Freshmen face isolation starting high school



Unlike the Class of 2023 (pictured above) the Class of 2024 was unable to have a bonding day which now makes socializing difficult for freshman.

Francesco Thorik-Saboia

For the Class of 2023, the bonding trip to Thompson Park on Sept. 6, 2019 had an unexpected change. Last year’s freshmen went to GoodSports USA, a year-round sports complex due to bad weather. Now, for the Class of 2024, it’s more different than anyone could have anticipated, with the new freshman losing any sort of bonding trip altogether.

“I definitely think it did affect them,” said freshman class advisor Emily Crelin. “They didn’t meet each other for a month, but yet they had to have class elections and meetings, but no one shows up, and no one’s really interested in anything.”

One sentiment that is unanimous amongst the new students is that socializing with their peers is very troublesome. 

“There’s no real time to socialize. Everybody’s really awkward to begin with since we’re all freshmen,” said freshman Logan Clarke of Howell. “It’s just been a really annoying experience trying to talk with people. Just with lunch, everyone’s so far apart, it’s literally impossible to talk to anyone.”

Many freshmen, including Kara Gallagher of Sea Bright, agreed that starting high school virtually was a difficult transition and was very different from what they had anticipated. “I didn’t really know anyone,” Gallagher said. “So it was not really a social thing, it was just like ‘do your work,’ and that was about it.”

However, many of the students of the Class of 2024 are getting used to CHS very quickly, with many of them saying that navigating the school with one-way hallways has not been a challenge. “Surprisingly, it hasn’t,” said freshman Lydia Oliveri of Colts Neck. “The school’s not that big so it’s pretty manageable and I’ve been getting used to it.”

There is no doubt that starting high school during a pandemic is an unfavorable experience, but freshman Ethan Wen of Marlboro is keeping a positive outlook on the situation. 

“Everything being online makes it hard to find close friendships,” he said. “But I think if we keep going down this path of hybrid learning and slowly introducing more and more people, as time goes on it’ll be pretty easy to find those close friendships.”