To the juniors on ring day

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A group of juniors take a photo with their new rings on ring day last year. Katie Nail ’16

If I have learned one thing this year, it is that absolutely nothing happens the way you would expect. I distinctly remember my ring day last year. I was so focused on the stress of AP and upcoming SAT subject tests that I simply saw the day as a peaceful, yet brief hiatus from my otherwise hectic life.
But ring day is much more than that. Ring day is a defining moment. You, as juniors, are entering a chapter in your lives that I promise is unlike anything you have experienced. In the upcoming months, your parents, teachers, and guidance counselors will expect you to write essays highlighting the essence of who you are as sixteen or seventeen-year-olds. You will also be expected to envision where you see yourselves living for the next four years of your lives. So to a certain extent, you will be asked to make many decisions that may seem immensely overwhelming in the moment.
But as you receive your rings today, look around at your classmates. Look around at the girls with whom you have spent the last three years. You have struggled through every hard test, bonded over various Kairos activities, and grown together as Convent of the Sacred Heart students. Take in this moment, and try to ignore the anxiety from schoolwork, upcoming college applications, and standardized tests. Trust me, I have been there, and I know exactly how overwhelming it all seems.

A group of juniors take a photo with their new rings on ring day last year. Katie Nail '16
A group of juniors take a photo with their new rings on ring day last year.
Katie Nail ’16

Instead, feel that sense of home that permeates the halls of the Upper School. Remember every lunch with your friends spent talking and laughing around a table in the cafeteria, or every afternoon enjoying the camaraderie associated with the sport of your choice. These are the memories you should hang onto, even when it seems that everything is changing in the world around you.
At this time next year, you will be looking around at the faces you have grown so accustomed to seeing every day, and you will realize that in a few short months, you will become a stranger to everything you once knew. You will be waking up in a dorm room with someone new, wishing you had a few more months left in the hallowed halls of Sacred Heart that helped define the woman you are now becoming.
So cherish this moment today. Next year, life may not happen the way you thought it would. It certainly did not for me. But just remember that the path to college, and the rest of your life, is not a straight line. It is filled with many curves, kinks, and road bumps. In the end, trust that you will end up where you are meant to be.
So take your rings, and the responsibilities they bring, with great care. Cherish the memories you have, and enjoy your last year at Sacred Heart. It will go by so quickly that before you know it, you will be sitting at a desk, a month from graduation, wondering where the time went.
I would like to leave you with a quote by author and poet William Morris that I found particularly meaningful to my experience at Sacred Heart: “The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” So take interest in every last moment you have in your Sacred Heart career, and keep those moments in your heart.
-Katie Nail, Editor-in-Chief