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Sibling connections ease freshmen fear

During the first weeks of school, optimistic freshmen tour the hallowed halls on campus as butterflies swirl in their stomachs. Spotless sneakers are laced up and new backpacks filled with a plethora of the trendiest school supplies are strapped on.

Thoughts of uncertainty often enter the students’ minds as they cautiously peer into various classrooms and contemplate the commencement of a new era in their lives.

Among the incoming freshmen resides a select group of ten who have a direct, blood link to a matching senior and who have already infiltrated the senior class and the inner sanctums of the social scene.

These sibling connections help make their beginning high school experiences less traumatic. One such sibling duo is Chris and Jenny Vanden Hoek.

“High school is easier because my brother knows more people and gives me information on teachers and stuff,” Jenny, ’06, said.

For freshmen like Matt Brouwer, high school should be a walk in the park with the help of his older sister, Leah, ?03.

“High school is a lot easier because my sister helps me out, and she tells me which teachers to watch out for,” Matt, ’06, said. “I get to know her friends and lots of other people.”

As younger brothers and sisters enter high school, some of the senior siblings gain the unique opportunity to have a little fun.

“High school will be easier for her because I’m here to help her and support her in everything she does,” Chris, ’03, said,” but I do like to pick on her every once in a while.”

Other older brothers and sisters see an opportunity to set their younger brother or sister on the straight and narrow school path.

“It’s fun because I like my brother, and I get to see him all day,” Leah said. “I give him advice all the time and help him with homework.”

Molly Sargent, English teacher and dean of women, as well as other faculty members, generally assume the daunting challenge of welcoming and encouraging the freshmen into high school, she believes that help from other students would be more beneficial.

“I would think high school would be easier if only they [the siblings] talk about things and if the student will listen,” Sargent said. “If the seniors will be decent and understanding than it will be great, and it should be great.”

Graduating eighth graders face all the terror, anxiety, and shock of realizing their position resides near the pit of high school hierarchy.

Nevertheless, these few freshmen will find their climb to a comfortable spot on the social ladder a little easier with the help of faculty, friends, and the support of a sibling who has made the same climb before.

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