Written by Nick Sanzi:
We whine, we irritate, and we yell. But, we learn, we enthuse, and we express. We are freshman. Webster-Merriam Dictionary seems to think the word means a student in the first year of high school or college. While that may be true, to be a freshman means something more. I’ve spoken with several different first year highschool students, and I can tell you that the textbook definition never crossed their minds. Each one simply defined being a freshman as learning new things in a brand new place. They talked about what it meant and how it felt to be a member of a freshman class. Although the future is being tossed at them all at once, they are a brand new part of EGHS which is an amazing feeling.
On August 31st, 2016, roughly 200 freshman stepped inside East Greenwich High School for the first time. The feeling was truly surreal. All our lives, slowly progressing through Frenchtown, Meadowbrook, Hanaford, and Eldredge. All these schools were checkpoints on our road trip to our final destination; high school. I sat down with some of these students to get a look at how their first week went, their first impressions, and their outlook on the future.
“I was overwhelmed…” CJ Perrone told the Spectrum, “I quickly found that high school wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.” This was a realization that all freshmen make at some point, no matter how long they go denying the fact that they aren’t in Kansas anymore. “It’s manageable, and once I became accustomed to the system it’s been a lot easier to make time for homework and other activities.” CJ has found that EGHS works as a unit, allowing him to be involved and handle the everyday workload of Mr. Brocato’s Honors English class. Chris Teng, another freshman student, is excited about growing in such an environment as this. “The work is to stimulate our minds. And the more and more work we get, won’t just teach us but it may make our classroom discussions and overall quality of learning better. Our learning environment may only be as good as we are.” Just from one week, freshman have already gotten to know what EGHS learning is all about.
It’s hard to comprehend that the feet that wandered an uncertain path throughout the halls (and to the wrong rooms) this week will be the same feet that know the school and its inhabitants inside and out. Watching people walk through an EGHS hallway, I can see kids nervously glancing ahead of them as they attempt to simultaneously read their schedule and navigate the sea of students. These are the freshmen. Eventually, they find their way. When asked about navigating the school, Faye Preston said, “The first few days I was worried I wouldn’t find my way around, but soon I discovered that the school was basically just a big square with a courtyard in the middle.” She, like many others, has found that the welcomeness of the school has made the transition easier and the block of a school is beginning to look like home.
One piece of advice has been drilled into our heads – get involved. From walking through row after row at club fair, it became quite apparent that there is something for everyone. Whether we are Mr. Finance or a lover of languages, EGHS incorporates our interests and passions into a healthy learning opportunity. “I think extracurriculars allow the students to get out of their comfort zones and to try new things that they may find a passion for,” Max Hofstetter said. There’s no denying the fact that EGHS has a unique variety of opportunities. Each one of us truly recognizes the importance of having a school with so many ways to advance ourselves outside of the classroom.
EGHS will undoubtedly teach and guide us on our journey. Our future is uncertain, but every freshmen knows that the road ahead is promising. One week may not be enough to get to know a school, but I am sure we’ll become fully integrated into this amazing community of students and teachers. I believe our future will be bright. I don’t know where I’m going but I am sure this school will give me a path to success, I just need to follow it.