To All Freshman: Seniors Are Not Going To Bite You

How The Seniors Of DHS Have Changed My Life As A Freshman For The Better

“The seniors are going to kill us! They’re going to murder us in the hallways and attack us on the bus!” Those are some common things many freshmen are told regarding the senior class before entering high school. Well, that’s what I was told at least. Did I believe it? Not really. Well, maybe a little. Boy, was I wrong.

If you ask me about my senior buddies, I will respond to you with a huge smile and will then proceed to ramble on about how amazing many members of the Darien High School Class of 2020 have made my freshman year, and how they have left a permanent mark on me.
I’ve always been the type to connect to and feel more comfortable with people who are older than me. I’m someone who gets a little nervous around people my age, but for some reason, upperclassmen have always made me feel more secure and at ease.

The night before Freshman orientation, I got a call from one of my Link Leaders. She left a message on our answering machine. She said her name was Perrin and that she was excited to meet me at orientation. Immediately, I could tell that I was lucky and that Perrin was someone special, and I was right.

Flash forward to orientation day. I was a nervous wreck as I walked into DHS with my mom. I had no clue where I was going or how anything was going to work. I had never been more terrified.

After getting our iPads set up, the freshmen were marched into the auditorium and were told to find and sit with our Advisory and Link Leaders in preparation for Mrs. Dunn’s welcome presentation.  After a bit of searching, I managed to find my Advisory and Link Leaders in the sea of students and staff. I introduced myself to Perrin and Kaitlyn and we chatted for a bit. Right away, I felt much less nervous.

My Link Leaders were and still are absolutely incredible people, and I’m so blessed to know them. They have made me love our Advisory sessions and really eased my worries about high school. They have changed me in so many ways. I look up to them and want to change lives someday like the way they changed mine.

Thoughtful birthday gifts from Perrin Trask and Olivia Maniscalo.

Coincidentally, Perrin and I wound up in Introduction To Media Studies class together first semester, and Kaitlyn and I wound up in Digital Journalism class together second semester. Being able to have time with both of my Link Leaders outside of Advisory helped me to get to know them better and become closer with them.

That brings me to my next point. Before coming to DHS, I had heard from friends and neighbors that electives were a great way to meet new people, upperclassmen in particular. When I signed up for the Introduction To Media Studies and Digital Journalism classes the summer before Freshman year, I had no idea how amazing my time in Mrs. O’Hare’s classroom would be.

During Introduction To Media Studies first semester and Digital Journalism second semester, I was lucky enough to meet so many amazing upperclassmen. As this article is focused on seniors, I’ll zoom in on them. The seniors in those two classes immediately became some of my best friends, and I felt and continue to feel so connected to them. We’ve shared many inside jokes and laughs together. Seeing them in class, in the halls, and around town have made my year so special. Every single one of them has been here for anything I need, whether I have a question or just need to rant about my day. They have offered me the best advice and cheered me on through everything.

I take so much pride in being able to say that I have friends who are seniors that have looked out for me, a tiny freshman with glasses and no high school experience whatsoever. Some of them consider themselves to be my loyal bodyguards and protectors. I’ve even gotten a few escorts up to journalism class before, after running into one of my friends in the hallway. My friends shouting, “Make way! I’m escorting a freshman!” makes me feel so carefree and grateful. Most of all, it has made me feel like I belong in the DHS community.

My birthday this year held many amazing surprises, but one of the standouts by far was a surprise drive-up parade consisting of five of my senior friends, Perrin, Ryan, Gwen, Lily, and Olivia. They came cruising down my street in their cars bearing gifts and kind birthday wishes. I got to talk to them for a few minutes from a distance. Getting to spend a little time with them in this uncertain time, even if we were more than six feet apart, means more than I will ever be able to describe. 

My senior birthday drive-by.

The fact that five of my upperclassmen friends took time out of their days to surprise a freshman on her birthday says something huge about many of the seniors in the DHS community. I was beyond touched, and as soon as the parade pulled away, I cried tears of joy and couldn’t thank my friends enough for what they had done. I still can’t. I can’t even put what I felt that afternoon into words. That drive-up parade on my fifteenth birthday is something I will never forget and will cherish forever.

Chances are, at least one senior you meet will change your life.”

To my senior friends who have changed my life this year, thank you. To every senior who has smiled at me in the hallway, thank you. To every senior who gave me directions when I had no idea where I was going, thank you. To every senior who reached out to me and somehow reassured me it was going to be okay, thank you. To all of the DHS seniors, every single one of you, thank you for welcoming me to DHS, making me into the person I am today, and for changing my perception of upperclassmen. I love every single one of you, and will always appreciate you. You all have inspired me and shown me the type of person I want to be when I’m your age.

I know that this situation, especially for our seniors, is not at all ideal. I know that your second semester of your final year of high school has pretty much gone down the drain. I know that this time is so uncertain. I know that nobody really knows what’s coming next. However, all of that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be celebrated, thanked, and appreciated. You all deserve the world, and your colleges have no idea how lucky they are to have you as a part of the class of 2024. I wish you all the best of luck and know you’re going to do the most amazing things in the future.

And, to all current freshman and future freshman: NEVER believe any of the negative things someone says about the senior class, because they’re wrong. I can attest to that.

Chances are, at least one senior you meet will change your life.