Senior Hailey Swonger Gets Nostalgic About NDA

Hailey Swonger, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

There’s one week left of school and while most of the NDA student body is excited for summer, I can’t help but think of how crazy it is that my four years are up. In three  months, we seniors will be packing and heading off to a brand new adventure. I think it’s important to remember where we came from. It’ll be hard to do our absolute best to succeed without a strict dress code keeping us from doing dangerous things Mr. Browne warned us about. A lot of seniors are excited to go and leave high school behind, and I am too. However, NDA is also where I found my independence. NDA has helped shape who I am.

It’s at NDA that I’ve met friends that I know will be in my life for a long time. These friends have always tried to push me to be better, and I’m eternally grateful for that. It’s going to be weird that I won’t see them every day anymore. It’s because of my friends that I found D&D. D&D is a role-playing game that I have already spent way too much money on. Not only have they introduced me to a wonderful hobby, but they’ve also always been supportive and encouraging too. When I thought it’d be a good idea to play D&D at school, Amber and Maria were there putting in as much effort as I was to make the *unofficial* D&D league. They encouraged me when I said I was nervous about the Voldemort picture I hid on my English presentation. I ended up keeping it in when I gave my presentation too. They have always been there to encourage, support, assist and laugh with me.

NDA isn’t just a location where I met some awesome people. To me, Notre Dame is a one-of-a-kind community. Events like De La Baie fest, Food Truck Friday, and other fun events make me feel like a part of the school even though I don’t do any sports or have time for clubs. To me, the NDA community wouldn’t be unique without our unique teachers. I’ve never met, heard of, or encountered a teacher like Mrs. Brown. She is a wild one! I think most of us would agree that there’s no one like Fr. Christian either. Throughout our 4 years, we’ve seen the transformation and evolution of NDA from Ravizza to Browne. From Shaw to Sister Pat. It’s been a journey, but the NDA community is stronger and more unique than ever.

NDA has made me independent too. When I came into high school, I was nervous and shy and scared of failing. To prevent any failure, I hung back and followed the crowd, only hanging out with the people I kind of knew from middle school. Through my 4 years, I’ve become independent and no longer care about what other people are doing. Those people I kind of knew in middle school have become good friends and make me smile every day. NDA Serves, Advanced Journalism, and attempting to run for FanMan all forced me to go out of my comfort zone. If it weren’t for NDA and these opportunities, I don’t know where I’d be.

It’s going to be weird for me. After this week, I’ll probably never walk the same halls again. This week is bittersweet because even though it’s my last, I think it’ll be my hardest too. So here are my final thoughts on NDA. I’m very appreciative and I think I’m going to miss it. However, I’ll always bring what I’ve learned with me. That includes Mr. Greisen’s NFL stories, how to bake Mrs. Brown’s brownies(Betty Crocker), and Mrs. Hearden’s lesson on why rap isn’t music.