Freshman Describes Her First Month at NDA: ‘Grateful’


Reagan DeGroot, Staff Writer, Journalism I

“Are you sure you’re not the least bit sad about leaving the school you have gone to for nine years,” asked my mom with an attentive look on her face. 

“Honestly, Mom, I am so ready to be done. I’m not saying that I’m not upset at all that I will never go to school with a lot of these kids ever again. I am just so ready for something new,” I answered in a serious manner. 

Growing up, I attended a very small Catholic school. I had a graduating class of fourteen. When you only have a small number of kids that are your age at a school it can be hard to find people that you really have a lot in common with. It never mattered if you were the lead of a Broadway Musical or a basketball player. Those people that you looked at on your first day of kindergarten were your friends for the next nine years. While it can be nice to have those close relationships with people that you have known for so long, I have learned that it is all right to simply want more. 

As a young child, I was always the only one who was a dancer. I was the only  one who had any interest in dance. For years, I went to school thinking that I was the one who was different. I felt as though I was the one who didn’t have friends who understood them. After years of feeling this way, I realized that I was not the one who was different. I  just hadn’t yet found the people that wanted to talk about what I wanted to talk about, and wanted to do what I wanted to do. I knew that once I got to high school I would find the friends that I always desired to have. 


The day that I walked into Notre Dame Academy for the first time I was feeling so many different emotions. I felt excited to be in a new school with new people.  However, the same thing that made me feel excited was the same thing that made me feel very nervous. How can something make you feel so excited and the opposite at the same time? I wondered if making new friends was going to be difficult. I wondered if people were going to want to be friends with me. I am happy to say that when I walked out of the building on my first day of freshman year, I was happy and had a confident smile on my face. 

My first day of high school had gone better than I could have imagined. Besides not being able to open my locker and not being able to find where I needed to be, everything that I had spent time worrying about never happened. The things that I hoped and prayed were going to happen actually did. I made so many new friends, and I absolutely loved my classes and teachers. They were kind, welcoming, and made me feel excited to go to school at NDA. 

  From that moment I knew that the memories I have made, and will continue to make at Notre Dame, will last a lifetime. I will also always remember the kind and wonderful friends that made me feel like I could have the best high school experience possible. If I ever needed a friend to talk to a year ago, the pool of friends I had to choose from was pretty small. I am glad to say that the number of people has grown tremendously in only one month of being in a brand new school with new people. 

If I could describe my high school experience so far in one word, it would most likely be “grateful.” I have so much gratitude for many different things that I didn’t have a month ago. I’m grateful that I was able to come to this school in the first place. I’m grateful that I know I will grow as a person in the next four years, but most of all I am grateful for all the people who have made this transition so easy and enjoyable for me.