Reflections: The Annual Freshman Overnight

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Nolan Rogers | Jesuit Communications

Information: Freshman should arrive at the Chapel entrance by 8:30 a.m. and be prepared to check in. Families are invited to mass at 10:15 a.m. Sunday morning.

It may sound like a dramatic overstatement, but one weekend has the power to alter not only an individual’s path for four years, but an entire Freshman class’s relationship with Jesuit High School.

Coming from a public school in Elk Grove California, I knew two people in my freshman class at Jesuit. My social standing on campus was by no means aided by my crippling introversion. The smallest social block was all it really took for me to become frustrated and return to my iPad.

I was thrilled to be at Jesuit and passed my first couple of weeks on campus with a sort of hopeful naivety. I had no idea precisely what the next four years would entail, but I was so excited to start high school that I tried to put my best foot forward and brushed aside those awkward days as part of the experience.

My optimism predisposed me to being open on the Freshman Overnight: open to the experience, excited for whatever might happen, and most definitely happy to be there.  The weekend turned out to be quite the transformative one. Even if I did not have anyone I could call a best friend, I felt accepted. And even though my journey at Jesuit had only recently begun, I felt ready.

The retreat changed my naive hope to a justified one. My experience on the retreat gave me reason to believe Jesuit would be a great place for me.

That belief dictated my time at Jesuit. I have had three years to try my hands at Jesuit’s selection of ministry, co-curriculars, and courses, and I found that as long as I remained open and excited my belief proved true.

So in my fourth year I am overjoyed to be able to finally take the reins, so to speak, of a place that was so good to me, in hopes that I can make it good for others.

The Freshman Overnight is a kickstart to the Jesuit experience. On Saturday morning, I can only hope that the freshman are excited to launch into their time at Jesuit and begin living the brotherhood.