As Carihi’s second semester gets underway, amid all the excitement of new schedules and different classes, many students are reflecting on their experiences at the school over the past five months.
With hundreds of new students coming to Carihi each year, there are countless unique experiences within the building’s walls each day, and each newcomer has their own first impression of the school.
Katelyn Schulz is a Grade 9 student who came up to Carihi this year from École Phoenix Middle School. When she first arrived back in September, she was struck by the size of Carihi’s student body.
“The first thing I noticed about Carihi,” Schulz says, “is that it is a lot bigger than Phoenix.”
With a student population of around 830, there are many more opportunities for extra-curricular activities at Carihi than there are in smaller schools, a fact that Schulz appreciates.
“My favourite thing about Carihi is my out of the time table groups and classes like musical theatre,” she says.
The transition to a new school can definitely be difficult though, and there’s no doubt that new students have faced some challenges – especially the increased workload that comes along with high school classes.
In face, Schulz says the only thing she misses about her old school is “the amount of homework.”
Grade 10 student Olivia Gibson has been attending Carihi part-time since September, and she agrees that keeping up with schoolwork can be difficult.
“I mostly just miss being able to take a day off without having to do a lot of catch up work afterwards,” Gibson says.
Another difficulty that Carihi students have faced this semester has nothing to do with academics, but instead involves a lack of proper seating.
Many of Carihi’s main hallways are furnished with beautiful picnic tables, all of which have been hand-painted by students and are prime space to sit at all hours of the day, but according to both Schulz and Grade 11 student Madison Fisk, there aren’t enough of these tables to go around.
Fisk says that although there are many of the tables in the halls, there are too many students who want to sit at them, “[so] a lot of them get stuck eating lunch on the ground.”
A new student to Carihi this school-year, Fisk has enjoyed her semester overall, despite the table shortage.
“I like the relaxed environment,” Fisk says. “Most people don’t want drama and are kind, and teachers are helpful…people can just kind of be whoever they want.”
This friendly climate is something that Carihi has always prided itself on, and it has been noticed by many students over the past few months.
Gibson says that was also the first thing she noticed about the school: its welcoming atmosphere.
“My favourite thing about Carihi is meeting new people and making connections,” Gibson says. “The majority of the people that I have met are friendly and some have asked me if I am new and where I’m from.”
In the end, it is clear that despite some difficult adjustments, Carihi’s new students have had an excellent first semester.