PHS student gives advice on joining a new high school


Jill Crimm

Lucyjane Crimm walking Prez before going to Powell High School.

I often wonder if there’s some higher authority that enjoys watching adolescents with crippling social anxiety try to maneuver in new environments, with new people and no set instructions on how normal people act. If there is, they sure would get a kick out of new students at high schools. 

Being a “Navy Baby” naturally implies that I have switched schools more than my fair share of times, but it never got any easier. I always wished someone could give me a guide to being the new kid at school, so I am here to provide you with just that. Switching from a school of over 800 students to a school of 27 students, then to a school with nearly 600 students left me a little bit socially awkward; not to mention that frequently moving schools leaves an imprint on your emotional commitment to friendships.

For the first few weeks at Powell High School, I would spend my lunch period standing in the hallway by myself, or I’d walk through the pods alone while on my phone. I felt like an idiot and  would call my mom and cry about how I would never fit in anywhere. This was until one day Mrs. Amy Moore introduced me to Mr. Vin Cappiello, who promptly invited me to eat lunch in his room with some other “social misfits.”. So, step one for all of you new kids at PHS: Mr. Cappiello’s class is open during 4B lunch and you will be welcome there with open arms.

Coming into PHS, I was absolutely terrified of the other students and what they would think of me. Fun fact about high school: Everyone is too concerned with what everyone is thinking of them to be concerned about you; that includes being too concerned with themselves to be concerned with helping you. Don’t have any of the pep band music because you’re new here? Well, that certainly sucks. Hence why step two is, find yourself a designated “big sister/brother” to help you figure out what everyone else already knows. This will greatly increase your chances of survival in this new, foreign environment. Remember that it will take a while to find one of these, as teenagers are very self-centered.

In the book, Fostering Emotional Well-Being in the Classroom, Randy Page states, “This behavior naturally occurs in schools because we have become a society that is very proficient at put-downs. TV programs often glamorize put down behaviors, and “putting someone in their place” is depicted as cool.” (2003, Page)

A little side note to everyone reading this: If you see someone by themselves, invite them to be with you. It’s a really small gesture and you never know if these people could be really amazing or not, it doesn’t take that much effort. Everyone has become so used to their “cliques” and what not, but it hurts to be the person that doesn’t feel they will ever fit in. To this day, the most minimal efforts put forth by someone to be kind to me will make me well up with tears. Sometimes things that seem small to you will make a world of difference to others.

A little side note to everyone reading this: If you see someone by themselves, invite them to be with you.”

— Lucy Crimm

Now I’m more comfortable. I’m involved. I joined journalism. I joined Speech and Debate. I don’t dread being alone. In essence, I’m me. And the people dearest to me love me for it, and I love them back.

My last word of advice for all of you new kids on the block, just be yourself. Maybe you will be met with a lot of social rejection at first, but if you just stick through it all, you will realize that the most reliable person will always be yourself, so learn to love you. Also, if you feel lost, go to Mr. Cappiello’s room (1106) at lunch. The “Lunch Bunch” will help you find your way because, and I will stand by this claim through thick and thin, whenever everyone else made me feel like an outcast, at least I knew I had a few wonderful people who would be there to make me smile.