Bethlehem Graduation Essays 2023

Gaining the strength to grow at Bethlehem

Elizabeth Margaret “Maggie” Dalrymple

High school is known to be a time of growth. This growth can be seen in the way some might dress or the way some speak and act, but growth is not what it appears to be on the outside. It’s what you feel and know on the inside. 

It’s all based on looking back on yourself and believing that you are a different person. It doesn’t matter whether others see the change or not. It’s only the change on the inside that matters, and high school is the most important time in life for that growth as a person. 

When I look back on the class of 2023, I think of the young childish freshmen who used to get really competitive in handball during P.E.

Now, I see all the seniors as beautiful young adults who are moving forward with passion for their lives. This fervor moves us into the rest of our lives as we are catapulted into college and then our careers. And this passion grows from our high school experiences. It grows from the teachers that showed us how to be ourselves thoroughly, and the ones who showed us how wonderful it can be to grow up.

Growing up can be tough and scary. As freshmen, we struggled with the thoughts of letting go and growing older, but just because we are growing older, doesn’t necessarily mean that we must let go of all of these experiences, memories, and lessons that we have learned in our high school career. 

As seniors about to leave high school, we are not going to leave all our childhood friends and block them on all social media platforms. We are not going to completely forget all that we have learned — like that the purpose of life is to know, love, and serve God faithfully in this life and live eternally with him in the next. 

We are not going to just drop all our hobbies that we pursued in high school. We will still yearn for a place in the spotlight, we will still run fast through the finish lines of life, and we will still sing loudly with our friends. 

Even though growing up might be scary, once you get to senior year, that fear fades away. It fades away because you have grown as a person, and you become excited for what new adventures await.

Growing up includes knowing the people you want to stay in contact with, knowing your true self, and knowing how to take care of yourself. As a freshman, one looks up to the seniors because of their maturity and their fervor. One wants to be just like them. 

Now, as a senior, freshman me is so proud of how much I have grown and how much my class has grown. Now, unlike freshman year me, I am more myself, and I have grown and matured into a strong and confident young adult.  

These past four years have made all our seniors into strong, young adults who are ready for the next journey in our lives. This next journey may be scary as we keep growing, but we are strong enough to face the biggest battles with the tools that we have been given.

Thank you, Bethlehem High School

Amanda Lynn Carrithers

Walking down the white brick halls that have been filled with students for over 200 years would be eerie for some, but not for the students at Bethlehem High School. Walking through the front doors at the start of a new school year can be scary, but having someone to welcome you and hold you tight as you prepare for the future brings peace. 

A school with a maximum of 300 students and only so many days to get to know each other seems overwhelming, but Bethlehem makes it comfortable. They want their students to prosper and know they can have a good life, but it is not going to be easy.

As a smaller school in a small town, everyone, over time, gets to know each other. Personal bonds are created and can last well beyond graduation day. Meeting and getting to know new people and making memories reminds us of the beauty of life and that we should make the most of each day. While the education and experiences provided at Bethlehem have produced many academic and athletic accomplishments, Bethlehem’s greatest accomplishment is the feeling of family when you walk through the doors: No one is a stranger, and everyone is welcomed.

The senior class felt prepared to leave the nest due to the socialization opportunities that were available, such as freshmen orientation, senior retreat, and Battle of the Classes. A majority would say they feel prepared due to the teachers that put forth effort and care into each class, making sure their students understand the topic at hand for a good foundational education. Some could say our administration provides help in ways not always recognizable, such as when students are provided the opportunity to participate in Star Term, a class where students can focus on one topic or trade that interests them and learn what it has to offer. 

Another opportunity that not every school has is the freedom to learn and express their views on religion. As a Catholic school, we are provided times to pray, to learn, and to express our point of view on how to intrinsically be the good human beings that God wants us to be. A senior tradition that past classes of the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville often talk about is their senior retreat. Senior retreat is not only a learning experience and a time of self-reflection, but proof that there is always room to grow regardless of who you are and especially when you are discovering who you want to be.  

There are many things that everyone in the class of 2023 could say about Bethlehem High School, but one thing we know for sure is that we are a part of a family and always know the doors are open. Thank you, Bethlehem family, for helping us prepare for the next chapter in our lives.

The Record
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