By Lucy Kwittken
As the first semester has just come to an end, freshmen are saying goodbye to the beloved mentor program. Their senior mentors have guided, helped, and formed relationships with their “mentees” throughout the program. This relationship eases the anxiety in freshmen as they embark on their first year of high school, and gives them older, perhaps wiser, senior friends in their corner.
Starting high school is a milestone, and the mentor program guides the freshmen through tough moments. In Rentz’s mentor class, freshman Alana Curley reminisces, “It is always nice to get to school and not be stressed first thing in the morning.” There are no tests, quizzes, or expectations to live up to, and that is the true beauty of this program. The first period of the day can be very stressful, but with Mentor, it is the opposite. One can come into class, sit down, and play a game, ask questions, or even just sit there and talk. Whatever it is that makes you feel less stressed and happier, Mentor is always there for you.
One way mentor classes have fun is by playing different activities and games with one of the favorites being Yogi ball. Playing a Yogi ball tournament between the freshmen classes is a historic tradition here at Byram Hills. Yogi ball is a mix between kickball and dodgeball, and it helps bring teamwork and collaboration to mentor. After an exciting finale, Mrs. Healy’s mentor class took the win against Mr. Andriello’s class.
Mentor class can even be a way to gain new friendships with classmates. Everyone is going through the same troubles, so Mentor provides an opportunity to branch out and meet new people. From Barnum’s mentor class, freshman Abby Yallof explains, “Because of Mentor, I got to fully understand high school, and I got so much closer with people in my grade.” Not only does mentor have the effect of bringing people closer together, but it can also assure that you are not alone.
If freshmen had the choice, Mentor would be a full year course. Although the majority want this, the Mentor program sadly lasts for only the first semester. From Allen’s mentor class, freshman Dani Eder said, “I am devastated to see mentor go, and I believe that it should be a full year course because we are still figuring out our way through high school. Although our relationships with our mentors will never waver, it’s fair to say that everyone wishes they had more time together.”
To the juniors aspiring to be a mentor, cherish the time you have with your future freshmen because it will be over before you know it. And to our senior mentors this year, we will miss you. Thank you for everything that you have done for us.