Freshmen start high school, find community virtually

Grace Krumplitsch, Nina Gutierrez, and Olivia Rounsaville

Freshman+Seda+Perry+introduces+herself+to+her+classmates+and+faculty+during+Freshman+Success+on+Aug.+13.+Freshmen+met+their+advisors%2C+school+administrators%2C+and+teachers+for+the+Session+1+of+the+first+semester+during+the+day-long+virtual+orientation

Screenshot via Zoom

Freshman Seda Perry introduces herself to her classmates and faculty during Freshman Success on Aug. 13. Freshmen met their advisors, school administrators, and teachers for the Session 1 of the first semester during the day-long virtual orientation

Grace Krumplitsch, Editor-in-Chief

WEB EXCLUSIVE While many upperclassmen recall anxiously walking up the Flood Mansion’s marble staircase on their first day of high school and triple-checking that they were in the right classroom, the Class of 2024 logged onto Zoom yesterday morning, marking their first official day as high school students. 

“I really enjoyed our orientation because I got to meet some of my teachers that I have for the first session and they seem really lovely,” freshman Coco Stenzler said. “It is exciting to be going to Convent for high school, even if it is over Zoom right now.” 

Community Life Chairs, freshmen advisors and grade chairs held a virtual Freshman Success on Aug. 13 during which students met administrators, learned about school traditions and community life standards and got to know each other through different advisory activities. 

“I recommend students use Zoom to get to know each other better,” math teacher Thien Chau, who advises a freshman group, said. “Find common interests whether it be television shows, sports, physical activities or games, and use that to connect with one another.”

While the faculty and administration are working to ensure that the freshman class has a smooth transition into high school, it can be difficult to find ways to connect with other students and form friendships that often come easier in person, according to freshman Katie Fullerton. 

“I felt that we did not have that much time to meet each other, but I feel more acquainted with the school,” Fullerton said. “We did two mini introductions in our classes for the first session, and I got to meet some of the girls in my classes so I definitely got to meet new people.” 

Outside of the classroom, getting to know one another via direct messages on Instagram or Snapchat in the time of the pandemic is a way to familiarize oneself with faces that they have not yet seen in the halls at school. 

“Instagram was the biggest [platform] that helped me connect with everyone because I can see in people’s bios who is going to the school and who is going to be in my class,” Stenzler said. “I have a few group chats where we just asked a lot of questions and it has been nice to get to know a few people.” 

As the school year gets underway, Chau recommends students join clubs that suit their passions as it is a great way to get involved in the school community while forming relationships with upperclassmen who share similar interests. 

“Join as many clubs as you possibly can and that you are interested in,” Chau said. “You never know who you are going to meet.” 

While it is unknown when personal instruction will resume due to state and county health regulations, it is important to remember that everyone is going through a similar experience and to ask for help within the community, according to Stenzler. 

“I am really excited about our community because I feel like we have a really great class this year,” Stenzler said. “Getting to know more people is going to be a little bit more challenging online, but I think we will just make the best of it and look forward to the next four years.” 

— Kassie DeJean, Tala El Qadah and Ada Linde contributed to this story.

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