With love the Class of 2017

The+Class+of+2017+will+soon+leave+its+legacy+behind+at+Sacred+Heart+and+assume+new+responsibilities+as+college+students.%0ACourtesy+of+cshgreenwich.org

The Class of 2017 will soon leave its legacy behind at Sacred Heart and assume new responsibilities as college students. Courtesy of cshgreenwich.org

As graduating high school seniors, our parents, teachers, and friends often give us the opportunity to reminisce on the Class of 2017’s “good ole high school days.” I could call upon the time when we spent an exciting three days at Camp Jewel for our bonding trip freshman year, when varsity soccer beat Greenwich Academy in the championship sophomore year, the time we spent in the chapel during our Kairos retreat junior year, or when we sat around a campfire at night and sang “Rivers and Roads” on our retreat senior year. However, I never intend to reminisce. Rather, I intend to reflect upon the moments and the stories that created this class’ legacy.
What is a legacy? An easy third grade vocabulary word all of a sudden becomes difficult for a graduating high school senior to define.
This is typically the time where a “farewell” editorial or speech decides to quote the Merriam-Webster dictionary. However, I’m going to quote someone a bit wiser: my seventh grade brother. When I asked him what a legacy is while writing this editorial, he sat blankly for a few seconds staring at the XBox screen before responding meekly, “A legacy is what you make it.” So, what has the Class of 2017 made our legacy?

The Class of 2017 will soon leave its legacy behind at Sacred Heart and assume new responsibilities as college students.
Courtesy of cshgreenwich.org

For the past four years, we’ve created a spark. This spark is visible in all aspects of our high school careers. Personally, I see it when I notice seniors talking with freshmen during FOCUS lunches. I see it when club heads make an announcement at Morning Meeting that there will be a civvies day tomorrow for their organization. I see it when team captains give up their lunch period to make paper plate awards for their team. I see it when a senior in Madrigals isn’t afraid to sing louder than everyone else so the girls in her section will know the notes and sing, too.
This spark manifests itself in every individual in the Upper School community. We’re a class that gives more than we take. I’m confident that most would agree that every underclassmen or faculty member has been personally touched by at least one person in this graduating class.
On stage, the bond between the seniors and the underclassmen is undeniable. On the field, court, or track, seniors motivate their teammates until the end, even when they’re out of breath themselves. In the classroom, the laughs and smiles the seniors elicit from their teachers has likewise put a smile on our faces. The spark we have created has lit the way for next year’s seniors, the Class of 2018, to engender their own identity as a grade and leave their own legacy.
In these ways, we have ventured into “unaccustomed Earth,” as the Class of 2017’s favorite writer Nathaniel Hawthorne once said. Through these risks, we have stepped out of our comfort zones and developed a growth mindset, according to the wise words of Upper School English Teacher Mrs. Linda Vasu.
Like Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne and Sophocles’ Antigone, we are bold. We are daring. We desire greatness in and out of the classroom. We motivate ourselves and each other, and this collaborative nature is what I cherish most about this class. We lifted each other up and helped each other to see the positive in the midst of college decision season.
The Class of 2017 will not be remembered by the amount of likes on our Instagram posts or our favorite filters on Snapchat. Rather, we will be known as the grade who was able to put the number 17 into the word “sisters.” Some may believe this is a coincidence—I think it’s fate.
We will be known as the grade who saw a sister in each one of her classmates and who didn’t make the freshmen carry equipment after every practice and game. We will leave these hallowed halls knowing that we are the class that has a bond this school has never seen before.
We are the grade whose class gift enhances a Sacred Heart education for those who cannot afford it. Our gift will provide support for the purchase of textbooks for Sacred Heart students on financial aid. This spirit of selflessness and giving is a quality that exudes from my classmates everyday.
My sisters and I make up a class that will be remembered for our constant commitment to academic excellence and success. We are the 74 girls who developed friendships and families out of teammates, peerlings, castmates, lab partners, and advisories.
The legacy we have chosen to leave is one of enormous magnitude. This legacy has been carved out of years of dedication, selflessness, empowerment, pride, gratitude, and love.
When it is time for me and my classmates to move on to our next great adventure in just a few short days, the sparks we have made will not fizzle out. When we are handed our diplomas next Friday, we will be set aflame. We will bring this fire with us on our college adventures and remember what started the fire in the first place: our high school teachers, classes, mentors, friends, and community. Sparks are momentary, but until they are blown out, flames will last forever.
-Morgan Johnson, Co-Editor-in-Chief