Dear Freshmen

Dear Freshmen,

Welcome to Frank Sinatra Schools of the Arts, I know as you begin these next four years you have many exceptions. You’ll walk through the big glass doors and swipe your ID card every morning. You’ll go to classes, painfully dragging yourself up five flights of stairs. Up and down, up and down, up and down. You’ll not only be winded but overwhelmed. You will see students your height, maybe taller, maybe shorter, some will have green hair and trust me soon that will become normal too. The loud screeching bell will initially be alarming, but soon that sound will become your best friend or worst enemy, if you’re tardy.

In your classes you’ll slowly learn the names of your peers and teachers. With a month of adjustment and chaos you’ll learn your routine, and find your group. Everything will be great, you will have friends, some guys some girls and discover your favorite spot in the building. Maybe it’ll be the atrium with our new state of the art tables or the second floor next to the piano. It could be the lunch room or the roof when the warmer months comes.

“Coming into Sinatra I wanted to have a group, a solid few friends that I can trust and now at the end of my freshman year I can say I found those people and I know they’ll be lifelong friends,”  Ernest Apiagyei, Freshman drama major, said.

Friends are what help you get through school. They are taking the same exams, following the same schedule and having similar experiences. Sinatra is special because you become invested in the school rehearsals and projects much more than any other school. Finding your community and place in Sinatra may come easier than in other high schools, but finding life long friends may not be the case.

“Honestly, I am not friends with a single person that I was friends with freshman year. I noticed that these people I was hanging out with were acting like the exact people I did not want to be associated with so I distanced myself from them. Now I don’t have any friends in my senior grade and I’m okay with it,” said Natalie Martino, Senior Film Major.

You become the people who surround you. For better or for worse, through your four years as you mature, grow and learn more about the person you want to be you may lose a few friends along the way. The bestie you had at the start of freshman year can very likely be a stranger by the end of sophomore year.

“I mean I lost my best friend I know that sounds bad, but it’s the truth people grow apart and I respect it. She was my best friend since third grade and going to high school pulled us apart, but sometimes it’s good to let things go,” Jenna Charles, Senior Drama Major said.

In this transitional period of your life it’s hard for you to see the future or, maybe the good in losing a friend. In high school many factors play into a broken friendship or relationship. Your besties lack of attentiveness when you speak or if they put you on the back burner repeatedly, those are all red flags of a not so good friend.

However, everyone experiences these friendships because they teach you what you want and what you deserve in a friend. However, beware most of your friendships won’t end due to differences, but rather other people.

“Some of my greatest friendships in Sinatra were destroyed because of other people getting involved and starting issues,” added Natalie.

Many of the 2019 graduates of Sinatra spoke out about how their relationships and friendships have suffered.

“Fake” is a term you will soon become familiar with, its a term to describe a personality trait as someone who is insincere or is “two faced.” Unfortunately, in an era with social media being so prominent and influential, this has become very common.

Being “fake” stems from this need to fit in and please others. In order to do that you must find a relatable interest or common ground with another person. It can range from a similar interest in a sport or a show, however that similarity usually isn’t strong enough to hold a friendship which resorts to using gossip and hate to bond. All of it creates unnecessary drama, tears and hurt feelings. Every friend is a learning experience and for every friend you lose, you will find another.

The bitter sweet reality of high school is an experience everyone encounters. As a person you grow, your friends change, you change and so does your life. It’s not about the friends you’ve lost and the fights you’ve had, but about what you take away from the experience.

From freshman year, as a 14 year old to a senior at 18, you mature in the finest ways. It’s a time for exploration and understanding. So don’t dwell on the friendship you’re going to lose, but rather enjoy your four years because in the blink of an eye you’ll be sitting in the same classroom with two weeks left of a the high school era.

Sincerely, Valerie Ryan 2019

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