Crier staff shares their experiences as MHS students


“I first learned the difference between past and present tense in second grade. By then, my passion for reading was already teetering on addiction, and I found great joy in identifying the “ed”s attached to the end of each word I could find. The concept enthralled me—I began to relate my world in terms of the past and present. I was hungry (past). Now, I am eating (present). I told a joke (past). My friend laughs (present).

As I continued to age, the playful grammar exercises I made for myself turned into coping mechanisms. In times of trouble I found myself yearning to hide in the past, finding comfort in the known. In eighth grade—the year I transferred to WWMS after five years of being homeschooled—I would spend my lunch hours replaying the events of my weekend and analyzing the small tasks I completed days prior, ignoring the sometimes woefully empty seats next to me.

Click here to read the rest of Atarah’s column.

I have lived in Munster practically my entire life. Sometimes I resented the fact that I have lived in the same place for nearly 15 years. I wanted to run away. But now that I am leaving, I have realized how much Munster has provided me, despite its flaws.

I first began to realize when an adult told me, “You’re lucky to go to Munster. Other families would love to go here.” I laughed uncomfortably, not really understanding. But it made me curious. I met a kid who moved from a neighboring school. They said, “I’m so happy I get to go here. They teach a lot better here.” I was confused, because I thought all teaching is mostly the same. But it was when I was talking to another girl about my extracurriculars, she said, “I wish we had all those clubs.” Shocked, I asked her why she didn’t have clubs. She shrugged, saying, “No one wants to sponsor them. But also money. Money’s a huge factor.”

Click here to read the rest of Alison’s column.

Most of my formative years did not come from Munster. As a result, I tend to see the faults in the schools, the local government and the culture as a whole. Although overall Munster is a decent town to live and grow up in, my main issue is with the way certain people look down upon the less fortunate. I want to disclose that as a straight, white, cis male, with a comfortable upbringing I can never truly experience discrimination.

Click here to read the rest of Henry’s column.

Over the course of my high school career, I’ve had a handful of achievements. From grades to extracurriculars, I think I can say that I have worked exceptionally hard to get to the place that I am in. But despite the successes, and the praise, and the fluctuating periods of confidence, I’ve always felt a looming fear that I would be outed at any moment–that my accomplishments were not the accumulation of my efforts but an outcome of chance.

At Munster, it is no secret that you are surrounded by others with both a means and a motivation to achieve. This has never been a problem for me–I’ve always basked in the system of rankings, despite its many flaws. I relished in the feeling of being a leader, in the echoes of my proud voice radiating back to me. And yet, it almost acts as a double-edged sword. But it is a combination of both my environment and personality that has contributed to this overarching feeling–that everyone around me is a product of their own efforts, but I stand out as a fraud, an imposter with the burning gaze of my peers in the back of my head.

Click here to read the rest of Reena’s column.

Munster is raising generations of hard workers, scholars and leaders—but at what cost?

When I moved to Munster from Canada, my impression was testing, testing, testing. Kids my age and younger compared ISTEP and NWEA scores, spurred on by my teachers dedicating entire periods to having students analyze their results. Especially in the honors bubble, kids organized themselves in a hierarchy of intelligence, of worth based on achievement. While I had wanted to be a writer, artist or cartoonist prior, it seemed everyone around me only recognized doctor, lawyer or engineer as careers. I constantly heard that STEM was the way to go, that the humanities were not essential nor valued. Students who naturally enjoyed math or science were exceptional, whereas those who did well in English or History were nothing special.

Click here to read the rest of Kristen’s column.

Moving out of Munster, there is a part of me that cannot help but to feel relieved at the change of environment.

To say that the academic culture of MHS is “tough” is an understatement. If someone had told me five years ago that everyday I would be swamped in homework and anxiously obsessing over grades, I would have dismissed the conversation entirely. This instilled “need to succeed mindset” is all too prevalent among MHS students—unfortunately, many can relate to the lack of sleep, anxiety, excessive worry over grades, and eventually, the decline in mental health due to such an environment.

During my time at MHS, I observed that a great deal of my peers have a certain mentality of thinking, “I have to take X amount of AP and honors classes, I have to join X amount of extracurricular activities and I have to keep all my grades above X percent.” Learning in such a competitive and seemingly high-stakes environment eventually led me to place those same expectations on myself.

Click here to read the rest of Sofia’s column.

Coming from the Lake Central school district, Munster was difficult to get used to. The classes here are much harder, there are different norms and the school’s expectations are higher. I had a hard time in all my classes due to the different teaching styles the teachers use.

Here at Munster, teachers go through content quicker and the tests they give are designed to make students use what they have learned and apply it in different scenarios. However, when I look back at it, all of the struggle and academic rigor that I went through was for my own good. I have gotten into almost all of the colleges I have applied to thanks to the outstanding learning environment Munster provides. But academics were not the only thing that shocked me when coming into Munster.

Click here to read the rest of EJ’s column.

Privileged and lucky: names that Munster has and always will be called. When people think of Munster, they think of students that are rich and selfish–at least,that’s what I think. We are lucky to be at such a high ranked school for education–but we are not all privileged in ways.

Click here to read the rest of Lexi’s column.

In second or third grade, I remember being pulled out of class to join the honors math class for their lesson. When the teacher asked me a question and I didn’t know the answer, I became frustrated and started crying. Although I don’t particularly recall being upset about continuing regular math class, I do remember how embarrassed I felt getting a question wrong in front of the “smart kids.” From parents asking the school for their children to be put in the honors program to hearing students stress about college in middle school, it was apparent from an early age how competitive school quickly became.

Click here to read the rest of Lauren’s column.

Hearing the loud mumbles of students talking, I tried not to panic as I walked closer and closer to the red and black striped doors leading to the gym. This was my first day of a new life, new friends and new experiences.

Click here to read the rest of Anna’s column.