New school, new classes, new teachers, and so many new faces: novelty is a defining characteristic of a freshman’s experience stepping onto Lawrenceville’s lush green campus. As students make the leap from middle school into high school at Lawrenceville, orientation week helps create a smooth transition to a Lawrentian’s life amidst feelings of nervousness and excitement.
A II Former’s days on the Josh L. Miner Ropes Course (the Josh) creates the opportunity for new students to get to know their peers before stepping into the classroom. Each day is loaded with ice breakers and bonding. Sophia Abi-Atme ’27 recalled that orientation was “about as fun as it could have been” and a “good way to get a feel for the place and the people.” From climbing rock walls to playing Kumcha to participating in the recently established Bowl Cup, the II Formers enjoyed just less than week of fun as they gathered their first impressions of their class and the school community as a whole. After her orientation week, Celestine Sutter ’27 noticed that “there's a lot of interesting people at Lawrenceville, each with their own purpose or goals, which made orientation a really exciting experience. Everyone had so much to say.”
Most II Formers agree that, while entertaining and effective, orientation hours should be shortened. According to Sofie Garmise ’27, hours of icebreakers in the heat of the afternoon sun were draining, particularly when students had to stay late on campus for more organized activity. For “one who particularly values sleep” like Sutter, “it might have been nice if activities ended earlier in the evening,” allowing more wiggle room to get to bed early or enjoy more time to relax.
While long hot days on the Josh may be tiresome, the Ropes Course Instructors (RCIs) brought resounding energy and enthusiasm to every orientation activity. Even with hesitant II Formers, RCIs threw themselves into games with warmth and eagerness which “speaks to their genuine desire to welcome freshmen into the Lawrenceville community,” said Abi-Atme. Echoing the same admiration for their hospitality, Garmise said “you can tell they truly want to be there.”
With one week down and many to go, the Lawrenceville II Formers have much to look forward to. Garmise eagerly awaits the beginning of ice hockey season and Abi-Atme is looking forward to “settling into a daily routine after getting to know the community better.” Sutter is excited to “try new things and explore the opportunities Lawrenceville has to offer.” Shaking off nerves and building up familiarity with others, orientation helped set up II Formers to roll into a great year.