The WHS Freshman Experience

Grace Newby, Staff Writer

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Nearly 500 students arrived at Woodside High School as members of the freshmen class of 2021. As they first came onto campus events like AS/AP boot-camp on August 10th and 11th and Arena Check-In on August 12th welcomed them and began to integrate these new students into the Woodside community.

Freshmen immediately experience a whole new environment, both in the classroom and socially, which can seem overwhelming. Without the aid of the upper classmen and staff members of their school, this transition can be rocky and confusing.

Senior Ellie Fisher reflected on her emotions going into her first year at Woodside High School, saying “Leading up to [the first day] I was a combination of nervous and excited because… I had absolutely no idea what to expect.”

Luckily, Woodside aims to ease students into their school for the next four years by giving them resources and mentors who know the school well. Through the Freshman Transition program -which meets once a month during a 90-minute class period from August to March- sophomores, juniors, and seniors can bond with a group of freshmen while teaching them targeted lessons which will aid them throughout high school.

Junior and Freshmen Transition Peer Leader Emma McDowell explains that the program is “ a one of a kind program that aims to help freshmen enter high school life so much more easily”. Each peer leader is required to take part in a two-day training process which introduces them to the materials they will be teaching to the incoming freshmen.

The work seems to pay off, as freshman Evan Nguyen reports that “the school has helped me fit in through the welcoming community… of Freshmen Transition”.

Besides just this targeted program, students seem to be finding their way in Woodside through the assistance of their peers and teachers. Freshman Aidan Chandler explains, “I am fitting in at school because I have friends from my old school that I can hang out with and I already have a good connection with my teachers”.

The beginning of freshman year can be stressful, but Woodside shows that having a support system at school can be beneficial. Programs like Freshmen Transition help integrate the newest wildcats into the community, setting them up for the rest of their high school career.

Though it may seem intimidating to be a freshman, Fisher reminds them not to worry, saying “.. by the time I had figured it all out… I was ready to settle in for the next four years.”

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