New Club Helps Middle Schoolers Transition to High School

Maya Lejovitzky-Reich, Staff Writer

It’s early September. A student is up extra early and is making their way towards the bus. The crisp air and lack of sunlight are familiar. They have walked this walk what feels like a billion times before, and they have had plenty of first days. But today is different. Today they start high school.

Transitioning from middle school to high school can be unnerving. There is a lot of media that covers the transition into high school. Many movies, books, and even self-help material revolve around this topic. One resource at Monroe-Woodbury High School that can help is the Friendly Faces club. 

The Friendly Faces club is eligible for freshmen and sophomores. The members of the club collectively make presentations based on their own experiences during the school year. In the spring, the members will make their way to eighth-grade classrooms after high school hours and show their presentations.

Why might students be struggling when they get to high school and how does Friendly Faces help?

Going to high school is a marker of maturity in the rut of adolescence. The bodily changes and newfound responsibility teenagers face already make adolescence uncomfortable without the added stress of school. Some things make Monroe-Woodbury High School difficult in particular: the size of the school, the number of people, and finding resources such as after-school activities and counseling can add to the already smothering stress of adolescence. One thing that amplifies this difficult experience is COVID-19.

COVID-19 changed a lot of things about the high school experience. The cafeteria is less intimate, students and teachers can’t see one another’s faces, and the emotional after effect from quarantine can leave many students struggling socially.

The Friendly Faces club can help new students find support for LGBTQ+ struggles, anxiety, and new students who are just stressed out or confused. The club is also a safe space for new students who need help when they get to high school. This is an especially safe place for members participating in the club. 

“This club feels like a community,” said sophomore Alexia Joseph.

Ms. Sherman, a librarian and adviser of Friendly Faces and Leading Mentors, said, “We’re here to assist. We don’t want anyone to feel alone.” Ms. Dunning, another adviser of Leading Mentors and Friendly Faces, teaches math in the special education department and can be found in room 215. 

Meetings are in room 215 on Tuesdays 2 p.m.