Bittersweet Firsts and Lasts

Jordyn Baldulf, Crown Writer & Photographer

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As anxious 14-year-olds walk through the door and begin setting up their fresh lockers for the year, the seniors are anticipating the ending of their journey at Marian Central. How do both age groups prepare to start their “next step?” New friendships are formed that will last a lifetime. Unforgettable memories are made within the small brick school. This year is all about the exciting firsts and bittersweet lasts. The inevitable clock is ticking while graduation creeps up. The seniors making the most of their last memories at Marian, while the freshmen are just getting started.

At Freshman Orientation, all the new students rush to get their spots in the new, unfamiliar gym. They are told that they have precisely 720 school days left. The freshmen’s first days introduce them to entering into the Marian of community, growing with Christ, and hopefully learning about what they want to do in the future.  Joey Pacana (12) reminisced about his first couple days at Marian Central. Pacana (12)  vividly remembers opening his eyes after the priest had told his freshman class to take advantage of every moment. “The priest was just done explaining not to take high school for granted, because these four years of my life are ‘the good old days.’ That just stuck with me.”

During the school year, packets and papers begin to overflow folders, Pacana (12) created new strategies to minimize his workloads.  “There is no way you can put it off. My grades all of a sudden became more important to me considering the fact that I needed them to get into a good college.”  High School also taught the seniors important life lessons. Pacana (12) stressed that he learned very quickly that he was fully responsible for himself and accountable for his actions. Setting reminders on his phone helped him remember certain books and with keeping organized.  High school has also taught him that he has to work for his success, which is a very important life skill. Even the smartest students will struggle if they don’t put in the work to succeed.

Charlie Pacana (9) has a different side to the story. Coming into high school is intimidating especially when students don’t know anyone. He was hesitant to expand on his experiences in those first days of Marian. “I already walked into the wrong class which is pretty embarrassing. I’m getting the hang of it though. I can’t wait to go to the first home football game.” This is the first year that the freshmen can show their support in the student section. In addition to the sideline support, athletes grow strong bonds with their team. “This is my first year playing tennis at Marian and I am proud of myself for trying out,” said Allison Kaminski (9). “ I met so many new friends that I  would have never expected and it helped me step out of my comfort zone.” Sports help teens develop good habits such as time management and organization skills.  The excitement spreads for the freshmen.  Kaminski (9) started off her school year by decorating her locker with pictures of her friends. She said it was necessary to “spice up” her school life. She had never gotten the opportunity to be creative with her locker in the past, so she took advantage of this privilege. To say the least, the class of 2022 has some high expectations for Marian.

The Seniors of 2019 get to experience the changing faces in the hallway throughout the four years of their time at Marian during their last year. The freshmen meet new, intimidating faces coming into an unfamiliar environment. Both of the groups are looking forward to the upcoming school year but also hesitant to move forward and leave their old routines behind them.  Strong emotions run high with valuable memories being left behind but never forgotten.

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