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The first day of school
RUMFORD -- As the beginning of the school year approaches, memories of the first day come to mind.
For some, it is an apprehensive child clinging to a parent’s leg. For others, it’s getting on the bus like a “big boy or big girl.” Especially for Moms, it might be a tear shed over a precious child growing up.
But not all first days are for the little ones. Many members of Mountain Valley High School’s Class of 2012 are embarking on their first days at college. They are like the kindergartners – some apprehension but mostly confidence in taking the next step to begin their adult life.
Ashleigh Elaine Milligan, familiar to many in the local area for her beautiful voice, is leaving for McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minn., where she will major in vocal music performance. For her, the first day is a dream beginning to come true.
“I'm mostly looking forward to the experience of studying something I love,” Milligan explained. “Most kids my age go to college undecided and change their majors a million times before they find out what they want to do. Since I was seven, I've known music is my life. McNally Smith will give me the opportunity to work with people in the music business and it will help get my name out there. The ultimate dream would be to hear myself on the radio from the experience. But, if I get to just share my music after college or while in college, I've experienced everything I've needed to.”
Other members of the Class of 2012 look forward to making their own decisions and growing into adulthood.
Andrew Child will learn about sports management at Husson University and play lacrosse in the spring. He looks forward to “making new friends and learning what it takes to make it on my own without relying on anyone. Turning into the person I want to be doing whatever I love!”
“I'm looking forward to being on my own and making my own decisions,” echoes Chad Jones.
Jones will major in astronomy at the University of Maine at Orono.
In addition to Jones, Jamaica Ford is also heading for University of Maine to major in psychology. She is excited about “everything will be new to me -- new friends, new school, new life.”
Some new college freshmen are eager to meet new people in new venues.
Noah Tanguay-Collins reported, “I am looking forward to meeting lots of new people and exploring what Boston has to offer.”
He will attend Endicott College for business and marketing. Endicott is located in Beverly, Mass., close to Boston.
“I am excited for a change,” Zak Radcliffe said. “I will meet new friends, expand my education and make a difference in the world some day.”
Radcliffe is in for a change. He will live on the coast at Castine and attend Maine Maritime Academy. He will major in international business and logistics.
Delaney Paterson will not be far from home at University of Maine at Farmington to learn about secondary education in math. “I can't wait to explore opportunities that college will hand me,” she said.
Not surprisingly, some students from small towns look for diversity in their experiences.
“I'm most looking forward to experiencing the diversity college has to offer,” Cam Welch explained. He will major in business and marketing at University of Denver.
Katie Billings heads to Dartmouth College in Hanover, N. H. “I am looking forward to expanding my education by taking advantage of Dartmouth academics, travel abroad opportunities, and Dartmouth diversity right on campus.”
Just like the kindergarteners, the Class of 2012 has some apprehension about their first days. Some wonder about academics, some worry about friends and some fear being away from home.
Billings reports, “I am the most nervous about the college level workload. Coming from a small public school I am aware that the amount of work along with the difficulty of the work will be a whole new level at Dartmouth. I am worried the most that my current education will not suffice when it comes to Ivy League academics.”
Radcliffe echoes those concerns, “I am most nervous about classes. I know I will be able to do the work, but I hope that I am not overwhelmed.”
“I am most anxious about the work load and learning exactly how I am going to be able to manage my time in the most efficient way possible,” adds Tanguay-Collins.
Being away from family is a concern whether the family is thousands of miles away or a mere 30 miles.
Paterson said, “The thing that makes me most nervous is not being able to see my friends anytime I want, and not being around my family all of the time.”
“I am concerned about being thousands of miles away from home and everything I've come to know as my life,” Milligan reiterated. “I'll be packing up every little memory I have of this little mill town. I'm nervous about leaving my mom, she says she won't miss me but I know she will. I'm also freaked out about being in the city; I've never lived there, but my mom says I'll do fine because the city is where I need to be.”
Even in their angst, the Class of 2012 will survive and thrive in their new surroundings with their new friends. After all, they are only an instant message or a phone call away from their support back home and Thanksgiving break is only three months away!