The Freshmen Experience

To kick off the 2022-2023 school year, freshmen attended Fish Camp in August to help them ease their transition from middle school to high school. Fish Camp is part of a StuCo initiative to help incoming freshmen adjust to the academic and social expectations of high school.

“For StuCo, Fish Camp is all about first impressions,” Student Council Co-Advisor Chrissy Boydstun said. “If we can take some of the mystery out of the big building and help students feel like they know their way around, it makes the stress of day one so much lighter.”

Coming into high school is a huge change compared to the eighth grade. There is a lot of worry and excitement they feel before making the transition. 

“I think students worry most about fitting in,” Boydstun said. “For Student Council, we strive to create an environment that is warm and friendly. We want events and activities to make all students feel like they belong.”

While it may be more difficult, freshman Karmen Garcia said the transition can be hard but overall she likes it.

“Highschool has been really hard but a big change from middle school,” she said. “The amount of work is a lot more, but I enjoy being at a bigger school.” 

Those who enjoy the change describe more freedom and options. This could range from more classes, to more extracurricular activities available. 

“High school has more electives to choose from, which I really like,” freshman Brett Becker said. “Having so many options is a very nice change from middle school.” 

Fish camp is an event that is used every year to help students prepare for their first few days of high school. Boydstun said the message to take away from the experience is they should not worry about the transition and to be excited for a new school and to have new classes.

“It gives a chance for students to walk the building and feel like they know their way around better,” she said. “Along with hanging out and having fun with their friends.” 

High school is different for everyone and can affect people in different ways.

“I wasn’t super worried about the transition,” Becker said. “But fish camp helped with navigating the school and helping me find my classes.” 

The change from 8th grade to 9th grade can be a big one, but there are many ways students can relieve some of the stress. Whether that be Fish Camp, talking to someone already in high school, or simply just talking to a friend or parent about worries.

“I feel like we shouldn’t have been as stressed out as we were about the new school,” Garcia said. “Now that we’ve been here for a few weeks I already feel like I belong.”