Although COVID-19 has left the students and faculty of St. John’s College High School feeling discouraged because of the lack of social interaction, the school is still trying to make an effort to make the St. John’s community feel more welcoming, especially for freshmen just beginning high school. The class of 2024 has begun high school in the midst of a pandemic and has had little opportunities to meet their classmates outside of small sports practices that were held earlier in the year.
It has proven difficult trying to make the transition to a new school for the new students because of the strict precautions the school has been taking for the past year. St. John’s College High School understands the struggle the freshmen have been going through and organized an event known as ‘Freshman Frenzy’ that was held in a safe and healthy manner on January 27th and February 3rd. About forty freshmen attended the event hosted by Ms. Catherine Coffey and Ms. Michelle Macintosh-Peters. During the short event the students were able to meet and get to know many of their peers, something coronavirus had stolen from the class of 2024.
One student, Brady Foster, jumped at the idea to attend because of the lack of social events. “Freshman Frenzy was a fun and exciting experience for him to meet new people… and learn more about some [he’d] already met,” Foster said.
Some activities the freshmen participated in were “speed friendshipping”, an icebreaker that combined speed with speech to learn more about the other students, and prayer, a highly important part of the St. John’s community. During prayer, students focused on their relationships with God, specifically trusting in Him throughout these unprecedented times as well as using prayer as a time to relieve stress from the busy school day.
Mental health is now more important than ever and scheduled time for prayer has a huge benefit for the students allowing them to take a moment just for God and away from all the distractions in the world. Ms. Coffey took the time to share about her life, specifically different prayer practices that have helped [her] process hard moments in [her] life and stay grounded in the midst of the business of daily routines. Her goal in sharing her experiences was to help freshmen that may be struggling with the same things she has struggled with during her life.
Though the students have not had the chance to attend football games with friends or go to school dances like normal years, ‘Freshman Frenzy’ was an engaging day that allowed the students to grow as St. John’s Cadets while also creating a deeper relationship with God.