Being New and Online

Aslynn Maher -Staff Writer

If you’ve ever been a new kid somewhere where everyone seems to know each other, then you know how hard it can be for new students to come to school not knowing anyone. But this year, being a new kid is a little different. Because of COVID-19 new kids at Lake Braddock Secondary School are having to adjust to a whole new system, new kids, and new teachers, all through a screen. 

This year there are as many as 68 new students in the school; not counting incoming 7th graders of course. Lake Braddock has systems such as the Bruin Ambassadors Club and the Military Ambassadors Club which were put in place to make the transfer to a new school as easy as possible for the students. The Bruin Ambassadors Club section on the LBSS website states that their mission is to assist new students in becoming an integral part of the Bruin community. When in school, this club meets every Tuesday with the club attendees and they even have a twitter page that people can reach out to for information directly from the club president(s) @LBambassadors. The Military Ambassadors Club provides incoming military children contacts and a potential peer mentor to make their transition to LBSS a success. The club meets one Thursday each month with the club mentors and president, Sophia Then. Both clubs are conveniently placed on the LBSS website for students to find and learn more about.  

This transition has been more challenging for some new students depending on how different it is from their previous school system. I found that the majority of new students moved here because of a parent’s job, but also a variety of different reasons as well. Expectations for this school year being online were low according to Lindy Maher, a junior at LBSS this year. She says online school has proven to be easier than at her previous school, although not many other students agree. 

Most new kids did online at their old schools for the last few months of the year when COVID-19 first started. “I didn’t expect much this year because I did online last year and I knew it was hard,” said freshman Luke Abrahamson, who moved here from Naples, Italy. He came here from a small school where everyone knew each other so there’s a big change in the community here.  Abrahamson also said it has been hard to make friends and meet new people because there is so little interaction with others, especially when no one turns on their cameras in classes. 

Lots of new students were looking forward to sports through the school or even outside of school, just to meet new people and be active. “I want to join the indoor track team here,” freshman Annaballe McAllister said. McAllister stated that she was expecting to be lonely and not know anyone, but was surprised to make some friends, even through the screen. 

As this school year goes on, not only new students are struggling in classroom environments. Most high school students that are learning online actually have gotten worse grades this year than the years before while attending school in person. This is happening in most schools all around the country. Especially if they are new to the system all around. If kids don’t know how to deal with their stress, many of them don’t talk to anyone which prevents them from meeting people. Even though there is a smaller amount of socializing, we could be trying harder to talk to people by doing things like joining clubs, turning on your cameras in class as much as possible, and reaching out to others whether that be on social media apps or through school emails. Overall this year is going to be different in nearly every way but it’s important to stay positive and do what you can to stay healthy and socially distance from people as much as possible.