Incoming freshman Matthew Wolinsky walked into the Christopher Columbus High School gym for the first time, seeing unfamiliar faces of students and teachers. Waiting for the initial presentations of his freshman orientation to begin, he eagerly took a seat.
“I’m just excited to get into the uniform for the first time,” Wolinsky said.
Wolinsky is one of hundreds of incoming freshman beginning their high school career at freshman orientation. The primary purpose is to prepare the students for their official first day of school. But for many, the event has a deeper meaning.
— CCNN Live (@CCNNLive) August 11, 2016
“It feels awesome to be an official member of the Columbus family,” said Kevin Reyes, 14. Today, I started knowing a couple more people, meeting a couple more classmates. I do feel like it’s a brotherhood.”
To David Pugh, principal of Christopher Columbus High School, recognizing that sense of brotherhood is just as important as the orientation itself. “It’s very, very important that they introduce themselves to each other and they understand that this is a brotherhood,” Pugh said. “There’s a lot to be proud of here.”
That pride is prevalent among the incoming freshman. Exploring the facilities on campus and hearing from Columbus teachers and graduates, these students are more than happy to finally call themselves Explorers.
“It feels rewarding,” said incoming freshman Cristian Rivera. I feel, and this is basically something that I always feel when I have actually earned something and worked up to it, where I feel like I truly accomplished something. There’s a certain joy and a certain pride to say, ‘Hey, I go to Columbus.'”
Even after their time at Columbus, incoming freshman like Wolinsky hope to take the values they learned at Columbus–starting from their freshman orientation–and apply them long after they walk up to take their diploma on graduation day.
“I feel like I’m gonna become a better person and learn a lot more than I’ve known before, and I feel like it’s gonna change my life in a good way.”
We’d like to hear your thoughts on freshman orientation, and your experience coming into high school. Leave a comment and vote on our poll below.