Back to school : All the Feelings and Emotions
Reflection by Senior Carrigan Matteoli '19
August has finally rolled around and it was time to say goodbye to the long, fun, relaxing summer of 2018. Like each student at Newport Central Catholic, I have goals beginning each new school year. These goals, of course, have changed from my freshmen to now senior year. Throughout the four years of high school, students can learn more and more about not just the school, but themselves. Walking into the new year always brings about a wide spectrum of emotions. Whether students are a freshman, sophomore, junior, or a senior, we can all say we have felt something different going from grade to grade, but one thing we have in common is our drive to be the best version of ourselves each year made possible by the support around us.
Beginning the journey of high school is always stressful especially when you are a freshman, you could describe it as the “best-worst day” of your life. The first day you are constantly in a panic worrying you won't be able to unlock your locker, find your classes, and attempting to get there on time after you cannot get your locker unlocked! Thousands of thoughts run through your mind before you even make it into the building, but as soon as you walk through the doors on your first day your anxieties are put at rest by the welcoming smiles and helping hands. Once entering the freshmen hallway and seeing your peers, you feel a lot better knowing you are not the only one feeling the way you do. A freshman, Morgan Schulkens says, “At first it was a little hectic, but after I met people it started to feel like I was a part of a family.” As a senior looking back on my first day of high school that was the best and most calming feeling ever after being nervous and worried. Before the day is over you do not even remember why you were scared in the first place; but, then sophomore year begins coming with an abundance of new feelings.
As a freshman, I remember longing for sophomore year, because I still had two more years to go; however, this meant I was one step closer to graduating and I did not have those now minor worries of freshman year. “I was still a bit nervous knowing I’m not an upperclassman, but more calm because I'm not a freshman anymore,” described Emma Donnelly on her first day back at school as a sophomore. This is a sentiment many sophomores can relate to including myself at the time. The second year of highschool almost feels as if it was the first real year. You are finally in the flow of things and the only thing you are worried about is if you are going to like your new classes. Sophomore year is really about surrounding yourself with good friends and developing healthy work habits to prepare you for the harder years to come.
Once students have two years down, we are finally halfway done with high school and an upperclassman. I found that once I entered 11th grade everything started to feel more real. What I mean is I was struck with the fact my college application process was not far away. Classes became even more challenging, and I found myself handling some of the responsibilities of adulthood. Teachers let juniors know they expect a lot out of them coming so close to senior year and this can be intimidating. I remember starting to worry about when the ACT was and what can I do to get my score up.
Not all is stressful junior year - my most memorable experiences were prom, Powderpuff, and dual credit classes. Even being there almost three years, I felt a warm welcome everytime I walked through those doors. When asked about her first day of junior year Hannah Boden said, “You jump into the new year feeling just as welcomed as you did when you were a freshman and that says a lot about NCC.” Many students have said the same thing Hannah has. As a senior myself, I hope all students who progress through the years can relate.
As the senior class of 2019 gears up for our last year of high school, there are still a lot of emotions and uncertainties about what the year will bring or the following four years. We are about to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives. For many students and their parents, it will seem as if the time came sooner than anticipated. Planning the final year of high school can be very similar to the first with lots of nerves and high expectations for the “best year ever”. When people would tell me high school goes by in a blink of an eye, they were not lying; senior year will be no different. This year is full of “lasts”: last first day of school, last homecoming, last football game, etc. These “lasts” bring about other responsibilities in addition to schoolwork such as being leaders or examples for the underclassman. Denny Lehmkuhl says, “NCC is full of tradition and family. Being a senior you really feel that sense of leadership and responsibility to keep that alive.” The process between freshman to senior year teaches you exactly that. Just one week into senior year has already shown me that day-by-day it requires a steady growth in academics, spirituality, and mentality. For seniors everyday the future comes more real. College creeps closer. The emotions and anxiety get more intense, but it is time to take on the new year and the opportunities it brings to make the most of it.
Carrigan Matteoli ‘19