Due to far less interaction with upperclassmen and experienced peers, newer students have been suffering from a devastating lack of guidance.
Some students have started to request help from seniors, as they are significantly more experienced with Mira Loma’s traditions, tendencies, and quirks. However, this isn’t possible for a lot of students, who remain lost, seeing many of Mira Loma’s offerings as inaccessible. A student who preferred to remain anonymous explained,“If the seniors could tell us information on clubs and how other activities work, that would be great… Right now, I’m sort of confused.” This is true for many new students as the difficulty of communication can only funnel a limited amount of information to students. Without distance learning, freshmen would have access to Senior Guides, students who would lead the students on a mini-orientation each year. Senior Guides could not interact with students this year, leaving many confused, especially concerned about what will happen once students physically return to school. For example, students won’t know where almost any of their classes are, and will have a tough time getting oriented.
Another freshman continued that the problem was more than just that classes could be hard to understand. “I don’t know where to go for help, and I feel sort of helpless,” they said. The student explained how in their math class, there was no introduction on how to get set up for the year, nor where to take notes. Without having a proper introduction to high school norms, students are bound to fall behind in class and have trouble with their a multitude of skills, especially in the higher grades. Again, remedies for these struggles were offered before the coronavirus pandemic, such as library tutoring, where students were able to receive help on the topics they were struggling with.
Finally, a third student commented on how they were confused on how to join or create certain clubs, saying “I would love to start a club or join one, but I either don’t see it at club rush, or I do not know who to contact.” If people don’t know what clubs to go to, their ability to participate in Mira Loma’s vibrant extracurricular culture will be seriously bottlenecked. In other words, the issues with a lack of guidance may have lasting effects on Mira Loma’s school culture.
The obstacles that come with this year’s lack of clear guidance for freshman and newer students at Mira Loma are significant. Any sort of dissemination from upperclassmen, whether it includes an introduction to school events, an explanation of how the community service system works, or a description who to contact if they have any doubts regarding certain topics, can go a long ways in ensuring a better freshman experience. With the pandemic, it is very stressful for all students, especially newer ones, which is why there is a dire need to mitigate such a self-guided environment.