By INDIA KRUG – For many new students, school can be a menacing thing. Activities that may seem effortless in nature, such as eating lunch with friends, can be seen as a challenge by kids who may not know many of their classmates.
For many of us, we transitioned alongside our friends as we were introduced to middle school and eventually, high school. However, there are some who are experiencing a entirely new school district for the first time.
A majority of freshmen are experiencing the usual shift from one building to the next within the district and progressing with peers they’ve shared classes with for the past three years. Also, many students entering the high school have older siblings who’ve given them advice on what they should expect during the change.
Freshman Chloe Kocinski states, “My first impression was that it definitely wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. At first I was a little confused with the room numbers and finding my classes, but that cleared up after awhile. My sister did give me advice like, “Always walk down the right side of the hall” and stuff like that.”
However, there are some who have entered an unknown territory with no familiar faces to rely on. Imagine starting school without having anyone to swap schedules with, wait for the bus with, work on homework with, or sit with in the cafeteria. This can be difficult, especially when paired with the new classrooms and hallways they are forced to memorize. Sophomore Amanda Iandiorio, a new student from Blairsville, says, “On my first day here, I had tons of questions about the school and teachers were happy to answer them.”
As members of IHS, we have a level of responsibility to welcome new students to our district and make sure they feel comfortable. One group was organized to do just this, the IHS Ambassadors, overseen by Mr. Neil. An ambassador’s job is to look out for one of the almost fifty transfer students and make sure they’re having a smooth changeover. Junior Anthony Bevevino comments, “Being a student ambassador is important to me because it is a job of simple duties that make a monumental difference in the lives of others.”
So maybe next time you see someone sitting alone at lunch or struggling to do homework for a class you take with them, pull up a chair or ask them if they’d like some help. Even the smallest actions can make a big difference in someone’s day. New kid or not, when the student body comes together to help each other out, great things happen.
[Photo by India Krug]
Photo Caption: “Sophomore Paige Mitsko helps freshman Jossalyn Satterfield open her locker.”