Freshman First Impressions

By Sarah D’Esopo and Erin McLaughlin
Staff Reporters

As the second semester begins, members of the freshman class are becoming more active in the Paul VI community.  As the new Panthers continue to leave their mark on the school, Panther Press asks: What do freshman think of Paul VI? What plans do they have for the future of their class?

Grace Tecala (Our Lady of Good Counsel)

grace tecala

What was your first impression on the first day of school?
On the first day of school, I was honestly terrified, but so excited. After being a part of this school for the whole day, I knew I loved it and was excited to come back the next day.

Did you feel enough was done over the summer to make you feel comfortable at school?
Of course, I thought everything we did over the summer helped immensely with my transition into a bigger school. Having familiar faces and new as well as old friends is something that helped the most.

Annie Crosson (St. Leo’s)

annie crosson

How does Paul VI compare to your primary school? Is this your first time at a big school?
PVI is huge compared to my old school. There is so much more freedom here. I had been at St. Leo’s for nine years, and so PVI was completely new to me.

Overall, how involved do you feel?
I feel really involved. I have an older cousin who graduated from PVI in 2013, and one day during the summer, going into freshman year, I was looking at her senior yearbook. Under everyone’s name were the activities they had participated in while at PVI. I remember there was one girl who had absolutely nothing under her name, so when I started school, and even now, I always think about how I don’t want to be that person who does nothing during their four years.

Kim Phan (St. Joseph School)


Did you find the building confusing, and did you get lost on your way to class?
The building is well organized, so I didn’t really get lost on my first day.

 How do you like your advisory?
I LOVE my advisory, because I have become very close with all the other freshmen.

Noah Strike (Our Lady of Good Counsel) 

Noah Strike

Why did you choose to come to Paul VI?
I chose to come to PVI because it was the closest, it was not an all-boys school and I love how we get to use technology in the classroom, something Gonzaga prohibits and O’Connell allows, but only up to a certain point.

 Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of homework?
Definitely. I have stuff after school until 4 p.m.  most days and then on some day I have an after school job from 4 to 6 p.m., from which I don’t get home until 7 p.m. The amount of work really is ridiculous, and it is not helping my grades at all. Teach me in class instead of assigning five hours of homework.

Steven Cornwell (Highland Middle School) 


What elective would you like to see added by your senior year?
A VI Man class that is in place of your study hall.

What role would you like to see yourself playing by your senior year?
I want to be a leader on and off the field, whether that’s in lacrosse or in the hallways. I want to be one of the leaders of the VI Man, a good big brother in my advisory and to be one of the leaders of Student Ambassadors.

Jiyoung (Lucinda) Kim (Holy Spirit) 


I came from Holy Spirit School, which is in Annandale. Well I considered PVI, Bishop O’Connell and Bishop Ireton because students that came from those high school were talking about their school. I chose PVI because when I came here last year, PVI was the first school that I saw and I thought it’s cool I wanna come here. It’s pretty big school to me but pretty similar with my middle school about academic stuff. I’m in Panther Pals, PVI Players, Panthers 4 Life, and Model UN. First impression was confusing because it was pretty big and I was not used to structure of our school yet. I had to look school map every time when I switch classes but also I couldn’t believe that I’m in PVI. Also I was so nervous of first day of new school. It changed as comfortable. Now I can find classes without map and I’m not nervous anymore. First day of school, I was lost and get some helps from seniors. Also I was confused on my advisory. I got comfortable to school after 1 week of school. My advisory is pretty cool. Sometimes I feel I have many of assignments but sometimes it’s enough. I went to every football games and I also went homecoming. I love football game whether we win or lose. Homecoming was so much fun. I’ll be just normal student but happy with school life and friends.

Harper Brinkley (Trinity Christian School) 

Harper Brinkley

Although Brinkley’s old school had a high school, but he followed in his older sister and brother’s footsteps to attend Paul VI for high school. switched. “PVI is much larger than my old school,” he said. Brinkley is part of the cross country and track teams; he would like to take foods and nutrition classes. At the beginning of the school year, “I was scared,” Brinkley said, but he’s “less scared” now. “I had no idea where my classes were the first day, but I got lucky and made to most of them on time.”

Although the school readied freshmen over the summer with information and activities, “the first day was still hard,” said Brinkley, who loves his advisory. “It is very nice to be able to go every day.”

When asked if he feels overwhelmed with the amount of work at school, Brinkley says, “Definitely.” Overall, though, “I think I have done a pretty good job of getting involved, and it has definitely paid off. I attended lots of football games and homecoming, because they were fun and had free food lots of times.” His goal for senior year? “Class president.”


Benjamin Garber (Eagle Ridge Middle School)                                                     Benjamin Garber

Garber chose to attend Paul VI because “it was a good environment.” He has always attended “a big school; my grade last year was almost 500 people.” Garber plays hockey on the school club team. His first impression of school on the first day of school was that the classes were short, and he still feels this way. Like many, Garber found the building confusing and got lost on his way to classes in the beginning of the school year, but he felt comfortable being here. Garber attended football games and homecoming to stay involved, but he is immersed in playing hockey now.

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