Senior Year: Our Final Chapter at NDP

Olivia Connolly, Editor

High School Senior. What kinds of feelings do those three little words evoke? Years of hard work have reached their pinnacle as the Class of 2015 enters its Senior Year at NDP. Now, when we girls of pink and orange walk down the halls, we will be stepping up and stepping out. Being the oldest girls in the school comes with great responsibility. We assist with Freshman Retreat. We serve as role models for our now Sophomore little sisters. And we wait with excitement and anticipation as the Juniors prepare to get their school rings. Being a Senior is an awesome experience. The Senior Lounge is finally available to us. We can go in to the first day of school confident that we know where we are going, and we know where we belong. We are on the verge of something amazing. It’s as though we have a foot in two different worlds: NDP and college, childhood and adulthood. It seems only fitting that upon the start of our final year at NDP, we take a stroll down memory lane and recall some of the events that made us into the intelligent, strong, and independent young women we are today.

Freshman year is always met with such anticipation- and anxiety. In our case, the suspense was two-fold when our first week was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. As NDP’s biggest class (to that point), we certainly came in with a bang and made our presence known. School finally started and so did one unforgettable journey. On Freshman Retreat we were given the chance to meet one another and bond over discussions, service projects, and fun team-building exercises. We were also given our banner- the symbol of our class for years to come.

Penny Queen was one of the first traditions we were introduced to at NDP, and our class certainly left a big impression. We were the only Freshman class to ever win the Penny Queen banner- a major achievement and just the first of many. After surviving midterms, the best part of the year arrived. It was Gym Meet time, and the Freshman Freeze were ready to strut their stuff- even if they did it in black trash bags. Despite taking last place, I know we were proud of what our class had accomplished and were excited for the years to come.

Sophomore year was our chance to learn, explore, and grow. There was a certain sense of security in knowing that we had a place at NDP. It was no longer a strange environment, and it gave us the chance to have so many great experiences. On retreat we spent our time serving others and discovering the importance of helping those in need. We once again led the way in raising money for El Salvador and took home the Penny Queen banner for the second time.

Then of course, as Sophomore Survivors we were determined to prove just how much we had learned when it came to working together and creating Gym Meet magic. We danced, sang, painted, marched, and aerobicized our hearts out. Though we did not win, any Senior will tell you our Aerobics routine was something to be proud of. Our showing was better than our first year, as we took a close finish in third place.

Junior year came upon us, quite quickly in my opinion, and so we were ushered into the ranks of upperclasswomen at NDP. This year was all about the sisterly bonds that are formed in a class. Junior Retreat was an experience like no other. Girls who may have never spoken to each other shared openly about themselves and their lives. There was laughter; there were tears. There was delicious food improved by even better company. There were memories made. There were sisters found. I know that that weekend in October set the stage for everything that was to come that year. In November, the much-anticipated day arrived when we received our rings. Almost no other day could compare as we embarked on the “Best Day of Our Lives.” A Penny Queen three-peat brought even more pride and unity to our class.

2014 arrived, along with the start of the college process, and many of us signed up for seemingly endless rounds of SATs and ACTs. The searching began as we each started to consider our life after NDP. The summer brought break with it, but also a time for college visits. Our class has toured the country, digging for the best colleges and universities out there. As our Senior year opens, I know many of us are buried amidst college essays and applications. By November, the applications start going in, and before we know it, the acceptances will be coming out.

While college is a thrilling time to look forward to, I am certain we will also make the most of our last year at NDP. We will challenge ourselves and each other to keep achieving in and out of the classroom. We will unite as a class to compete once more in Penny Queen and Gym Meet and strive to win both. We will carry ourselves with confidence and joy, sharing our bits of wisdom with the younger classes. And together we will don our white dresses and walk through the Gateway in May, ready to be women who are loving, just, and wise.