the school spirit shift: freshman and seniors compare their high school experiences

Isaiah Tarwater, Staff Designer

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The rumble of 300 shouting, stomping students is heard from the commons. Fifty feet away these 300 students all chant in unison, hoping to win the competition over their peers.

Helping lead this crowd is senior Blake Steele. Across the gym stands freshman Cooper Kelly. While Kelly may be younger than Steele, he is learning the ways of high school just as Steele did as a freshman, someday to become an image of school spirit, just as Steele is today.

Transferring to Southwest his freshman year from Overland Trail middle school, Steele said starting out high school with people he didn’t know, was a difficult transition. He said he felt it was “much more of an independent adventure than your ordinary first day at school.” Even with this tough transition, Blake said he warmed up to his new school and helped to build the level of school pride.

“I just think the best part is everyone being excited to be here — like I said with the teachers — the teachers love being here and we love learning,” Steele said.

Along with Steele, senior Madeline Reeves said she loves Southwest. Going to the same middle school as her friends, Reeves didn’t have as big of a jump going into high school, but said she still had her own challenges.

“[The seniors] were very intimidating,” Reeves said. “I remember being very short and tiny and all of the seniors that year were like 6’4”; I was very scared of them but, in the end, our grade ended up having a lot of spirit.”

Due to it being her last year, Reeves said she wants to make the most of it.

“I’m excited to be with everyone for one last year and make our last memories before we all leave and go off to college,” Reeves said.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is Kelly, a freshman having just completed his first few weeks of high school. Kelly shares the same common fear that Reeves had during her first week of high school.

“Southwest is a lot bigger and it has a bit of a scarier impression,” Kelly said. “But it’s not bad after getting used to it for the first week.”

Just starting out, freshman Madi Turner said she is already able to recognize some of the major differences between her life at Aubry Bend Middle School and in high school. Turner said she loves how much more spirit there is here.

“[I love] just being here,” Turner said. “I love my classes; the teachers are super nice. It’s been a great start to the year.”

After four years of getting used to the school, Reeves said she is sad that this will be her last year before graduation, but is excited to go out on a high note. Along with Reeves in her excitement is Steele with a word of advice to the freshman class.

“High school is what you make of it,” Steele said. “You want to go all out — that’s what makes high school. That’s what makes it the best four years you have and I’m fortunate enough to have put everything in it. I love going to games, I love going to shows, I just love being around the people and that’s what you need to do in high school.”


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The Mass Communications Site of Blue Valley Southwest
the school spirit shift: freshman and seniors compare their high school experiences