Unusual school year creates challenges for freshmen

AnnaDailey

“I think the hardest part about being a freshman during the pandemic is not being able to have many school events yet. It’s a lot harder to meet new people, and classes are all socially distanced, so it is not as easy to get to know the people around you,” freshman Samantha Bourne said.

Freshman year always comes with new challenges, from finding the right classroom to figuring out the lunch schedule. Starting a brand new school is already difficult, let alone amidst a pandemic. This year, the freshmen have to adjust a little differently to a new school than past classes have. 

Tripe teaches Introduction to Speech and Debate with freshmen in the classroom and on Zoom.

One of the biggest aspects of freshman year is going to school with new people. With half of the class at home and the other half sitting six feet apart, it’s more of a challenge to meet new people this year. “I would say it is difficult for [the freshmen] to get to know each other, because we can’t really do small group work and half of them are in zoom, so I just think meeting their classmates is hard,” freshman class co-moderator Hallie Tripe said.

Joining a sports team has helped some freshmen get to know their classmates who are not in their half of the alphabet. “I play volleyball, so I know quite a few girls from there, and I already knew a couple with M-Z last names before attending Marian,” freshman Abby Drexel said. 

Over the summer, Marian hosted social events planned by Director of Admissions Molly Woodman and the junior class for the freshmen to get to know each other. “Between the Big Sisters cheering [the freshman] on while they handed out their ice cream in May, the personal letters, the July Bash and their beautiful lockers, I hope the freshmen can tell their Big Sisters really care about them and want them to succeed,” Mrs. Woodman said.  “The only time I have seen some of the freshmen not in my half of the alphabet was the July bash,” Bourne said. 

Teachers at Marian have been especially helpful in trying to introduce both halves of the alphabet to each other. “Almost all of my teachers made us make presentations explaining a little bit about ourselves to share with the class so we could get to know the people on Zoom,” Drexel said. 

Upcoming events will help freshmen meet more people as well. “They should join a club when all that information comes out so they can meet people with interests of theirs,” Ms. Tripe said. “I have encouraged them to talk to their neighbors next to them since they can’t really move around, and I have tried to do things where we put padlets on the board or put them in breakout rooms in Zoom.” 

Junior Daley Mayer gives the freshman class the advice to “have an open mindset and know the Covid restrictions aren’t permanent. Introduce your friends to others and they can reciprocate as a way to meet new people. everyone wants to make friends and is in the same position so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself!”

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