A firsthand account of a transfer student at CHS

By By: Mr. Snuffleupagus (Diana Brown)

CHS can be a difficult place for transfer students. I know this because I came to CHS as a sophomore and only knew a couple of kids out of the 500 in my class. Hallways were crowded with bodies and backpacks, I was constantly getting lost, and lunch was too scary to think about.

I came from a private school that had about 50 kids in each grade, and I knew almost everyone in the school but at CHS I was practically drowning in a school with 2,200 students.

The big difference between being the new girl at a private school and a new girl at a public school is that at a private school, everyone begins to know who you are immediately, but at a public school, you can stay invisible and anonymous forever. At such a large school, it is hard to differentiate the new kid from someone you may have never seen before. Also, there is no pressure to be friendly to the new kid because you might never see her again.

As I entered CHS sophomore year, everyone was a stranger except three kids from middle school, a girl from my fifth grade soccer team and of course, my sister, who was a senior. My old soccer friend really helped me to get settled in at Churchill and introduced me to all her friends. My sister’s previous experience with this scary transferring business was not that helpful; she only laughed at my hysteria.
I soon realized that it was all up to me. I would have to forget about being shy and be more outgoing, which is hard when you’re the new girl who no one knows. I plastered a smile on my face, sucked up my fear and tried to meet new people; the last thing you want when coming to a new school is to make enemies.

What helped me the most getting comfortable at CHS was joining the golf team. It was also great to get to know kids from other grades who were on the golf team. The best advice I can give a new student is to get involved in school and join a sport team, a club, or an academy. Everyone can find the right group, it just may take some time.
The most difficult part of this transition for me was when I realized that I needed to get more involved in the classroom. I couldn’t just sit in the back of the room in silent mode. When you ask a bunch of questions in class, it helps others to see your personality.
Although raising my hand at my old school in front of maybe 10 other kids was one thing, voicing my opinions in a class of 30 or more students was a big difference, and it helped me become a better speaker. That’s when I realized that maybe CHS would work out after all.

Overall, transferring to CHS can be difficult. But ironically, the interpersonal skills that you need to make the transition; being friendly to everyone, joining groups of students with similar interests, speaking up in a large classroom, are important, not just in CHS but everywhere you will go in the future.