At 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, over 250 students at Notre Dame Regional High School kicked off their annual freshman-senior lockin. At 6 a.m. the next morning, they headed home after a night full of fun, bringing back with them the comfort of being able to recognize a few new faces.
According to faculty organizer Angie Schaefer, the all-nighter originated as an action plan in 1988 created by the Notre Dame Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention team.
“It was designed as a way to help our freshmen coming from a variety of feeder grade schools to get to know one another in an evening of games and activities,” said Schaefer. “We also bring in speakers that have a message of alcohol and drug prevention.”
This year’s speaker was Missy Lane of Jackson, who shared her story of driving while intoxicated and the consequences that followed. Brad Lively, a patrolman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, also dropped in to discuss various laws that will apply to students when they’re of legal age to drive.
Senior Perri Poe said although the talks were similar to those that took place at her freshman-senior lockin, she still thought they were a good refresher.
“It was definitely one of the lower points of the night, I guess you could say. But it’s good to be serious and really get the point across to make sure we’re safe throughout the year,” said Poe.
As is typical of the lockin, seniors were tasked with the planning and implementation of activities. This structure allows the class to both take on a leadership role at the school and develop a mentoring relationship with incoming students. The summer before the lockin, they gather for several planning meetings and decide on a theme. The 2019 theme? The popular 90’s sitcom, Friends.
“A lot of us knew the background of Friends, and we thought everyone kind of knows about it anyways. So it wasn’t specific. It was more general so everyone could relate to it,” said Poe.
One way they incorporated the theme was while students were writing down personal short-term and long-term goals. One goal was on a coffee mug, and the other on a gold frame – similar to the one seen in Friends – which were then posted onto a large replica of the show’s iconic purple door.
Poe’s little sister, Ava, was a freshman this year. She happened to be in Perri’s small group during several outdoor games, including earth ball, wiffleball, frisbee, and flag football. Other activities included verbal games, such as “Never Have I Ever” and “Truth or Dare.” The most popular attraction of the night was the sudsy slip and slide, which, before his new appointment, Brother David Migliorino joyfully operated year after year.
Ava admitted her trepidation upon arriving at the lockin, but said that feeling didn’t last long as there was “really no time to be nervous.”
“I saw my friends and then I saw my sister, and [the activities] were nonstop,” said Ava. “I got to meet a lot of new freshmen, but I also got to meet a lot of the seniors. After that, if I didn’t know where I was going at school, I got to see the people I met at lock-in and ask for help.”
In comparison to the ample orientation events Notre Dame hosts for incoming freshmen, Ava said the lockin outshined them all.
“We got to get a lot closer with people because we were there all night. The other activities are just a few hours or during a class, and with less people. Like Peer Helpers – there’s maybe 30 people in that,” said Ava. “At lockin, you get to meet more people you didn’t know before.”