June 4, 2013 Volume 13, Issue 6

Welcome rising 9th graders

By M. Malone

For rising 9th graders, the first day of high school can be daunting. Upperclassmen and faculty will do their best to help each student feel prepared and comfortable. Everyone's experience will be different but will be the start of an exciting new chapter of their lives.

"The community and the atmosphere are what make RCHS unique... Everyone is so different yet we all get along so well," 9th grader E. Wagner comments. 9th grader B. Wells says, "RCHS is unique because of its great teachers and small class sizes." RCHS's student to teacher ratio is 18:1. According to raleighcharterhs.org, "Raleigh Charter High School seeks excellent, engaging teachers and staff members who want to work in an innovative and creative educational community." There is a "style of teaching in which teachers and students are able to interact much more and learn more if motivated to do so," 9th grader A. Thakkar explains.

There are many perks to attending a charter school. "RCHS...has many more opportunities to accomplish what you would like to through the proposal system with Dr. Humble," Thakkar praised. Thakkar has been able to plan multiple events this year such as freshmen movie night and a bake sale with this system. The small class size allows you to get to know everybody, 9th grader M. Tomei pointed out. She said "It's nice to know everybody in your class. It's not like going to a big place where you don't know a lot of people." 9th grader C. Lam goes on to say "There's a lot of different cultures and stuff. They have clubs for all of them which is really cool."

9th graders M. Gwinn, L. Davis, V. Perez-Huet, and C. Lam study at the park after school.

It's normal to be nervous before attending a new school. Wagner explains her concerns: "Before this year I was worried about starting all over with new people and a new place. I was a little worried about fitting in and seeing how people would react to me being in a wheelchair because you just never know." Wagner knows now that she had nothing to worry about: "Everything has turned out great so far and I really feel at home and comfortable." Wells shares similar worries: "Before this year started I was worried about going to a new school where I didn’t know anyone. It turns out that's the case for most of the students at RCHS, so it was easy to make friends." Making new friends happens easily because RCHS students come from across Wake County and neighboring counties. Students are almost guaranteed to find another student with a similar story or background. Schools with brilliant reputations attract bright students. Tomei explains that she was concerned she would get lost in the building: "I was worried that I was not going to know where anything was, and that I would be wandering around." She relaxed quickly when she realized "The school is not actually that big, so it's not too much of an issue." If students are still concerned, maps will be made available to them.

So rising 9th graders should stay positive and take some advice from current 9th graders. "Get as involved as possible but still keep it simple until you get into the flow of things... I would also say to just be yourself and never compare yourself to others. Do what is right for you and what you like," Wagner advises. Becoming involved is the perfect way to meet new people. However, don't become so involved that your work suffers. "I would advise freshman to work hard, but don't burn yourself out. Always try to make whatever you do fun, even if it's a test," laughed Thakkar. "My advice is not to procrastinate. Get started on projects early. That way you're not trying to finish everything the day before," warned Wells similarly.

Rising 9th graders will begin their high school adventure this summer with their summer reading assignments. Don't get off to a bad start. Follow the advice of Thakkar and Wells echoed by English teacher Miguel Rios: "Read it. That's the first thing…try to think about what you’re reading when you're reading it. Try to react to it. Try to think about it again, but on some level try to engage in what you’re reading. You'll learn specific strategies and specific ways to engage with the text, if you haven't done so already, once you start school. Before that…. I would just say generally make sure you read."