by Elizabeth Cooley and Kathryn Strimbu
Every Niner remembers his or her freshman picnic: the excitement of meeting new people and starting a new chapter in life. This year’s incoming freshman class met together for the first time on June 14. The event was hosted by the Andrean student ambassadors, led by Mrs. Josie Nieman and Mrs. Janice Reynolds.
The freshmen feasted on hot dogs, watermelon, and ice cream from Deez Eatz before breaking out of their shells to play “two truths and a lie” in order to get to know each other better. The picnic also provided the opportunity to hand out information about the upcoming school year to the incoming students and their parents.
One of the most terrifying parts of starting high school can be leaving old friends and trying to make new ones. Luckily, the picnic helped bring together many freshmen from many different places before classes even began. “I learned a lot and met a lot of people,” said Briana Houpt. Houpt came from Nativity of Our Savior School in Portage.
While meeting other freshman may have seemed awkward at first, the new classmates soon warmed up to each other. “[The picnic] is like a nine [out of ten] because I keep laughing,” said Melvin Jernigan. Jernigan came from Pierce Middle School in Merrillville.
Of course, the picnic is just the tip of the iceberg for many freshmen. Student athletes get their first taste of high school during summer conditioning for various sports. This provides an opportunity for students to make introductions on a smaller scale before the big first day of high school. “[I know other freshmen] now since I’m doing summer training with a lot of them. I know three other freshmen from basketball and five other freshmen from soccer,” Houpt said. Having something like a sport that eases freshmen into the high school experience is highly advantageous to any incoming student.
What lies in the future for the class of 2021? After a relaxing summer, the freshmen will come together once again on August 16 for orientation. Undoubtedly, orientation and the beginning of high school will be just a little bit easier now that the freshmen know who they are starting their four-year journey with.
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