TBy Ryan Smith ’17
Throughout his four years at Chaminade, a student experiences many ups and downs and often encounters many unexpected twists. Countless exams, sports practices, and due dates may make him feel as if his life is turning upside down. On the other hand, acing a test and receiving his long-awaited diploma can give him an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. Indeed, life as a Flyer can very well be compared to a rollercoaster. Appropriately, the junior class is annually granted the opportunity to see this metaphor become a reality at Six Flags Great Adventure—one of the most famous amusement parks in the nation.
On the morning of Thursday, May 19, the members of the Class of 2017 woke up as they would on any other weekday morning. However, they knew that this day would not include notebooks, pens, tests, or quizzes. Dressed casually, over 400 third-year students filled nine coach busses following the morning announcements. The excitement was palpable as the buses motored onwards toward Jackson, New Jersey.
Arriving at the park around eleven o’clock, the juniors eagerly made their way to the admissions gates. Once they were all admitted, the fun began, with the teenagers given virtual autonomy to do as they wish. A free lunch voucher and an emergency contact number were distributed to each student, ensuring that the park would provide a great deal of fun without compromising the safety of anyone.
With the adrenaline already pumping and the sun already blazing, the juniors branched out into any of the eleven sections in the park, such as Movietown or Adventure Seaport. Favorite attractions included the steel megacoaster Nitro, the classic wooden coaster El Toro, and Bizzaro, a wild ride with unexpected twists and impressive sensory effects. Other appealing options were found in El Diablo, Skull Mountain, and the numerous carnival games stationed throughout the park.
Although every student had his preferences, there is no denying which ride was most popular among the Flyers. Kingda Ka, the tallest and fastest roller coaster in North America, looms above the horizon no matter where one stands in the entire park. Those who dare to ride are met with a 456-foot drop and a maximum speed of 128 MPH. Matthew Meade ’17 offered a rather relatable perspective on the emotions of riding Kingda Ka. “Kingda Ka is like comprehensive exams,” Matthew said. “There is a lot of hype, but once it’s over, it’s not that bad.” Nevertheless, many a junior could not overcome his own fear, leaving a select few who were brave enough to test the megacoaster.
After hours of sweat, adrenaline, and thrills, the entire junior class convened at the northern end of the park for dinner. An impressive array of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese replenished the famished students. Vanilla ice cream provided a cool finish to a hot and exhausting afternoon. “The dinner was a perfect way to end the day,” Drew Werner ’17 said. “The trip overall was a ton of fun, creating unforgettable memories and exciting stories to share.” At the conclusion of dinner, the Class of 2017 boarded the buses once again, knowing that they must return to the challenges awaiting them at school—but this time with thrilling memories of an exciting class trip.