Freshman Retreat: “We’re all in this together”

Marie Dela Cruz, Freshman Staff Writer

“The freshman were all gathered in a room, waiting for the seniors as they were quickly taking pictures outside. Suddenly, one girl stands up and sings ‘We’re soaring, flying!’ Another responds with ‘There’s not a star in Heaven that we can’t reach!’ One by one, we all rise and begin to sing and clap to Breaking Free! When we all sang the High School Musical songs together, I felt we really bonded as the class of 2017. It was really fun!” says 9th grader, Rachel Tata.
The Class of 2017 stepped off the bus blindfolded as they arrived at the Bethany Center for the Freshman Retreat on Friday, January 10. Linked arm in arm, the freshman were united for the first time as they walked in together, depending on their trust in each other instead of their eyesight.
With the help of their senior leaders, the freshman learned many lessons about how to survive the hectic world of high school. “I really wanted to take lead in this event because I just love the freshmen.” says senior leader, KeTaira Phillips.
Each of the seniors handed down their knowledge from different categories including relationships with family, friends, and God. Afterwards, the freshman broke up into several groups to discuss their problems, future goals, or any questions that they had in mind. At the end of the day, the freshman wrote letters to themselves that they would open when they finally become seniors.
“My favorite part of the retreat was when we meditated and wrote letters to our senior selves. I can’t wait to open it when I am a senior to see how much I’ve learned.” says 9th grader, Kaitlyn Seiler.
By the end of the day, the freshmen grew in their knowledge about themselves, others, and their sisterhood. “I think the most important thing I learned was to cherish the memories we make with our fellow Academy sisters.” says 9th grader Olivia Stevens.
At the end of the afternoon, jumping off the bus back at AHN, the freshman were now “all in this together”; no longer strangers, but sisters.