BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Incoming freshmen may have many worries as they step into the halls of Governor Livingston for the first time. The Governor Livingston Link Crew program, a group of junior and senior student leaders, is dedicated to helping freshmen in their transition into high school and in the school year to come. Link Crew Freshman Orientation on Thursday, August 30th 2018, introduced the Class of 2022 to its school and peer leaders, and provided an opportunity for freshmen to have many of their questions and concerns answered.

The freshmen arrived at GL via their school bus routes, allowing them to prepare for their first day of high school and years of bussing ahead. At GL, the freshmen then took part in large group activities designed to introduce them to their new Mountainside and Berkeley Heights classmates. Link Crew leaders were dispersed throughout the crowd during activities and were able to take part themselves. Eventually, the freshmen were split into smaller groups in which they participated in activities that not only taught them about the school, but also helped them gain skills to be effective in their freshman year: goal setting, communication, time management, and building peer relationships. After the group activities, Link Crew Leaders led their groups on tours of the building, pointing out the highlights of life at Governor Livingston. The freshmen also received their school iPads.

Overall, Freshmen Orientation had an impact on both the incoming freshmen and the leaders. Incoming freshman Anthony Pinto said, “Freshman orientation was a blast! I got to meet a lot of new people.” Freshman Orientation is important in that it provides an opportunity for students from Berkeley Heights and Mountainside to meet each other before the beginning of the school year. Through events such as Orientation, freshmen may be united in a time of uncertainty and be encouraged to branch out. Link Crew Leaders likewise find their experiences valuable. Senior and returning Link Crew Leader Jordan Miller said, “Being a Link Crew Leader is a very rewarding experience. I love being able to meet and connect with the freshmen!” Link Crew Leaders will continue to play a role in the lives of freshmen in the school year to come.

Editor's Note: The Highlander section features articles written for The Highlander, Gov. Livingston High School's student newspaper.