BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Walking into a new school for the first time can be a daunting day for many, as students have to navigate bigger hallways and adjust to a heavier workload. New hallways, new classrooms, new teachers, and new students are everywhere. As times change, so does the first day experience, yet students still struggle with first day anxiety. Despite all of this, freshmen year is often an exciting time for students to learn in a more mature and enjoyable environment. From new sports to clubs to academic opportunities, high school can be a fresh start for all of the kids coming from middle school. 

Freshman Bridget Boreale was able to sum up the beginning of her school year. “The first day of school was pretty good, because my classes seemed pretty fun. There were many upperclassmen helping me find my classes and I made some new friends.” Although she sees a bright year ahead of her, Boreale wishes she did not have to wake up so early every morning. 

No matter how many signs are put up around the school and how many expert tours are given by Link Crew, it can be easy for freshmen to lose their way. Freshman Caitlin Knorr said that finding her classrooms could be a bit tricky. “It was a little confusing finding where I was going, but once I got the hang of it everything went fine.” She added that the Link Crew guided tours of the school were also helpful. The hallways are not as menacing as they seem after a day or two of locating classrooms.

Sign Up for Mountainside Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Knorr and Boreale’s involvement in the school’s sports program has helped them get accustomed to the transition from Columbia Middle School to GL. “I play volleyball. I love it. There’s a lot going on between games and practices, but it's fun being with my teammates everyday.” Knorr explained. She is excited to see where her love for volleyball will take her this year. While Knorr is inside on the volleyball courts, Boreale shared why being out on the turf playing field hockey is fun for her. “I just started field hockey and I like it a lot because it is a fun sport and everyone on the team is so nice and caring.” 

A piece of advice Knorr has for any future freshmen is to find a first day buddy. Whether it be a best friend or an acquaintance, she suggests students have someone to navigate the halls with. “If I could do it over again, I would find someone to go to classes with rather than being alone in it.” Boreale gave some advice of her own. She kept it short and sweet. “Don’t be afraid to make new friends.'' Both are some great things to keep in mind.

Future freshmen: try not to be intimidated by the big “first day”. No matter how confusing the placement of classrooms may be and how scary upperclassmen may seem, there’s a lot to learn at GL.