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A Freshman Year That Will Never be Forgotten

By: Jayden Neidell

My freshman year is one that I will truly never forget, but not for the reasons that people may believe. If you ask any current freshman about how they feel their freshman year went, their response will likely mention Covid-19 and how that impacted their year. For me, however, that’s not what makes my freshman year memorable. Instead, what makes this school year the best one yet is that I have discovered my interests and participated in many new clubs that perfectly align with these interests. I have developed amazing friendships and received opportunities that would have never been available to me in the past. Not only has my freshman year enabled me to broaden my horizons and try new things, but it has also allowed me to build upon my knowledge and strengthen my pre-existing friendships with some of my best friends. 

I vividly remember the night before my first day of high school. Oddly enough, I wasn’t nervous. Instead, I was full of excitement, eager for my first day at High School East. I was excited to meet my new teachers, walk around the school that I have always seen but never entered as a student, and especially excited to finally wear shorts and a tank top to school! I had my school bag packed a week in advance, and my outfit was laid out on the bench in front of my bed days prior. I went to bed that night eager, unable to fall asleep as many would imagine.

Contrary to what many would believe, I woke up with an immense amount of energy on the morning of my first day of school. I jumped out of bed, brushed my teeth, got dressed, ate breakfast, and ran out of the door ready to start my day. I walked into my first class: LEAPES in room 739. I immediately saw familiar faces and was at ease. The day continued on, Business third period, Global fourth period, Lunch fifth. Each period got better than the next. I met teachers who would soon become my favorite teachers of all time, and I met people who would grow to be the ones that I talk to every night. While the typical introductory lessons on the first day of school tend to be repetitive and bore some students to sleep, which still stayed true, what made the day so special was the welcoming environment created by all of the students and teachers in the building. 

As the school year progressed, I became more accustomed to my schedule and the dramatically increased workload. I found myself presented with opportunities that I never knew existed. “Newspaper Club meeting this Thursday!” “Key Club meeting on Tuesday!” “Make sure to attend the introductory meeting for Debate!” In all honesty, I was a little bit overwhelmed by all the opportunities presented to me. I had an idea of what I wanted to do going into the school year, but I never imagined how far these clubs would take me. If you had told me before this school year that my best friend/debate partner and I would qualify for states as freshmen, or that I would be my class treasurer, or that I would write an article for every issue of the school newspaper, I would have never believed you. But, I did just that and more.

I have learned this year that transitioning from middle school to high school requires maturity and a strong work ethic. I found myself doing school work longer than I ever have before this year. However, I always remained calm and never stressed myself out. Throughout the course of this year, I joined five clubs: Newspaper, Debate, Kickline, Student Government, and Key Club. I remained an active member in each and every one of these clubs, and I met so many new people. This has only enhanced my experience as a freshman at HSE. While I know my workload and participation in clubs will only increase in the coming years, for now, I am extremely proud of myself for how I handled my newfound responsibilities in high school. 

While I am sad to write my last article for the newspaper for my freshman year, attend my classes for the last time with some of my favorite teachers, and say goodbye to my friends, I am overjoyed knowing that I have made the absolute most of this school year. I have worked hard each and every day, putting myself out there, meeting new people, and grasping more opportunities for myself while doing so. I am very excited for summer break to spend time with my friends and family; however, I am just as excited to return back to school in the fall and see what my sophomore year has in store!

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