Sophomore year: halfway there

Mandy Puga, Staff Writer

Ahh yes, sophomore year. I got to know myself this year. Who I am. What I like. Where I want to be. This year was everything I imagined and more.


Let’s rewind…


Me and my bestie, Lianna Enright ’24 on the first day of school. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)

First day of school was normal. That must sound like nothing to adults, but us teenagers hadn’t had a normal school year for the past two years.

Through the months of August to November, I trained hard for cross country. Cross Country races were definitely a huge part of my sophomore year. The more I reflect on those races, the more I wish I would have enjoyed them.

My cross country team taking a group picture before our meet at Woodbridge. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)


Even though I was in so much pain when I ran, crossing that finish line was a feeling like no other. All those practices became worth it.

My partner in crime, Kat Martins ’22, and I at our last cross country meet together. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)

After experiencing this year, fall season is officially my favorite. The endless football games, homecoming, and so much more. Going to MANY football games were some of the best times.

The student section in Servite’s football games with the theme of gold out. How ironic. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)

Simultaneously, I was also rehearsing for the Trinitas winter musical, “It Starts With a Dream.” If you want to know about my experience with this show, you can go read the articles I wrote about it.

The cast of ISWAD poses for a silly picture. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)

But truly, this show impacted my life more than I ever could have imagined. Thank you to everyone in that cast for giving me something to look forward to everyday.


In December,  I got hit with COVID. Badly. After that, it went downhill.


Now, I couldn’t have just skipped over these two months, but then I’d be lying to myself and whoever ends up reading this. January and February were my lowest points of the school year. To be honest, I wasn’t taking care of myself, and I had no idea how hard it would be.


I remember the dreaded mornings where I felt like I couldn’t get up. I remember banging my head on my desk being overwhelmed with all the homework I had. The tears flowing down my cheeks after coming home from a long rehearsal and feeling like I didn’t matter.


Then in March, an angel in disguise came my way: Red and Gold. This show tremendously lifted my spirits and made me who I am today. I finally felt like I had a purpose again.

Me and Brynn Beauchamp ’23 pose in front of the Chicago sign before the Saturday night show. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)
Maddie Lising ’24 and I after finding out Gold won. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)


Through Red and Gold, I realized that being on stage was something that made me happy. Even though it came with its challenges, I am so glad I participated in the spring musical, “The Sound of Music.”

The cast of The “The Sound of Music” poses for the crazy cast picture. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)

April and May were filled with vigorous rehearsals. I loved seeing the show come together and being able to have the experience of performing in an iconic show like this one.

My homies in the wedding scene during “The Sound of Music” rehearsal. (Photo Credit: Mandy Puga)

As this year comes to a close, I find myself reminiscing on the little moments.


Making new friends and becoming closer with others.


The gold glitter paint smeared on my face, whether it be from football games or Red and Gold.


Memories from red and gold, cross country meets, and theater I’ll never forget.


The candy jar in journalism awaiting my hand.


And the seniors. Oh man, the seniors.


What I didn’t expect was hugging my seniors friends goodbye having such a big impact on me. (Once again, I have a whole article dedicated to them.)


Thank you to all of my friends, whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior, who made this year worthwhile.


This is Mandy Puga, officially signing… oh wait. That’s not for me. Don’t worry though. I’ll come back senior year.


Goodbye sophomore year. Looks like I’m already halfway there.

Me praying that junior year will be just as fun as sophomore year. (Photo Credit: Philip Mangiaracina)