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Cheers to the Teenage Years, Here’s to the Next 4 Years

Sean Smith, Editor in Chief

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One of the hardest challenges teenagers face is freshman year of high school, though few will admit that. Parents always advise, “Just be yourself” or “Everyone is in the same boat.” For me it was a bit different. True, there was a new grade of timid, self-conscious 14 year olds moving up to high school. But I was considered one of only the three new Wantagh High School kids.

I went to Catholic school from K-8 and lived in Amityville. I quickly became the kid from Amityville who went to Catholic school and who lived by the Amityville Horror house, but that was just ninth-grade shenanigans. Back then I wanted return to Catholic school and be with the kids I had known since kindergarten. Wantagh students had known each other forever and when they talked about middle school I couldn’t relate. I had gone from schools where I was the minority to Wantagh where everyone looked the same. Not that it was anyone’s fault but that was just the way it was.

Everyday in the beginning of high school I wanted to be somewhere else but eventually Wantagh became a place I could call my home. I had made new friends who made it easy to forget about the old ones though I still talk to them today. People stopped seeing me as the new kid. I transformed into just another Wantagh kid. I was lucky to have teachers who enjoyed seeing their students learn. I even stopped missing Catholic school and I was glad I attended public school. I found out that the crazy upperclassmen stories that if you went to public school bad things would happen to you, were false. Thinking about it today, freshmen year feels more like ten years ago rather than three.

I am happy to say that I am a different person than I was in 2013 when I first entered the halls of Wantagh High. The night before I started 9th grade I remember my mom said to me, “Don’t let it change you, Sean.”
Attending high school has changed me in good ways and some bad. I am definitely more confident and outgoing than I was and I can thank taking journalism for it because it sometimes makes you interact with and question your peers that you normally wouldn’t talk to.

I hope that the next time I walk these halls in November that I can say college has made me more independent. I am lucky enough to be going to Purchase State College in the fall and I will continue to study journalism. I was fortunate to find lifelong friends (no matter how far I stray from Wantagh) and teachers who generously cared for you and your well being outside and inside their classrooms. It is hard to come across a school district let alone a community that is rather small and close knit as much as it is. Thank you Wantagh for being my serendipity I promise to be back soon.

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