Dear Class of 2021,
Congratulations on your acceptance into Chaminade High School! No matter who you are or where you come from, attending Chaminade will be a challenge unlike any other you have faced. Along this four-year journey, you will encounter obstacles that can only be overcome through hard work and dedication, but your sacrifices will be repaid in full through your growth as a leader and through the strong brotherhood you will share with your classmates. Your four years at school will be comprised of many memorable experiences, varying from exciting school events and trips to personal milestones in your growth to becoming “the Chaminade Man.”
You’ll start your own journey this coming August, during the week-long 3-C orientation program. Over the course of this week, you’ll familiarize yourselves with your new home away from home and start to form friendships that will last a lifetime. Diving into freshman year, you’ll quickly find yourself consumed by the initial challenge of transitioning to high school. As long as you learn to work hard, manage your time, and help one another out, you are certain to succeed. Special events like the freshman dance, sports games, and evenings of recollection will provide you with opportunities to strengthen those new bonds formed in the classroom. As freshman year progresses, it is important to get involved after school—finding an activity you enjoy makes all the difference during your time at Chaminade. Finally, you’ll walk away from freshman year having survived comprehensive exams. The knowledge you gain and friendships you make during this first year will provide constant aid for the rest of your academic career.
After getting your feet wet with the Chaminade experience, you should feel ready to take on sophomore year with confidence. At this point in your high school experience, the “new” quality to freshman year is replaced by a feeling of routine and restlessness. However, you will have not yet taken on the responsibilities of the upperclassmen. In the quiet of tenth grade, you may end up learning more about yourself. It is the perfect opportunity to pursue and cultivate new relationships, interests, and skills. During this formative year, developing and strengthening the friendships you have made is critical for enjoying your time in school. Events like Sophomore Spirit Day and more evenings of recollections allow you to grow stronger as a class and prepare you to take on the challenges that still await, together. Furthermore, learning how to manage your time and schoolwork freshman year, sophomore year is a great time to broaden your horizons and join more activities or try out for a new sport.
Junior year carries with it more responsibilities and consequences than you will have yet experienced. Juniors at Chaminade find themselves juggling school work, the SAT, and the beginning of the college process among many other responsibilities they have assumed. This year is by no means easy. However, now is your time to step up and really become a leader of your respective groups and a role model for underclassmen. Moreover, the increased freedom of impending adulthood, as well as getting your driver’s license, make sure that there is plenty of fun in your life to balance out your stress. Furthermore, a trip to Great Adventure and Junior Dodgeball Night are opportunities to come together as a class and make memories that will brighten up the darker times of junior year and leave you with fond memories going forward.
After three long years of schooling, you’ll arrive at the final chapter of your high school career: senior year. College applications and the senior term paper will force you to hit the ground running, working harder than you ever have before. The entire school will look to you as leaders, and you will have the responsibility of seeing your commitments through to the very end. This year is where you will really see the fruits of your labors. You will see almost a quarter of a your life’s work pay off as you are admitted to college and wrap up your high school experience. You will be rewarded with privileges such as the student-faculty basketball game, the Senior Celebration Cruise, and trip to Disney. All of this excitement, which culminates on graduation day, are more than worth the hard work of four years. These moments are fitting ways to end such an arduous adventure, and they will be some of your fondest memories of high school.
Remember, there is much more to being a student at Chaminade than simply doing the work that is asked of you. Under the direction of the Marianists, the institution seeks to develop not just the mind and the bodies of its students, but also their spirituality. The Chaminade family is a community of believers and therefore always makes sure to put God above all else. From praying as a class to attending mass and other services, you will be exposed to the Catholic faith on a daily basis. Perhaps the religious practices here are taken to a higher level than what you might be used to from your previous schools. Even if it requires you to step out of your comfort zone, you are encouraged to take an active role in the spiritual life at Chaminade. Always be open to what is offered to you, for this is the place where the faith of many young men has taken root and blossomed. By striving to live out the Good News taught at school, you will not only grow closer to one another, but also to God, who brought you here for a reason.
While the challenge of this four-year journey is tremendous in scope, the accomplishment, brotherhood, faith, and fierce work ethic gained along the way make this undertaking undeniably worthwhile. The trials and sacrifices made are only temporary, but the rewards are permanent. In short, in registering for Chaminade you answered the call to a challenge. You will spend the next four years being pushed to grow as a man, leader, disciple, and friend. Not only will your efforts pay off in the end, but the nature of the journey itself will teach you many lessons along the way. We wish you the best as you begin this new chapter of your lives.
Aidan Fitzgerald ’18 & Nicholas Plante ’18