Let the School Year Begin


Photo Credit: geralt

Saish Satyal

To All Cistercian Students,

After less than three months of summer vacation, it’s time for school to start again. Whether it’s your first time walking down these halls or it’s your last year, Cistercian is still a school that continues to provide new experiences and challenges for each student. No matter what grade you’re in, it’s a place that fills you with a strange sense of fear and excitement at the unknown prospects that lie ahead. However, for the new people coming starting their first year here, there’s probably more of that sense of fear than excitement.

You all have been dropped into a new school that is known for its rigorous curriculum, and you’re surrounded by other kids that you barely know. Not only that, you’ve got new teachers, new hallways, new uniforms, and new rules and traditions that you have to follow. Your lunch is only 25 minutes long and you now have homework on the weekend. For many of you, you’re no longer going to be the smartest in your class anymore. Rather than breezing through school, you all have to develop new study habits because Cistercian is designed to challenge its students. When you put all this together, it’s a little overwhelming. I’m getting nervous just writing about it. It’s a scary new place with scary new teachers and scary new people and it would be a lot easier at your old school.

However, it’s actually not as scary as you all have been lead to believe. It’s a lot more comforting when you realize that every single one of your classmates feels just as confused as you are, and even though your teachers might say strange things like “syllabus” on your first day of school, they’re here to help guide you through Cistercian and teach you to become… …better people. Sure, there are new rules and harder classes, but it’s a challenge that Cistercian thinks you can handle. Every student that has gone through here looks back at their time at Cistercian and realizes that no matter what challenges they faced, no matter how much they complained about certain assignments, that in the end, those things made them into better people. All of those essays that are assigned and all of the short answer paragraphs that you have to write on tests do help you, even if it doesn’t feel like that at the time. Sure, if you get a bad grade on an essay, it will feel like the whole point of Cistercian is to make you fail. But if you take the time to read the teacher’s comments and learn from your mistakes, you’ll be able to write better essays in the future and improve your grades later.

Of course, if you don’t want to get a bad grade on that essay in the first place, Cistercian still has a ton of resources for you to use. Your classmates are often the best resource because even if you don’t understand a particular topic, you’ll usually have a classmate of yours that does (so help each other out!) And in case you can’t find anyone,  Cistercian still has a Tutoring Club after school that helps students with whatever problems they have anyway. But don’t forget that your teachers are always there to answer your questions. Just find a time to visit them in their office and they’ll be happy to help. This school is difficult, but it provides its students with plenty of opportunities to get help, as long as you seek it out.

Being completely honest, Cistercian can be a pretty difficult school. For many students, it’s filled with frustration, disappointment and a lot of hard work, but it’s pretty rewarding school even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time.
Cistercian is a genuinely enjoyable and formative experience that is also very challenging. The hardest part about Cistercian isn’t the curriculum or the teachers; it’s the amount of change that you’re going to have to go through as a person to do well. It can be an extremely stressful environment, but most of that is probably going to be because you didn’t manage your time well in the first place. It is also important to take part in your school community. It’s the atmosphere of Cistercian and the emphasis on creating a brotherhood that really sets this school apart. The bonds that will be created within your form are meant to be friendships that last a lifetime, so don’t ignore the people around you and really get to know them. If you actually try your best, ask for help when you need it, and strive to get to know the people in your form, then one day you’ll be able to look back fondly on your time here as well.

The Informer Staff