The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Freshmen Advisory Assimilates Students

With the new school year comes a new generation of students. Freshmen, sometimes jovially nicknamed “fresh meat,” are stereotyped as the bottom of the social food chain: clueless, awkward and uncertain. Sometimes these generalizations aren’t far from the truth.

Freshmen are aptly named because they literally are ‘fresh’ from middle school. It is easy to forget that everyone was once a bewildered freshman, unlearned in the subtleties of high school life. To provide the freshmen access to information about high school, the school holds Freshman Advisory every Tuesday during tutorial for the first semester.

Freshman Advisory is instrumental in bridging the gap of knowledge and making freshmen comfortable at school.

“Advisory primarily is a time to help freshmen understand what high school is all about,” freshman adviser and science teacher Tom Budd said. “It talks about some of the nuts and bolts … the standard kinds of things where if you’ve never been to the school before you don’t know.”

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Lessons learned in Advisory apply outside the realm of academics as well.

“Because it’s a big jump to get into high school, we talk about what’s it like to be in high school, the pros and the cons,” Budd said.

Advisory is not merely a time for cramming information into freshmen brains; it is a flexible period when freshmen can raise questions and the teacher and student advisers will help.

“I didn’t know how to use the SIS system and they gave a very good presentation on it,” junior Sasha Pchenitchnikova said about her experience in Advisory. “My friend didn’t have an email and they helped her set it up.”

Budd said the class uses a “lot of Q&A, lot of questions and lot of modeling, lot of examples and modeling of what’s good behavior.”

The results are tangible. After freshman orientation and one Advisory class, freshman Max Chi said he has a good impression of Advisory.

“Advisory’s pretty fun,” Max said. “There’s new people in my Advisory class I have never known and I have time to talk and meet them too.”

Freshman Advisory is a useful school policy that benefits the incoming class of freshmen. However, despite the utility of the class, there are always kids who think they are already informed or “too cool” to pay attention and show respect during Advisory, harming the receptive atmosphere that is integral to Advisory class.

No matter how much a freshman may know, it is still wrong to disrespect the teacher and upperclassmen advisers. Freshman Advisory is a privilege; the teachers and advisers are taking their own time to help out freshmen. Until they are well seasoned with experience, freshmen should take full advantage of the aid offered in Freshman Advisory.

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