by Caitlin Blackmon | feature editor

Starting at a new school during high school can be a challenge for any high school student. Starting at a new high school as a senior is a whole other story. Senior year is a completely different experience from every other year of high school, and students who transfer at this time may find their own set of difficulties.

“Sometimes it’s a culture shock, because they’re coming from somewhere completely different. A lot of them are military families, and so they have no connections here in San Antonio,” social studies teacher Tamie Arnold said.

There are several contributing factors that make going to a new school a roller coaster-like journey.

“And then just the overcrowdedness and getting run over in the halls; not knowing where they’re going,” Arnold said.

Many new students, in general, are not fully aware of all the ways information is communicated by teachers to their students. Whether the teacher chooses to use Edmodo, Remind, Google Drive as a means of communication, a newcomer may not know that all of these are implemented.

“[The] teacher’s expectations that I would know what to do, like emails and stuff like that,” David Grotzinger said.

Just as newcomers may not be aware of classroom rules, they may also find the academic expectations at a higher level than they were maybe expecting or used to.

“[The] academic side is a lot more competitive I guess, like the ranking system and stuff. We didn’t have that in California. And sports are a lot bigger of a deal. Yeah, it’s just like a total different atmosphere,” Ashton said.

Senior Ethan Ashton, like many other students, finds himself wanting to join clubs or activities, but feels it may be too late in the game. With not much high school time left, many don’t know how or if they should become more involved with extracurriculars.

“I need to find more things to be involved in, but it’s kind of hard because, coming in so late, it’s hard to join a sport,” Ashton said.

The first few months can be a difficult transition for many of these individuals, so finding any kind of support group can be impactful on a large scale.

“I think with the support group, it helped a lot. I think it would’ve taken longer, had they not had that little group,” Arnold said.

A support group is an excellent place for a newcomer to get plugged in and start forming relationships, giving the student sources for homework help or somewhere to simply start making connections.

“A sense of relief that they aren’t the only one out there. That there is someone else that’s new on campus that they hadn’t spoken to,” Arnold said. “And once you start making even just one friend, you then feel more comfortable to start talking to new people around you that you know have been here for awhile.”

For the most part, seniors already have a good standing as far as academics go. There are inevitable adjustments a new senior student must make, whether their previous school was private or public, large or small. But as far as maturity goes, most are able to get a hold on things relatively quickly.

“The seniors are able to play it a little more cool. They are organized, they do know what they need to do,” Arnold said.

Although starting at a new school as a senior may be a burden to many, it can also serve as an excellent learning tool- academically and socially.

“I think I’ll probably grow a lot this year. It’ll be a good experience,” Ashton said.

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About The Author

Caitlin Blackmon is a senior at Johnson High School and this is her second year writing for MyJagNews. She enjoys journaling, dreaming of traveling, and binge-watching movies on Netflix. She spends a majority of her spare time strolling through Nordstrom with an iced latte in hand (that is, if she's not busy making them).

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