The Crown

Transitioning to ‘Top Dog’

Ellen Sharp, Crown Writer and Photographer

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During the much-anticipated Freshman Orientation Day, new Marian students are experiencing their first day in the Marian uniform, the first of many all-school masses, the first time going through their official high school schedule, and first time being a part of the confusion that is the 4/5/6 lunch period. Students are surrounded by classmates they don’t yet know and teachers who don’t know their names. This is the first of their 720 day journey as a part of the Marian Central family. The students are scared for the road of classes and exams ahead. In a blink of an eye, all of the freshman firsts will become new upperclassmen firsts as there is another transition to the role of an upperclassmen.  The current junior class, who once experienced this same day of firsts, are now transitioning to become the upperclassmen of the school.

The first day of freshman year may be a hard day to remember; however, Rachel Graham (11), Lilli Leggett (11) and Mackenzie Schwalbach (11) remember it like it was yesterday. They recall sitting in the chairs that they will soon be sitting in for graduation. They now know the teachers’ names, and the teachers now know theirs. The unknown classmates that once sat around them are now some of their closest friends. The three girls are now upperclassmen, and in just one year they will be the “top dogs,” as Graham describes her future senior year. While transitioning from freshman to sophomore year, students learn more and more teachers’ names, but once students move from sophomore to junior year, honors classes and AP classes come with new teachers. “It is always good to have a change in how the classes run. I like the challenge of getting used to new teaching methods,” Graham (11) answered. Schwalbach (11) responded with a smile, “I already knew most of my teachers, but it was fairly easy getting used to the ones I didn’t know.”  Another challenge with being an upperclassmen is having an underclassmen looking up to students as a role models. “I will show the freshman that being ‘cool’ is being yourself and not worrying about what other people think. I will show them that you can say ‘hi’ to anyone in the hallway because it’s not only the most positive thing to do, but the ‘coolest,’” Leggett spoke with a grin on her face.  Even though it is a challenge, it is always a big opportunity to show leadership and kindness.

Being an upperclassmen, students take the opportunity to try all new kinds of activities. Schwalbach (11) is involved in athletic training, something she has never done before, “I very much enjoy the scenery of the trainers’ room.”  Being an upperclassmen has the added benefit of being the year many students are able to get a driver’s license. This is a big help for Graham (11). “Now that I can drive, I’m going to join Key Club because I never got the chance to as a underclassmen. I am also going to join Club Med because I am thinking about going into the nursing field.” As an upperclassman, there is one big question most are asked while preparing to graduate: what kind of impact would they like to leave at Marian. Graham (11) answered this question with a big smile on her face, “When someone thinks Rachel Graham, I want to be seen as the girl who was always smiling in the hallways. Who was never in a bad mood and was always friendly.” Leggett (11) responded almost identical to Rachel, “When I leave Marian, I would like to be known as the person who talked to everyone and left them smiling after our conversation. The impact I want to leave is one that ultimately changes separate ‘groups’ and ‘cliques’ into a big happy family.”

Never take high school for granted. Work hard, stay positive and always know that teachers and classmates will be there throughout the journey and all of the transitions. Juniors, keep smiling in the hallways and help a freshman who might need some help, just as the class of 2019 needed help in the hallways two years ago.

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Transitioning to ‘Top Dog’