Freshman adapt to make new friends from home

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Photo by Ellie Mollica

Freshman who are returning to in-person school will find it easier to meet their classmates.

Starting high school is a huge change for students in a normal year. This year, the freshman began high school online and started a completely different type of high school experience.

Starting online school was a big adjustment for students and teachers. This year’s classes were a big alteration from the asynchronous work and optional classes during the end of the school year last year, and an even bigger alteration from the in-person learning pre-pandemic.

It was quite hard to meet new people this year because of online school but I made friends through mutual friends and social media.”

— Kelly Ren

Online learning makes it difficult to build relationships with classmates. Even so, students have still found ways to meet new people.“It was quite hard to meet new people this year because of online school but I made friends through mutual friends and social media,” freshman Kelly Ren said.   

During a normal school year, students would have a chance before, after and in between classes to socialize with each other. Also, lunch would provide students with the chance to talk to and meet other students.“I would meet new people in my classes by sitting at a table together or working together in groups,” freshman Hayley Cooper said.

Even simple actions like talking to the people sitting near to you could help students meet each other. In a normal classroom setting, students would have partner work to meet and talk to their classmates. The virtual version of this takes place in Zoom meeting breakout rooms.  Here, students get a little sense of normalcy as they work with their peers in a group setting.

Though most did not meet in person this year, clubs were another hub freshmen could use to meet their classmates. “I made a few new friends through clubs. I also made a lot of new friends from the Wootton field hockey team. I also got closer with some people I knew a little before online school but we bonded over similar classes and schedules,” freshman Madison Moorhead said.

As students start to go back inside the school building it will become easier to meet and connect to their classmates. Although the whole grade won’t be back all together, it will help school feel more normal.