On the first day, one freshman is royalty

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Photo Isabel Hanewicz

Abby Patterson ('20) stands her locker, 2268, which her parents decorated in honor of her fifteenth birthday. The tiara Patterson wears was her great-grandmother's, passed down by her mother.

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

Abigail Patterson is only a freshman, but today, she’s as royal as any senior. While this year’s early start- and the shorter summer- had students complaining, the Aug. 10 start holds a special meaning for Patterson. It’s her 15th birthday.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted my birthday in school,” Patterson said. “So I was excited for it.”

On her head, Patterson wears a sparkly sliver tiara, one that Patterson’s great-grandmother used to wear on her birthday, passed down to Patterson from her mom, Patricia.

Patterson's parents put up the cupcake posters on either side of her locker.
Patterson’s parents put up the cupcake posters on either side of her locker.

Up until 2016, school would start about two weeks later, too late for Patterson to wear her birthday crown to school. So she improvised.

“Around September 10, I’d wear a crown to school and act like it was my fake birthday. And then my birthday party would always be delayed until September.”

The crown isn’t Patterson’s only birthday adornment: pinned onto her blue dress is a pink ribbon proclaiming her “Birthday Girl,” and two paper cupcake cutouts grace either side of locker 2268, placed by Patterson’s parents the day before.

While today marked her first day at a new school, Patterson wouldn’t let any freshman fear stop her birthday traditions.

“I didn’t know if I was going to wear a crown today, because I didn’t want to be embarrassed,” she said. “But I think I’m going to do it anyway.”

So, amid the packed halls on the first day, there were 1,601 students.

And one princess.