The Student News Site of Darien High School


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The Student News Site of Darien High School


The Student News Site of Darien High School


General scholarships, applicable to any college you want to attend, are a great way to pay off what your schools financial aid does not include.
Secret Scholarships
Katie Cavolo, Journalist • January 17, 2024

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Senioritis? More Like Senior Scaries…

No more first day of school doorstep photos, first day outfits, or back to school shopping? What is to become of the class of 2024?

I remember my very first day of school as a teeny kindergartener at Royle Elementary School. I’m the oldest child in my family; I was very excited to be the first to get on the big yellow school bus. I had a new backpack, and a carefully selected “first day of school outfit”. I remember walking up my street a little ways to get to my bus stop and excitedly waiting to see the bus approaching. There were other kids at my stop who were older than me, and I watched them get on before getting on myself. I sat down in a window seat, and looked out at my mom and younger siblings, and as the bus rolled away and they waved goodbye, I started crying, really hard and loud.

My first day of Kindergarten at Royle Elementary School, moments before disaster on the school bus. (Kaitlyn Murray)

I don’t exactly remember what happened after that, but I’ve experienced being very excited about something to the point where the excitement bubbles over into anxiety…and then fear, many times in my life since. I felt it again this past summer, when the whole thought of being a “senior” finally dawned on me… except this time, it’s the opposite feeling that little kindergarten Kaitlyn felt. She was very excited to go to a big school and be with the big kids she doesn’t know yet.

Now, I’m scared to leave my small local high school; it’s all I know. 

The night before the first day this past August, I had so much adrenaline I fell asleep sometime around 1am. I had to check my backpack a few times to make sure I had my summer reading assignment and calculator inside so I was prepared. I carefully selected what I would wear, knowing it would end up in a photo on my mom’s camera roll. I saw selfies from a few friends trying on their Blue Wave Anchor T-shirts, all ready to help guide the new first year students around the building. I have a draft of a college essay going. 

I’m a petite person, just by looking at me you’ll notice I’ve barely made it over 5’ tall. All these years, I’ve literally been looking up at all these taller, bigger kids who are 8th graders or seniors, subconsciously believing that I’d make it to that height one day…but alas, my Irish genes do not want me to be tall; only 5’ 1.2” me is going to walk across a commencement podium in a few months still wearing clothes from the kids section. I’ve begun to see college admissions rep visit schedules posted in the hallways, and have started to realize oh, I should go to some of those. I remember the realization I had on the second day of school that there’s no next year here.

My senior portrait! Time flies. (Kaitlyn Murray)

While I am completely terrified by those feelings and realizations, I’m keenly aware of the fun times ahead of me, wherever I end up. All good things must come to an end, they wouldn’t be special if they kept going forever. I, and the entire class of 2024, must accept that our time at DHS is coming to an end. 

I have a polaroid picture of myself taped to my mirror in my room from when I was about 8 years old, taken on an actual Polaroid camera. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I see me… but I also see her, and I’m reminded of how far I’ve come since that picture of me was taken; trips I’ve gone on, music I’ve learned, friends I’ve loved and lost, how I’ve gained a much better fashion sense. I’m a senior now; that’s a label I can identify with. Soon, I won’t be home anymore with my parents watching over me. I’m going to miss DHS, a ton. I hate to part ways with my friends, but the second my mother took my first day of senior year photo by the front door, I remembered that polaroid of little me on my mirror, how excited she was to be the big kid; and that I am so anxiously excited to set off on a new adventure… the anxiety just needs to bubble back down to excitement I can live in the moment with. 



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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Murray, Writer
Kaitlyn is a senior at DHS who began writing for Neirad in the fall of 2023. She writes pop culture and opinion articles, in addition to her personal creative writing endeavors. She plays violin, and you’ll most likely find her practicing, listening to Taylor Swift, or updating her Pinterest boards when she’s not working on a Neirad story!

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