Entering Hewitt was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life. Hewitt has opened so many opportunities for me to practice and enjoy what I love. Although we are given a lot of independence, teachers and faculty play a huge part in helping me understand everything that I am learning. Hewitt also allows me to experiment and try different things that I never thought of doing. For example I suggest trying out a sport. This allowed me really get to know my peers and communicate with them outside of an academic environment. Surprisingly, I ended up enjoying being a part of a team and am planning on trying out for a varsity sport this winter. The community gave me a chance to find who I truly am and express myself in any way possible. However, today I feel like a true Hewitt girl, transitioning into Hewitt’s 8th grade was one of the hardest things that I had ever experienced.
I had never been a new girl at a school before. Coming from past years in a co-ed public school I didn’t expect the transition to be easy. I knew that most of the girls in the grade have known each other for awhile, which made me ready for the strong bonds that they had with each other. I also had to learn two new languages, latin and spanish. Both of these languages weren’t on my old schools curriculum so I was very nervous coming into the school year from an academic point of view. Although, both my teachers understand where I was coming from and due to them I felt like a lot of weight was lifted off my shoulders.
Sometimes it takes a while to fit in, and for the longest time I came home crying everyday to my parents about how I wanted to go back to my old school and see my old friends again. When I first came to Hewitt, I had lived in the same little bubble for 14 years, basically my entire life. I had lived in the same house, had the same friends, hung out in the same neighborhood, and went shopping in the same stores. Truthfully, it was a bit boring and I knew that I was ready for a change in my life. Conveniently, my family was planning to move into the city to make my dad’s commute to work easier, and I discovered Hewitt! I knew that coming into a new school you need to have a positive outlook. That’s something that I was completely missing in the first few weeks of my transition and that made it twice as hard for me to acclimate to my new school environment.
Here are some things that I recommend to any new student who is having trouble transitioning into a new school. Although not everyone has the same experiences, these are some rules that I followed when I was entering Hewitt:
- Find something that you have in common with the people at your school. For me, I joined the fall Shakespeare play. This gave me a chance to not only meet girls from lower grades but to also bond with the girls in my grade. That was the first time that I really felt a part of the Hewitt community.
- Take a breath. Pressure was a large part of my transition into Hewitt. Like I said earlier the academic part was not really helping with keeping my anxiety down about making new friends part. For me, taking one step at a time really helped. Once I got settled with my academics and new classes thats when I really felt comfortable with venturing out and getting to know the girls in my grade for myself.
- Always make time for friends that do not go to your school. In my first year at Hewitt I made sure to hang out with the friends that I have from my old neighborhood. This not only gave me a piece from home but also really helped me in my transition because I knew that they would always be there for me, cheering me on.
- Find a balance. For me, balancing my friends and my academics is sometimes hard. Especially in 8th grade, I needed a lot of studying time in order to catch up to the rest of the grade. Finding a healthy balance between time with friends and studying is vital to your transition. Make sure that you always have time to both study and make plans with your friends outside of school. Normally, half of the day I leave for studying and the other half I spend with my friends. This way, the pressure is lifted off your shoulders and you can really enjoy the time you spend with friend.Even though my transition was one of the hardest things that I had ever experienced, Hewitt’s many opportunities and amazing community really helped me get through it. Remember that coming into a new school is never easy and it’s a very long journey. Although not every person’s transition is the same, these are some rules that worked for me and that I followed throughout my transition into Hewitt.