Freshman Spirit Party introduces Class of 2021 to high school life

Andrea Hefferan | Staff Writer

At Mason High School, freshman orientation is taken to a whole new level.

Nearly 700 students attended this year’s freshman spirit party on August 10. Like past years, The SIBS hosted the orientation and wanted to make their younger peers’ transition to high school a little easier.

The event kicked off with the freshmen being applauded while traveling through the SIBS spirit tunnel. Senior SIBS board member Chris Allgor said this is his favorite part of the experience.

“I like watching the transition as they walk in — their face is freaked out — they come in wide eyed, confused and have no idea what’s going on,” Allgor said. “By the time you leave, they’re high-fiving you, saying goodbye, and they get what just happened.”

The opening greeting is one of the only aspects that stayed the same from past years. SIBS adviser Jeff Schlaeger said nearly all of the components of the party have been changed.

“We totally redid it this year and really changed up this day almost completely,” Schlaeger said. “We got a different speaker this year, Nick Jackson, and he wanted to make an Olympics kind of theme, with all of the different homerooms staying intact. So we have forty homerooms this year, which is a lot.”

To accommodate the increased number of groups, the SIBS created stations and ended up with twenty instead of the usual four. These changes were made in order to keep the freshmen grouped by their homerooms; Schlaeger said forming the group this way would facilitate a stronger connection between the SIBS and the freshmen in their respective homerooms.

“We decided to incorporate a mix of fun competition, minute-to-win-it type games, but also that piece of the orientation that is very important: getting to know SIBS, the people who are going to be at there for the whole year,” Schlaeger said.

Making friendships with members of their homeroom was just one part of the spirit party; Allgor hopes that it also gave the freshmen their first taste of high school life.

“Why we did all the planning, why we put all this together, why there are a hundred and thirty SIBS here is to not only introduce these freshmen to our high school but to introduce them to the culture,” Allgor said. “We’re happy that they’re here, and we love that they’re here; we’re just really excited for them to be here.”

Freshman Carter Mcentire said he had his doubts about the party until he met everyone there; he concluded that the SIBS’ positive energy was felt by everyone who came.

“It was actually really fun — just all the games and the atmosphere of everyone,” Mcentire said. “They were so nice.”

When the school year starts, the relationships made at orientation will remain. Junior SIBS board member Lina Itenberg said the spirit party built a bridge between the upperclassmen and freshmen that will be not be forgotten when they start high school.

“We’ve given over six hundred high fives, and each person that we got to high five, we saw smile,” Itenberg said. “That’s what we want; freshmen to walk into the school already having had a positive experience. We’re trying to relay our excitement to them so when they come in, they know they have people that are already supporting them.”

Click on a photo below to enlarge and view in slideshow mode.

Photos by Staff Writer Kaitlin Lewis.

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