Weathering freshman year despite Harvey

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Freshmen Ayden Tanner, Ryan Jinnette, Chase Pelter, Matthew Moseley and Conner Heath play Spike Ball. Photo by Kather- ine Montgomery.

Katherine Montgomery

Suspended in the air on a tightrope, hoping you don’t fall, heart racing while your peers cheer you on… This is the freshman retreat. It brings the class together through multiple team building activities, one famously being a ropes course that puts your bravery and confidence to the test. It helps the kids from other schools meet their new classmates, and it helps the class as a whole transition into high school, without the daily pressures of school getting in the way.  

For the class of 2021, Hurricane Harvey put a damper on this critical event, so the peer mentor leaders–seniors Sara Burpeau, TX Harris, Julia Lasater, and Anish Odhav– have come up with several smaller events to replace the famous retreat.

Before the homecoming football game, the peer mentors and freshmen tailgated on the tennis courts with lots of food and games, and before the dance they will all gather in the dining center for a dinner.

The weekend of Oct. 20 has also been reserved for an overnight event that has not been decided on yet. Despite the new events, freshmen seem to be pretty bummed out about not having a retreat.

New to Kinkaid, Olivia Howard (9) said that freshmen are disappointed about the cancellation “because we heard from the sophomores that it was really fun.” Since Howard is new to Kinkaid, she felt that the retreat “would have been beneficial to getting to know everyone.”

Freshmen may be doubtful about the changes, but the peer mentor leaders are working hard to make sure the class will bond as usual. “Several events could be a good thing because advisories can bond with their peer mentors and [they] can see that progression of friendship throughout the year rather than just having that single initiating experience,” Odhav said.

Many high schools do not do anything to integrate their freshman classes. Odhav thinks that any activity for the freshmen outside of an academic setting would be beneficial because “when you’re in a school setting, you act a certain way, and getting outside of that will help bond the class.”

Lasater said, “No matter what we end up doing, our goal is to make sure the freshmen have a great year and bond with their peers.”