First month at Marian brings new experiences for freshmen

By CeciUrbanski

Sophia McNally ’26. Photo by CeciUrbanski.

Freshman year is anything but graceful. It’s uncomfortable transitioning from pacer tests and pizza parties to honors classes and homecoming. However, despite the anxiety-inducing elements of freshman year, there is a lot to be excited about. This era presents thrilling opportunities to discover your passions, expand your mind, and meet interesting people.

While Marian freshmen have faced a handful of social, educational, and navigational challenges in their first month, many have also explored or at least hope to explore the opportunities that highschool has to offer.

Whether a freshman is coming from a Marian feeder middle school, or is the only one from her grade to attend Marian, each student faces the challenge of friendship. Freshman Natalie Pham came from St. Wenceslaus knowing only a few people. Pham said she “came into high school feeling pretty scared,” but getting involved at school helped relieve some of that fear.

Pham joined the cheer team at the start of the year and was able to foster new connections with other freshmen. Continuing to put yourself out there is how you find the people you click with. Pham said, “I hope to get really involved this year; I don’t want to be sitting at home all the time.”

Fellow freshman cheerleader Emily Hill has faced her share of frustrations as a newbie at Marian. Marian is quite a large school, and with hundreds of people cramming the hallways during passing periods, navigation is a challenge. Hill said, “I didn’t really know my way around; I got lost a few times.” However, as many freshmen have learned by now, navigation is a skill you sharpen with time.

Being able to choose your classes and experience different teaching styles opens up the world of learning for a lot of students. Freshman Tatum Brandl says she really enjoys her Algebra class with Mr. Peter Cunningham. “I feel like there is just a much more fluid learning environment,” she said.

Freshman Sophia McNally attended Lewis and Clark middle school in Bellevue before coming to Marian. Adjusting from public school to private is a serious challenge that McNally has handled well.

She said, “I struggled with friends at first, but I found people I connected with through clubs and other activities.” Marian’s honors classes can pose a real challenge to students coming from a different learning pace as well.

McNally said “the classes had a lot of things I wasn’t used to.” Despite the challenges, McNally has found a lot to enjoy about Marian. She has excelled in Mrs. Ashley Bauer’s art foundations course and danced her heart away at bakesale jam sessions. McNally said “I love it here…there is so much more community.”

Marian is new for every freshman no matter what school they previously attended; everyone is on the same boat. As the freshman this year navigate new connections and freedoms, the teachers and students at Marian are eager to offer support and guidance to anyone in need.

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