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Students transferring during second semester find difficulties acclimating to this school

Many students at this school have been in the district since their elementary school years and are accustomed to Carmel’s academic and social traditions. But each year, students from across both this country and the world transfer to this school. In some cases, like with sophomore Priscilla Smith, transferring during the second semester can be more challenging than transferring at the beginning of the school year. In fact, the Freshman Center alone receives approximately 40 new transferring students and 15 during the second semester each year. Smith said her experience of transferring during the second semester has uncovered a few hurdles both socially and academically.

Sophomore Priscilla Smith peers into an engineering and technology classroom while taking a tour of this school. Smith said she has faced challenges with her transition to this school. 
(Avery Carlisle)

“My transition has been pretty good so far… (but) moving in the middle of the year is a lot different and harder because the curriculum is different (and) people already made friends first semester so it’s kind of hard second semester to find friends,” Smith said. 

Greyhound Connections is a group at this school whose members work to help ease the transition for their new students. Ellie Overbeck, Greyhound Connections member and senior, said her time working with new students who have transferred during the second semester has made her aware of common difficulties these students face. 

“You kind of see how hard the transition is,” Overbeck said. “A big part of it is the overwhelmingness of a new school and a new environment and not really knowing people.” 

Overbeck said adjusting to classes is more challenging during the second semester since students have already started and new students have a hard time getting comfortable socially.

“It’s also kind of tricky because (new students) have a hard time getting accustomed to classes and workloads because academically it is a little difficult,” Overbeck said. “Socially people have already made friends, people already have their friend groups, and I think a lot of times the students will struggle to find their place in the high school because there are so many groups of people, there’s so much diversity here.”

Smith said since transferring to this school, her workload has piled up and said she has received little help getting acclimated to her new environment. 

“At the moment I am taking many honors and AP classes, so the class work is a lot and I am extremely stressed with all the work I need to make up,” Smith said. “Only a few of my teachers are working with me and helping me figure out how to do everything and pushing back due dates.” 

Despite the academic hardships that Smith said she has endured, she said swimming has really helped her get accustomed to the school socially. 

Sophomore Kylee Nichols gives Sophomore Priscilla Smith a tour of the school. Smith said, since transferring to this school, the workload has piled up and only a few of her teachers have helped her adjust to the new environment. (Avery Carlisle)

“Swimming is really big for me. I want to go far and I feel like (this school) would really help me do that,” Smith said. “I feel like it was easier making friends because I’m on the swim team and they’re just a big welcoming family.” 

Overbeck shared this sentiment and said she encourages all new students to get involved in clubs and sports to help them get accustomed to the school environment and to meet new people. 

Additionally, counselor David Schleper said existing students can welcome new students by demonstrating kindness. 

“Be nice to them,” Schleper said. “Sit with them at lunch, invite them to a club, hang out with them outside of school.” 

Schleper, like Overbeck, said he encourages new students to get involved with the school and to seek help by talking to teachers and counselors. 

“I love how big the school is, honestly,” Smith said. “It’s a big difference but I absolutely love the warm environment here, it’s absolutely amazing.” 




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