holds such a strong grasp on my heart seems impossible.

Growing up in Milton has taught me the southern hospitality and skills needed in order to take on the challenges thrown at me. There are so many reasons why I am grateful for 18 years in paradise. As I prepare for the next four years of my life in Columbia, South Carolina, I reflect on the city that built me. Milton will always be my favorite place, my hometown.

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