“Being a new student at Rowland hall is an interesting experience, to say the least,” says 10th grader Jamison Oleksy, who just joined this year.
You can really struggle with anything at all. For example, you can go to the wrong classes, you can’t figure out how lunch works, and you might have a problem figuring out the schedule. Come on, I’m pretty sure that many of you probably had at least one of those problems. So really, what makes the perspective of a new student good or interesting?
Tenth grader Jamison went on to say, “To start off with, all of the classes are awesome, they go way more in-depth and just generally are more fun than any other school experience that I have had. I also love the teachers and how they relate to the students, they are engaging and help bring the classes to life.”
As you can see, Jamison is really enjoying his time as a new student, and even though he joined in 10th grade and not 9th grade, he really is making the best of it.
“Making friends has been cool; however, since most people already know each other from middle school, I sort of have to jump into premade friend groups. They are all accepting, though, and I feel content with the friends I have,” Jamison ends.
Something we can see here, obviously, is how Jamison as a new student enjoys the welcoming environment and the fun classes. This is really what makes the perspective of a new student interesting. You can expect freshmen at different schools to most likely have a hard time trying to find new friends, but at Rowland Hall, that’s not the case.
I interviewed senior Towfiq Aziz about his past experience as a new student, and he responded, “I was in 10th grade when I joined Rowland Hall (2020-2021 school year). Since it was during the peak of Covid, everyone wore masks, and we had a hybrid schedule.”
Joining during the Covid-19 school years was definitely painful for Towfiq. However, would this make his experience more interesting?
“It was hard for me to make new friends, especially since everyone basically already knew each other from 9th grade and/or middle school. It was also a bit hard to adapt to a new school, especially since it was my first time moving (I had been born and raised in North Carolina), and my mental and emotional state wasn't the best,” Towfiq added.
To answer my question above, yes it definitely made Towfiq’s experience as a new student very interesting. It was hard for him to make friends not only because of how everyone already knew each other, but how the school year was hybrid.
“I didn't feel too included, although I did have a few people ask if I wanted to hang out with them. They were good people and students, but just not my friend group,” Towfiq ends.
Obviously, Towfiq’s experience was challenging, though the interesting stuff I found about his perspective was, yet again, how the students made him feel included. Although he said he didn’t feel too included by the people who became his friend group, students still asked to hang out with him, which is somewhat inclusive. That’s something I also found in Jamison’s quote, inclusion.
I also interviewed a student by the name of Gavin Schmidt who joined this year as a 9th grader, and he said, “As a new student to Rowland Hall, I feel very happy, the teachers are great, most students are friendly, and I’m happy I’m in a warm, welcoming environment.”
Like Jamison and Towfiq, Gavin notes that the students are friendly.
“From my point of view, I feel amazing at this school and am very glad to be part of the community. I think Rowland Hall does a good job welcoming new students,” Gavin ends.
It’s really obvious Gavin is enjoying his experience. He calls and considers our school a community. I’ve noticed many people don’t call their schools communities, but instead just consider them as a mess of conflicting communities that can’t blend peacefully. So our school being called a community is kind of special. Now, it’s obvious that Gavin is not only enjoying his experience, but he’s having a very wonderful time because of the inclusion.
When I read all of those quotes, inclusion is that one word that keeps popping up in my mind. Although some of the new students talk about a good education, inclusion is still in the lead. My question has been answered about what makes the perspective of a new student interesting, but one question still lingers in my head, does inclusion add to the quality of education at Rowland Hall?