It’s never too late

Regis’ Freshmen need more social interactions – and chances to meet their classmates

Regis+students+can+have+upcoming+events+outside+to+prevent+spread+of+the+Coronavirus.+%28Wikimedia+Commons%29.

Regis students can have upcoming events outside to prevent spread of the Coronavirus. (Wikimedia Commons).

Caroline Hughes ‘24

In a time where social interactions are limited, Regis freshmen need to be given the opportunity to meet their classmates.

Many high schoolers have felt alone during this pandemic, but freshmen students in particular have had very limited social interaction opportunities because many have not yet met their classmates. We started the year with a hybrid schedule, where we only saw a half of the grade, then moved fully online for a few months, all while dealing with people constantly becoming quarantined and removed from all social interaction for ten days. Recently the schedule has been changed to full-time, and freshmen retreat just took place, which created some more opportunities, but there still needs to be more done.

Regis needs to provide their freshmen students with more opportunities to meet and interact with their classmates, especially in these last few weeks of school.

Students can feel alone when they don’t have a trusted friend or classmate they can talk to. Emma Goldberg, a journalist for the New York Times stated, “research shows that adolescents depend on their friendships to maintain a sense of self-worth and to manage anxiety and depression.” These social interactions to help meet others are important for mental health, even those in the online cohorts. With people being constantly quarantined, or more permanently in the online cohorts, we need to find a way to always include them. These people can be joined in online, to meet other classmates who are also online, and their in-person classmates.

In a confusing and challenging time, Regis has an opportunity to create social interactions, so these freshmen can go into summer and sophomore year with a more permanent social group. Although it has been challenging at schools everywhere, some students may feel they have a better opportunity to make friends at other schools, where they might have old middle school friends. To ensure these students stay at Regis and have social groups going into next year, Regis needs to use these last few weeks as a time to build those interactions.

Although some may worry about the virus spreading, these events to create social interaction can and have happened safely during this pandemic, including on the recent freshmen retreat. They can have contact tracing and take place outdoors in the improving spring weather, to ensure less risk of the virus spreading. Another way Regis can build these interactions is to encourage kids to meet up at sporting events happening this spring. The spring weather can allow for these interactions to happen so students can go into their sophomore year having a social group, while also happening safely during the pandemic.

Having these events could potentially put more students into quarantine if they were exposed to someone who contracted the virus. Some may say this is too much of a risk and defeats the purpose of the event. Although it could be a risk, it can take place safely to ensure it doesn’t defeat the purpose for the students. If people are uncomfortable with coming to the event then they could participate online. Studies have shown events that take place outside are much safer than events taking place inside. The CDC has said one of the many factors determining the safety of a group gathering is the setting, meaning outside or inside. If these events took place outside, which is possible with the spring weather coming up, then there would be a smaller risk of the virus spreading.

Regis freshmen need more opportunities to be able to meet students outside of their classes. Friendships are needed in high school to maintain a healthy mental health, and we need to have an event where we could help to create and foster these relationships. Freshmen students need to go into the summer and sophomore year feeling they have social interactions with others and someone who they can always talk to.