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Four Chapters: Our Story Of High School

Freshman. Sophomore. Junior. Senior. These are the four chapters of a story called High School. “You don’t just have a story – you’re a story in the making, and you never know what the next chapter’s going to be. That’s what makes it exciting.” -Dan Millman There are numerous quotes depicting moments of your life […]

Freshman. Sophomore. Junior. Senior. These are the four chapters of a story called High School.

“You don’t just have a story – you’re a story in the making, and you never know what the next chapter’s going to be. That’s what makes it exciting.” -Dan Millman

There are numerous quotes depicting moments of your life as “chapters”, where each and every moment will, in the end, come together into a book called “life”. But our current chapter in high school could be an entire book on its own. One filled with adventures, twists, and suspense just like any other book out there.

Let’s begin with our first chapter. Everyone is familiar with this first chapter. Some maybe want to forget this chapter. Nonetheless, everyone has their simple beginnings.

Picture this: Freshman year. You walk into Christian Brothers High School for the first time. After your parents give you a small pep talk and a “love you!”, they leave off for work. All those years of going through middle school and becoming the top class amongst all those 7th and 6th graders now results with you going back to square one. You are now alone, sent to fend for yourself in this new concrete jungle filled with unknown people.

You have no clue who most of these people are other than the “possibility” of meeting them at the Frosh Lock-in weeks prior. And thus begins your first chapter in the story of High School in an awkward manner as you nervously walk around to identify your locker number and classrooms before the dreaded bell rings.

I imagine many juniors and seniors now cringing about the embarrassing and awkward memories of Freshman year.

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Freshmen express how the journey of freshman year can be both scary and exciting. In Cristina Maestu’s (’19) case, she believed that the stakes were going to be immediately high beginning at day one as she expected an intense mix of academics.

“I believed that teachers were going to be extremely strict with homework along with projects almost every day,” she said. “My [middle school] teachers kept saying all these things and that I [held the idea that] I had to be mature. And since I didn’t think I was, I felt that I wasn’t going to fit it. But of course that wasn’t exactly true.”

Sophia Ngyuen (’19) also countered the rumors of ridiculously huge social and academic requirements about high school with her experiences.

“As a middle schooler, I felt that freshman year, along with high school in general, was far away, almost in a whole different world,” she explained. “But now high school has broadened my perspective. I’m overall pretty comfortable with [high school] as I show up to class and hang out with people who I’ve met and now see as good friends.”

Tyler Chin (’19) added that the welcoming CB community helped with the transition from middle school to high school.

“Of course the transition was kinda scary, but I was generally excited,” he nodded, “Christian Brothers had a really good campus and everyone was really nice on Shadow Day.”

For him, newfound friends were what made Tyler’s freshman year an easy transition into high school.

“On the first couple days, I met a lot of really nice people who were really open. I wouldn’t have talked to them if they hadn’t talked to me. Now, they are my close friends.”

Being a freshman can be scary. Having to move into a new school and deal with new people after years of middle school friends can be the most intimidating experience to face. But once you become acquainted with high school, you become to realize how great high school can be.

Now let us skip ahead a year as we progress into the next chapter of our high school journey: sophomore year. You are no longer part of the small guppies in the tank as you enter school for the new school year. While you aren’t an upperclassman yet, you feel accomplished that you have survived freshman year. You feel powerful, ready to take on the world. Since you are no longer the scared, nervous freshman a year prior, you feel that you reside on the top of the food chain.

Or do you really feel that different?

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After some deep thought on the question, Audrey Moorehead (’18) replied how nothing has really changed upon entering sophomore year.

“Actually, it’s pretty much the same [as freshman year]. Not much different academically or socially. Which isn’t really bad.”

For Regina Chapuis (’18), some aspects of freshman year haven’t changed and there were very noticeable differences in Sophomore year.

“It was a lot different because I was more prepared for classes and I knew people and teachers, which made a huge difference,” she stated. Regina also commented how freshman year aided her into this Sophomore year.

“Getting to know people, getting a feel for moving around classes, and studying abilities because there was many things I had to do to keep grades up.”

However, both sophomores had similar views about the upcoming year that lies ahead for them. Something that sophomores worry about as new tasks will appear for them: junior year.

“[For me], I’m looking forward to easier classes.” Audrey told me. “However, I’m nervous about bad grades.”

“It would be interesting to be an upperclassman, but I’ve heard junior year is the hardest year, so I’m pretty scared for that.” Regina said. “There’s the SAT’s and major tests. Yup… fun times….”

Her last sentence came out as a sigh as she, along with the sophomore class, now worry about this game-changing test and more to come their junior year.

You’ve finally made it into the big leagues. You are now an upperclassmen as you walk down the halls along the 200’s. You have most likely found your place among the Christian Brothers community, hanging out with your close friends and enjoying the life of an upperclassman while you are looking down from the upstairs railing at all the new freshman making that awkward journey you made two years prior. You know the in’s and out’s to this school: the fastest routes to class, the best places to eat lunch, and the numerous ways to bypass the dress code.

However, it also dawns onto you the responsibility now placed onto your shoulders. Just as many sophomores fear, grades are now really important as colleges begin to look your way. Classes become harder while you finally know the meaning of losing precious sleep. The SAT and ACT now bother you in the back of your mind while you spend many nights to prepare for this life-changing test. The stress is getting to you.

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Taylor McRho (’17) voiced her opinion about junior year, mentioning the changes that have occurred along with all of the added responsibilities juniors now bear.

“There is a lot more stress as colleges really look at your junior year compared to your sophomore year.” The junior expressed with concern, “I’m more worried because if I mess up this year, I’m not getting into college.”

“It’s really stressful, but that stress really pushes you to work harder. So, [because of this stress], this has been my best year academically because I was pushed so much.”

“[Junior year] is a mixture of workload, potential colleges, scholarships, and ideas for life after high school.” Alex Samuel (’17) informed me as I asked about his opinion on junior year.”This is the [first year] of many ‘planning years’.”

Jonathan Claridad (’17) explained how despite the increased workload, the atmosphere of junior year was more laid back.

“Teachers expect more from you, but with that [expectation] they also treat you closer to a college student,” he says. “It’s harder, yet more relaxed.”

Despite these added pressures, juniors always find ways to ease the tension, both in preparing and relieving the incoming stress. For Alex, the key for not allowing stress to swallow you up is to not worry too much about it.

“I try to not worry about it too much and do as much work as I can. If I need to, I take breaks at points before coming back to my work.”

“On weekends I like to sleep,” Jonathan commented, “I take enough time off when I can. Then do my work in a timely manner.”

Briana Sanchez (’17) explained how she dealt with the heavy workload that juniors bear with. Or rather, how she didn’t really deal with it.

“I don’t really deal with it. I’m just a really horrible procrastinator,” she laughed, “I wait till the last minute. Basically, I let nature take its course. However, when I do get to [work], I do my best to finish it.”

Colleges. SAT’s. Sleepless nights. Juniors may deal with issues like those, however it doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their year. First-time at prom and higher-status among students are just a few of many perks juniors enjoy upon reaching this stage of high school.

However, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Instead, let us wrap up this journey as we head into our last chapter of high school: Senior Year.

You are now the Alpha Wolf (or Falcon?) at this school. You, along with your class, are what everyone looks up to. Freshmen fear you. Sophomores idolize you. Juniors envy you. Teachers either watch out for or praise you. You are the face of this school.

And you love it.

The friends you made are now more than just students you hang out with. You and your entire senior class, from the past four years, have become a huge family, all sharing that red and blue blood each and every day. The school has become a second home as you know it’s layout like the back of your hand.

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Then reality hits you. This is your last year.

This year will be the last you see your friends as, by May, you’ll all depart to continue on with another chapter in life. Looking back, you cherish the memories. You remember that first Holy Bowl you attended, that first Varsity game you played in, that first Open Mic you performed in, or that first Prom dance you had with that certain someone. All of these memories you love greatly. Perhaps even all the things you didn’t do begin to haunt the back of your mind.

Either way, it is sadly all going to end as soon as you wear that graduation gown and grab that diploma. Once you walk down the steps of the Memorial Auditorium, it’s all over. These four years have made Christian Brothers your home. Now you are leaving the nest for good as you, along with many of your fellow seniors, begin to walk a different path in life. While moving on and into college is a proud moment for you, you can’t help but feel how bittersweet this moment feels like.

Seniors, including myself, can tell everyone how excited and nervous we are as our senior year begins to dwindle down. Sam Macias (’16) looks forward to the new adventure that lies ahead as he heads off into college.

“I am looking forward to being more independent. College is a way different experience than high school, with more control over your classes.” he told me. “So I am excited for that independence, for getting a job, and for just becoming my own man. To finally figure out life for myself.”

Alex Poroli (’16) could only wonder where his year went as I asked him about his senior year.

“I’m happy it’s almost over, but it’s gone by so fast,” he laughed, “I mean, it feels good to be done, but it’s kinda sad I’m leaving and that I’m going to be having big responsibilities after this.”

Alex also commented how melancholy the experience of a senior is as he looks back on the year.

“Oh man, [I wish I could’ve done] so many things. I wish I was able to get my work on time. Able to get some sleep. Like, really get some sleep.”

A tip to all you future seniors out there: sleep is your best friend.

While many seniors comment how excited or nervous they are for college, Dain Hernandez (’16) can only say he feels rather indifferent.

“I feel very neutral. I don’t feel very nervous or anxious or… anything,” he shrugged, “I honestly feel it’s just another day.”

Whether you are jumping for joy, scared to death, or just riding the wave, seniors know that their time at Christian Brothers has come to an end. No matter how seniors feel about their futures, everyone agrees they feel a sense of joy to graduate and finally grab that diploma. And with that action, they write their final chapter at Christian Brothers.

These are the four chapters of high school: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior. While these are the four chapters, each and every person’s chapter is uniquely different in their own way.

Many quotes depict life as if it were a book divided into chapters. But I personally think otherwise. Life is compilation of books, if not volumes of books. Life itself is one huge library where you write books for each moment of your life. High school is just one book out of many out there. But it is important to write the best story while you can. No matter if you are the freshman beginning his or her novel or the senior that is to soon finish it, each person has a story to tell.

Life is your library. Fill it with the stories that you want to be read. That way, you won’t regret anything as you look back. And remember, “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.”

I’ll miss you, Christian Brothers.

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