An Altered Sophomore Retreat

The sophomore class spent the second half of their day bonding on an in-school retreat Feb. 1.

Lauren Shaw, Reporter

On Monday, Feb.1 the sophomore class gathered in the gym for their annual retreat, led by Director of High School Campus Ministry Stephanie Pino-Dressman. The focus of the event was “Rooted in Sion: Branching Out” to promote the girls to connect with others in their class outside of their own friend groups. Another goal to come out of the gathering was to overall unite the grade further as a whole and to grow more comfortable with each other.

“My favorite part was the speeches because I felt like I connected to each of them,” sophomore Zahra Parsons said. “I felt less alone in what I have experienced because they described their experiences with those same problems.”

To achieve this, the class of ‘23 listened to presentations by seniors Mary Hudak, Grace Steyer, and science teacher Emilie Lai. The seniors’

“We made bracelets and necklaces. That was my favorite activity because I just tied the piece of yarn in a loop to do tricks with,” sophomore Lauren Millard said. (Grace H)

presentations focused on prioritizing happiness and mental health during stressful times such as high school. Ms. Lai constructed her presentation on empathizing with others and understanding different perspectives.

“Hopefully (my speech) meant something to them and they are now able to be more empathetic or compassionate towards my experiences easier and bring that to their own,” Lai said. 

Following the presentations, the sophomores were introduced to their small group activity in which they sat in a circle with their peers and made bracelets from colorful string and beads. As this was happening, the groups were given icebreakers based on personal experiences to discuss with each other. If one was comfortable enough, they were welcome to walk up to a microphone set up in the center of the gym and share with their whole grade. 

“I never realized that some people face daily challenges that I never knew about,” sophomore Lauren Millard said. “I know I wasn’t close to any of the speakers, but it’s strange to know that such happy people have had such difficult pasts.”