Summer break is over! Monday, August 1, 2016 marked the first day of school for all students attending Hawaii Baptist Academy. This year, 21 new students from the class of 2020 have joined the Eagle family.

It can sometimes be intimidating for new students and freshmen as they make their way around campus surrounded by upperclassmen. When freshmen were eighth graders, they were the oldest students in middle school. Now, they are the youngest. New freshman student Malia Joy Mussell said, “I feel a little out of place because last year we were like king of the hill.”

The first day of school brings with it a mixed bag of emotions.

The first day of school brings with it a mixed bag of emotions. Some feel nervous, others are thrilled, and some feel both. “I was kind of happy but I was also kind of sad because I felt like summer was really short,” said junior Brant Yamamoto, “and I really want summer to last a little bit longer but at the same time it’s nice to come back and see all our friends again.”

Coming back from summer break is not easy. During the break, students got to hang out with their friends, go on trips, go swimming at the beach, or enjoy a delicious bowl of acai on the beach. For senior Renee’ Galolo, the first few days of school took some adjustment because her classes have heavier workloads than last year and she was still getting out of her summer vacation mindset. But she added, “It’s pretty exciting getting used to the new classes and seeing the new freshman on campus and also seeing people in my class that I haven’t seen for a while.”

Like Galolo, English teacher Alexandra Taylor is also excited to see her students and work with her colleagues again. Taylor, who has been teaching at HBA for six years, is enjoying the fact that she’s no longer a new teacher on campus. “When I first started teaching I would get very, very nervous at the start to the school year, but now… it’s really more just fun and anticipation. Not scary anymore,” she said.

The oldest students on campus, the class of 2017, are not without anxiety for the school year either. With college applications looming ahead, seniors have more than just their daily academics to worry about. “It’s a long process and although I am looking forward to college, the applications are not fun,” said senior Aimee Clark. On the fun side, seniors have prom, senior trip, camp and Spirit Week to look forward to in their last year of high school. When asked what she was hoping for this year, Clark said, “Spending time with classmates this year and getting good grades so I can have a good life.”