11 things I learned at NDP

11 things I learned at NDP

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Members of the senior class are older and wiser than they were four years ago.

By Amanda Rief

After attending Notre Dame for four years now, seniors will be able to tell of at least one significant thing that they have learned. That thing is usually something that is important and that they will carry on with them for the rest of their lives. These things that Notre Dame Prep teaches are so important in forming who the students are as people and how they go on to live their lives.

1. The truth about the Catholic faith

After attending a Catholic elementary school, you would think that I would already know most of what they would teach throughout my four years at NDP. And while there definitely were a lot of repeated subjects, there were also a lot of subjects focused on that were more in depth or more intense than what they could teach at an elementary school. I learned what the Catholic faith is really about and how it works. I also learned what I truly believe in my heart and the best way to go about sharing that love.

2. The importance of applying myself

Whether it be grades in a certain class, a sport or a different extracurricular, applying yourself is extremely important if you want to achieve highly in those things. Senior Nick DesMarais says that he learned how important it is to apply yourself fully in whatever you are working toward. “I learned [to play] the guitar,” DesMarais also said.

3. How to push myself to my full potential

When you are in a college prep environment like NDP for four years, you get the mentality to push yourself. But instead of just saying, “You need to push yourself,” students actually learn how to push themselves and succeed. Senior Olivia Silva said, “ I’ve learned how to challenge myself and push myself to my full potential.”

4. How to manage my time

Students are put in an environment where they need to know how to manage their time between work and extracurricular, among other things. It seems stressful at first, but after four years, senior Riley Corona can confidently say, “I’ve learned how to manage my time wisely.” Corona’s advice is to do homework ahead of time to avoid the stress. Knowing how to manage your time is an extremely important skill to have in college, and life as a whole.

5. Writing skills that are useful for everything

Notre Dame has a strong focus on developing writing for students right from freshman year. Jacob Heid, a member of the graduating Class of 2013, said, “NDP helps students gain writing skills far beyond many other students.” Upon entering college, one will find that the skills that NDP teaches are useful in every class and farther on in life as well, Heid said.

6. Life is all about people

Notre Dame instills a wonderful and strong sense of social skills in its students.  “NDP teaches its students in a way that helps foster social skills, self-worth and respect,” Heid said. Because of this, students are able to communicate better with their peers, whether it be in the classroom or in their dream job. Students would not be able to survive in the real world if they did not learn social skills.

7. How to be a leader

NDP provides a wonderful environment to allow all students the opportunity to step up and become leaders. Julia Trace, Class of 2014, said she learned how to take on a leadership role. In this process, she was able to be responsible for her actions and achieve her goals  with a sense of mutual respect for those around her.

8. To be a leader, sometimes you need to step back and be a follower

It is crucial that, when acting as a leader, you are aware of those around you whom you are leading. Sometimes, when in a leadership position, you need to step back “and be a follower, allowing others to step up and be leaders, too, and respect them as a leader,” Trace said. This is invaluable in the real world outside of high school if you want to be respected as a leader and get anything done.

9. Treat all in your team as a leader

Sometimes, when you are the leader of a group or team, it is easy to forget that the people you lead are often just as capable. One must not forget that everyone has the right to step up and submit their own input if they so desire. Leadership is based on respect, not dictatorship.

10. Respect others and yourself

It is extremely important to remember your value as a person. Trace said, “[I learned] that it is important to respect myself in my image and being made in God’s image.” I, too, have learned to remember that others go through similar struggles, and they must be respected as well. Also, remember to respect those who work hard to better your life. “I have realized that I need to give my full attention to people who are putting effort in to bettering me, educating me, etc.,” Trace added.

11. How to have confidence in myself

Before high school, I was an extremely shy and dorky kid who had no idea what she was getting herself into. But having learned so much at NDP for four years, I have done a complete 180 in my confidence around other people. Now I can go up to strangers and ask them a question or a favor. I can have a complete conversation with an adult. This is a skill that I will always keep with me in my future endeavors.