Freshman Impressions

Mariah Snelon

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“People sometimes talk about the power of first impressions, and believe me, there is truth to it,” Ann Brashares, an author, once said. First impressions leave an imprint on people. They are often the things that last the longest in a person’s mind and color that person’s other opinions surrounding the subject. Most freshmen walk through the doors of Maggie Walker having little idea of what to expect, and their attitude about Maggie Walker often forms based upon their first impressions of the school. No matter how hard people try to give things a second or third or fourth chance, that first experience will always linger in their mind. In this piece, freshman discuss the ups and downs of Maggie Walker and how they’re feeling about the school so far.

 

FIRST DAY

Walk in, breathe. See the masses of people talking. Nervous chatter flies about the room and there is an air of excitement and tangible nervousness. That first day at Maggie Walker was intimidating, to say the least. At first, it felt as though I was an outsider. I had no idea how the school worked, and for the first couple days, I think it’s safe to say that many of us freshman felt as though we did not belong. Upon first impression, the school seemed too large and too smart and too hard for me. I couldn’t possibly belong there.

However, as they always do, things became easier. I figured out the ins and outs of success at Maggie Walker, at least partially. Those first few days, everywhere I turned, there was someone willing to help me. Walking into a new place with a sea of unfamiliar faces that day was overwhelming. There was definitely a learning curve, but the teachers and upperclassmen all knew what I was feeling and understood. Though on my first day at  Maggie Walker I felt stressed, overwhelmed, and nervous, that very same sea of unfamiliar faces morphed into a sea of potential new friends willing to help out.

 

FIRC

Four courses, four skills, four grades averaged into one. Although 9 weeks seems like an incredibly short amount of time to master a class, FIRC provides the basic resources we will need throughout our time here at Maggie Walker. FIRC is useful, though it may be stressful at some points. The fundamental human fear of the unknown explains why anything new has a bit of stress behind it. Most of us have never experienced something like FIRC at our middle schools, so we must adapt to the new curriculum. Currently, I am in FIRC English, which teaches the base knowledge needed for public speech. The course is helpful in overcoming a fear of public speaking, which is the number one fear Americans have. Though I have not experienced the other branches of FIRC, I predict they will be just as helpful.

“I think it will be useful to have the baseline of knowledge for the future,” noted Emma Danforth, (`20), about FIRC Stats.

“This class has given me the analytical thinking and research skills that I know will help me throughout high school, college, and my professional career,” remarked Maggie McKenna about FIRC Social Studies.

The general consensus seems to be that though FIRC may not be one of many student’s favorite classes, it will prove to be useful in our coming years at Maggie Walker and thereafter.

 

CLASSES (FRIDAYS)

Overwhelmed, overworked, overstressed, underslept. This was my state of being as I attempt to tackle a Friday at Maggie Walker. Eight classes in one day? That’s a lot, especially with the homework load given for each class.

Classes at this school are far more difficult than even hardest class I had previously taken. However, the challenges presented stimulate my mind in ways I never experienced before. Though there is a lot of work that must be put in, the things I take away from classes are more than enough reward. On Fridays, with all of these difficult classes in one day, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. At the end of the day, however, I think that the schedule is a positive thing because it forces students to learn how to correctly manage their time and gives an equal amount of instruction time per week to every class.

“The Friday schedule makes Maggie Walker unique and special,” says Bikal Sharma, a nominee for freshman class co-president. “Although sometimes it can be confusing and stressful, I believe that Fridays at MLWGS make the weekend all the sweeter.”

 

CLUBS

Clubs and extracurricular activities are a massive part of Maggie Walker, and it’s no surprise that the endless possibilities overwhelmed so many freshmen in the first couple weeks of school.  The ever-changing list of club meetings and locations would drone on in the announcements each morning, and nobody could walk through the freshmen commons without rustling an outdated advertisement.  Even now, I’m not quite sure of what clubs this school has or where they meet.  

 

LUNCH

Despite all of these stressors, however, every freshman was delightfully surprised by the lunch schedule at this school.  While fifty minutes of freedom in the middle of the day may have seemed like an excess amount of time in the beginning, it later proved to not be enough.  Between club meetings, unfinished homework, and last-minute studying, many people only end up having a few free moments during this block of time rather than the hour they initially expected.

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Freshman Impressions