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Students Ava Nair, Anna Simottel, Devan Kalra, Maia Carlos, and Josh Rosenblum, introduce themselves and take a picture with new students Frederick Reed and Sebatian Fefer on the first day of school.
With the start of each new school year, people hear stories about new kids trying to fit in and trying to enter themselves into normal school life. It is always a challenge for new kids, as they don’t know what the new school is like, who to sit with at lunch, what jokes are considered funny, and plenty more. Personally, I have never had to deal with going to a new school, so I can’t say I’ve felt the pain. However, as a welcoming student, I can say that helping a new kid out by introducing them to everyone and making them feel welcome is a great feeling that I encourage everyone to have.
With COVID-19, the amount of struggles new kids have had to face are much higher than “normal.” At Awty, kids who started during the 2020-2021 school year didn’t get a “real Awty experience” until the following year. In order to limit the spread of germs, students were placed in cohorts and were assigned a room to stay in all day. New students from that year like Frederick Reed said it was even harder to mix in with already-formed friend groups because of the health restrictions.
“Having started the year online, it was hard to really get to know anyone, especially because I didn’t come in person until six weeks had gone by,” stated Frederick.
However, students still were able to maximize their time together during free periods and were also able to form friendships with students who they might not have if it weren’t for the cohort system.
Ultimately, all new kids must work the system before fitting in, but with the help of friendly students, this process can be expedited. A simple conversation, introducing someone to a group of people, or giving them directions to their next class are all ways that you could help a new student fit in. Kind actions like these are what lead to a new student’s success and a potential everlasting friendship.