Senior Retreat Brings Back Memories

During the Senior Retreat, I reflect on these past few years and the growth I’ve experienced.


Ava Stoltz

Seniors Caroline Boessen, Emma Edgar and MaryBeth Ismert show each other the letters they wrote to themselves during their Freshman Retreat in 2016. For this year’s senior retreat, students spent the night in the high school gym Sept. 16 and received letters they’d written their freshman year.

Maleah Downton, Web Editor-in-Chief

Sitting off in a corner of the gym, I stare at the envelope in front of me. Bubbly child-like letters ignite a rush of emotions. As I peel open the seal and begin to read the three-year-old letter, it all comes back. “Dear Senior Maleah,” my freshman self wrote. Looking over the scribbly words on the page and the embarrassing grammatical errors, I am reminded of the growth I’ve experienced throughout my high school career. 

Senior students spent the night at school Monday, Sept. 16 for the Senior Retreat. As a part of the retreat, students received the letters that they wrote to their future selves at the 2016 Freshman Retreat. Something that seemed so trivial to me during my freshman year has somehow managed to touch me so deeply. 

Maleah Downton
Seniors received letters written to themselves their freshmen year at this year’s Senior Retreat Sept. 16. Pictured is Web Editor-in-Chief senior Maleah Downton’s letter.
Dear Senior Maleah,
I hope you kept up with your grades and made some good life long friends by now. Hopefully you’re not still the nervous and shy freshman I am now. It’s your senior year have fun, relax a little to. I know you’re probably stressed with college and everything. It’s not over yet so keep working hard. This is just one ending for the many of journeys in your life. I hope you’ve made great memories at Sion and will forever cherish them. Stay COOL and stay YOU!
Love, Freshman Maleah

When I wrote to my senior self I was lonely. Writing the letter, I imagined and hoped that somehow those feelings would subside. I hoped that Sion would grow to become home. Entering high school with no one I knew, I felt lost and misplaced at school.

However, now as I cried and reminisced with my closest friends I am reminded of the beautiful friendships and bonds I have formed. The sisterhood is real. As we’ve blossomed into strong, smart, courageous and beautiful women, we have done so united as a community. 

Sitting in the grotto only accompanied by the night’s crickets, I felt wrapped in love. Students were asked to reflect on women in their lives who have had the greatest influence on them. Going through every woman I know in my head, my classmates continued to pop inside my mind as my biggest influences. I’ve grown with these women. We’ve learned together, stressed together and evolved together. 

As giggles and whispers filled the pitch-black gym in the middle of the night, I genuinely felt at home. The faces surrounding me are my family. We are a team. Even as we embark on college and new adventures, we will still hold close to these memories. 

This year, I will begin to close this chapter of my life and turn the page to new endeavors. Starting on this journey, I am doing so backed by my Sion family. Remembering all the good, bad and cringy moments of my high school experience, I am so thankful for every single minute of it. If I could give any advice to my freshman self, I’d say thank you for your kind words and for your perseverance in sticking with this process. Trust me, It gets better—It got better.