Is Freshman Transition effective in welcoming new Wildcats?

Peer Leaders meet their freshmen for the first time


Isabella Williams, Online/Social Media Editor

This year’s freshman class of 2021 was introduced to their peer leaders during Freshman Transition periods on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29 and 30, of this week.

Peer leaders are sophomores, juniors, and seniors that volunteer to help freshmen feel welcomed and prepared throughout their transition into high school. The Peer Leaders have been hard at work to make this year the most welcoming and successful transition WHS has ever seen. Incoming leaders were prepared with 12 hours of training and detailed instruction from counselors on how to improve the experience of transitioning for freshmen.

Ms. Gwen Sidley, head of Freshman Transition, states that the main purpose of this program is, “…to build community; to help the freshmen feel a sense of belonging so that they do well in school.

The first lesson of Freshman Transition consists of many ice-breaker and trust building activities that serve to make the freshmen feel more welcomed and safe at Woodside High School. Every month, a ninety minute period is dedicated to a different lesson. These lessons cover

“It was really casual. We made a lot of jokes and it was really just a lot of fun. We really felt like we belonged… there’s not really something I think they should change” reports freshman Freddy Churchill.

Along with positive feedback on the casual, comfortable nature of Freshman Transition, some frustration arose with some of the lesson’s content.

“I’d probably be completely fine without Freshman Transition… I feel like, at least for this first meeting, they didn’t really know what we already knew. We already know each other’s names. We don’t need to do a name game. I would have them better understand where we are in the transition next time,” stated freshman Sara Raubvogel.

Peer leaders also felt frustrated with some of the program.

“My goal as a peer leader is to have the freshmen feel like there are people on campus who they can confide in and people who care about helping them, but I think it sometimes isn’t achieved due to the setup of the program. The setup is very general and makes it hard to develop personal connection with the students”, says Holly Rusch, a junior Peer Leader at WHS.