Students muse on mighty Marian confidence

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“Marian will help you become confident, independent, thinking leaders!” This phrase is frequently thrown around school, according to senior Megan O’Konski. “I think it’s cheesy how often we throw it around, but I would definitely agree that most Marian girls are confident, independent, thinking leaders,” she said.

According to the February Network survey, 100 percent of freshmen hope this
motto will apply to them by graduation. For the most part, upperclasswomen said the motto holds true.

“Extra attention is paid at Marian to make sure each student receives the support said student needs to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Such attention simply is not paid at other schools, or if it is, certainly not to the degree that Marian pays,” sophomore Lily Watkins said.

Sophomore Elizabeth Brison was introduced to the idea of Marian confidence in a slightly strange way. “I remember at Freshman Retreat, one of the seniors described all of the girls as turtles ‘who would not only learn to break out of their shells, but throw it on
the ground and stomp on it,’” Brison said. A year later, Brison rated herself as 100 percent confident in the February Network survey.

Brison pointed out, though, that her confidence level is not the standard. “Marian does a good job of helping us all, but it can take a little longer for some students to become confident, independent, thinking leaders, because not everyone can be as loud and amboyant as some of the girls naturally are,” Brison said.

O’Konski agreed and said her introverted nature can prevent her from speaking up as much as other girls might. However, she will graduate with the knowledge that Marian has given her another gift. “I am very independent and strong in my beliefs,

so I will fight to the end for anything that I think is right,” O’Konski said.

For some, Marian doesn’t always inspire confidence on its own. “I think it’s also everyone’s own personal growth through high school, and that’s what helps them become more confident,” senior Kayla Gilbride said.

If she were to choose one Marian event that helped her feel confident, Gilbride said it would be Field Week. “During that week and that period, the class is just so united and everyone cares about everyone’s opinion, and everyone’s important in the process,” Gilbride said. “Individually, you feel like you’re making a difference, and everyone cares about what you have to say, and that boosts your confidence.”

For Gilbride, confidence came when she was a leader in Walls for Field Day, but for freshman Lauren Elliot, the Marian motto has yet to stand true. “It’s hard to just feel like a ‘confident, independent, thinking leader,’ especially as freshmen,” she said, “but all of my teachers and classmates are so confident in me that I am beginning to feel confident in myself.”

Elliot, Brison, and Watkins will hear the Marian motto many more times. For “confident, independent, thinking leaders” O’Konski and Gilbride, the motto will stay with them for years to come.


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