Imagine walking into the front doors of a new high school in a new state and seeing all new faces, an unfamiliar campus, nowhere to go, and no one to stand with. Being that "new kid" can be a frightening experience.
Lakewood Ranch High School tries to openly welcome new students with wide nurturing arms, to ensure that they feel comfortable and confident with their new school. It's always scary being uprooted from ones hometown and current high school to be transferred in the middle of their high school experience to a new school.
Junior Laurel Rowland had her fair share of reservations about moving from North Carolina to Florida to attend LRHS.
"At first I was really pessimistic about going to my new school because I just missed my old friends and old town so much," said Rowland. "But I've already made so many new friends here and it's definitely nice to have people available to help me get adjusted."
It's crazy to realize how different things can be. It's important to cope with the new environment and take in as much advice and friendly counseling as possible.
Yet, at the same time it can be very exciting to be the new student, the person most everyone seems to notice. New students get the opportunity to get a different learning experience, meet new friends, new teachers, new mentors, new everything.
At times, it's hard to read how these new students feel. Is their overwhelming emotion of missing home altering their ability to enjoy Lakewood Ranch to its full potential? Perhaps LRHS could improve the experience for new students by giving them some leeway while they get used to the differences of the new school.
Some students actually prefer LRHS to other high schools. That's how sophomore Sarah Goldstein feels.
"Everyone is so nice here at Lakewood," said Goldstein. "I like it a lot better than my old school Northern Valley Old Tappan in Ohio. I like how it's an outside campus and how the teachers here actually know how to teach."
Moving to a new school in the midst of their high school career, doesn't always have to be a negative experience and LRHS proves by making new students feel at home.