The start of the school year here at Mt. Hebron means the inevitable arrival of a new freshmen class. The only difference between this year compared to previous years is the amount of freshmen there are in the class of 2020. With 434 students in their class, this is the biggest ninth grade class Mt. Hebron has seen in quite some time. Although the population of the freshmen has a huge impact on their class as a whole, it has an equally significant impact on the teachers and other classes within the school.
Junior Shea Donovan said, “I think they’re [freshmen] great and friendly. But it’s much harder to get around in the hallways. Actually, the staircase is very annoying, and with my injury, it’s quite a hassle.”
Junior Nick Jackson had some similar thoughts. “I’m surprised how big [the freshmen] are. It’s definitely harder to get to my classes. They are mostly in the main stairwell.”
The overwhelming amount of freshmen causes the school hallways to be more crowded than usual. Since the freshmen class is larger than the graduating class of 2016, the amount of classes and class sizes have both increased, which could create an overwhelming classroom environment.
“It doesn’t affect the computer science classes because they are almost always full, but there is one more section this year,” BCMS teacher Mr. Bob Gibbons said.
On the other hand, art teacher, Ms. Hannah shared, “My art one classes are full. There are 33 kids in each class. It has changed the learning environment. We have to work smaller, we might not be able to use clay. I can’t give as much personalized attention to everybody. People have to listen closely to directions so that they can work independently.”
Even though the vast size of the new freshmen class seems to be creating chaos, students seem to be getting through their day with ease.
Freshman Natalie Lewis gave insight to her first day. “I felt overwhelmed on the first day, but now it feels like I know where everything is for the most part and I’m not afraid to be lost.
“It’s a lot bigger school and you have more control of what you do in between classes,” Lewis added.
On the other hand, some students felt more confident having known upperclassman coming into Mt. Hebron. Freshman Alexa Dragisics said, “Everyone was nice on the first day, which helped out!”
Although the feelings of the first day among the freshmen were mixed, none were out of the ordinary.
“As a freshmen, I was pretty nervous,” junior Kyle Ross said. “I wasn’t sure who I was going to sit next to at lunch. I was afraid that there wasn’t going to be any empty seats on the bus, and I would have to sit with somebody I didn’t know. But there was an open seat, so it was okay.”
It always seems to be a common trend each year that feelings of nervousness run through the freshmen once they first arrive. Although this is true, it quickly goes away as Mt. Hebron holds the traditional “Hula Dance” and the Friday night lights of football games return.
No matter how students feel on their first day in a new school, the teachers and students always make them feel welcome regardless of the size of their class.